Monday, January 5, 2015

Garden Project 1- Growing Black Rose Lettuce

Black Rose lettuce planted on a raised bed and its neighbors
purple sweet potatoes (kamote tops) and malabar nightshade  (alugbati) 
Lettuce is an annual plant that belongs to the daisy family. It is grown as a vegetable leaf and it is not only used as an ingredient in making different types of food.  There are different types of varieties of lettuce and recently, I have planted a variety called Black Rose which is characterized by leaves having deep burgundy color.

The Black Rose lettuce looks very attractive with its colored loose leaves. It has a crisp yet slightly bitter taste that adds interesting flavor in salad dishes. I enjoy the Black Rose as a lettuce wrap which adds crunch to the food.   Aside from using the leaves in salad, I also use them for soups and any kinds of dishes.
Black Rose lettuce seedlings
Close up of young Black Rose lettuce. They first appear green but develop into
deep burgundy after a few weeks.
This particular variety of lettuce is very sturdy and it grows well in any types of soil. I planted several on slightly clay soil mixed with plant ash  and they grew well. They also thrive well on rich loamy soil.   This particular type of lettuce prefers to grow in areas where it can get a lot of sunlight. Although they also grow well in shaded areas, they do not develop that rich burgundy color and are not as bitter as those raised under the sun.
Transplanted stunted Black Rose lettuce (bottom) which were originally planted in small pots. Its neighbors
arugula (upper right) and variegated lemon (upper left) looked very healthy.

Budding Black Rose lettuce. I will have more seeds soon.
Black Rose lettuce  in a pot made from a 5-gallon mineral bottled water. It does not have a deep burgundy red color as it is planted in the shade. I have yet to transplant if I can find space in the garden.

When planting this lettuce, make sure that you do not plant them on small containers. I noticed mine getting stunted so I transferred them on to the my raised bed and they somehow recovered.  Lastly, what I love about them is that they  add color in the garden.

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