Ideas for Rising Batavian Lettuce

Lactuca sativa var. longifolia

Batavian lettuce, also called summer season crisp, is the little veggie that would.

It could actually tolerate warmth higher than many different lettuce sorts but it surely’s nonetheless hardy towards frost.

A close up vertical image of rows of Batavian lettuce growing in the garden. To the top and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

We hyperlink to distributors that can assist you discover related merchandise. If you happen to purchase from one among our hyperlinks, we might earn a fee.

It may be harvested as a microgreen, child leaf, cut-and-come-again sort, or you’ll be able to anticipate the heads to mature. Oh, and did we point out that it’s extra illness resistant than most different lettuces?

There’s lots to like.

Like different lettuce varieties, it’s straightforward to develop and fast to mature, so that you’ll be chowing down on the crisp, candy leaves very quickly flat.

Need to be taught extra about these unbelievable greens? I completely get it. They’re fantastic!

Right here’s the whole lot you’ll be able to anticipate to study on this information, coming proper up:

For a time, Batavian lettuce was far and away the most well-liked sort within the US.

It’s time these dietary powerhouses made a comeback. However earlier than we fill the bottom with summer season crisps, let’s chat a bit about the place they got here from.

Cultivation and Historical past

Batavian (or Batavia) lettuce is a semi-heading sort that’s someplace in between iceberg and romaine by way of texture and taste.

A close up horizontal image of Batavian Lactuca sativa growing in the garden.

It’s also called summer season crisp or French lettuce. Whereas it’s typically a complete thriller the place crops get their names, the widespread names “Batavian” and “French” reveal the place this plant was initially bred.

Lactuca plant species originated within the Mediterranean area, the place they had been initially thought-about a weed, and unfold throughout the planet from there.

The primary proof of cultivation goes manner again to historic Egypt, 6,000 years in the past.

Quick ahead, and summer season crisp sorts come from the areas of Europe at present referred to as northern France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

This sort emerged someday within the 1600s. At this time, there are each European and American Batavians.

There are six sorts of L. sativa crops: butterhead, crisphead, Latin, leaf, romaine, and stem lettuces.

Batavian is a crisphead sort, and after we say it’s semi-heading, that’s only a free time period for the way tight the heads are.

A close up horizontal image of the foliage of Batavian lettuce growing in the vegetable garden.

Some lettuces develop tightly packed, virtually like cabbage. Others are completely free, like arugula. Crispheads are someplace in between the 2.

Within the early 1900s, American Batavian cultivars had been in vogue, with ‘Hanson’ and ‘New York’ being two of the most well-liked cultivars on this planet. The perennially in style iceberg emerged from Batavians in 1894, bred by W. Atlee Burpee & Co.

Don’t confuse this selection with Cichorium endivia, which is typically referred to as Batavian escarole or endive.


There are two methods to propagate this plant: purchase begins or sow seeds. Lettuce is straightforward to develop from seed, however the primary purpose you would possibly choose to purchase seedlings is to save lots of time.

From Seed

Begin your seeds immediately within the floor outside after the final predicted frost date.

If you happen to don’t often see about 50 to 80 days of climate beneath 70°F within the spring, you can begin the seeds slightly earlier than the final frost date and they are going to be effective.

These germinate greatest in soil temperatures round 40°F, however a quick frost gained’t harm them.

You may as well begin seeds within the fall, about 50 to 80 days earlier than the primary predicted frost date.

Earlier than you plant, loosen up your soil down about six inches and work in some well-rotted compost if you want to enhance drainage or water retention.

Then poke holes a few quarter-inch deep into the soil spaced six to 12 inches aside, utilizing your finger or a pencil. Place a seed in every gap.

If you happen to’d somewhat, you can even broadcast the seeds over the soil and flippantly press them down. You’ll must you should definitely skinny the seedlings out as soon as they begin popping up in per week or two.

Sprinkle water onto the soil so that you don’t disturb the seeds, and maintain the soil moist as you anticipate them to germinate.

From Seedlings

Batavian lettuce is extraordinarily in style and you may all the time discover no less than one or two cultivars at nurseries within the spring.

To plant begins, put together the soil by loosening it up down to 6 inches and dealing in some compost, if needed, to enhance drainage and water retention.

Dig a gap the identical dimension because the rising container and gently take away the seedling from its pot.

Place it within the gap and agency the soil up round it, taking care to maintain the plant on the identical depth it was within the rising container.

Seedlings must be planted six to 12 inches aside, relying on their predicted mature dimension.

Water the soil effectively.

Tips on how to Develop

Since these crops had been bred in a few of the decidedly cooler and wetter areas of Europe, that provides us a superb information to what sort of circumstances these greens want.

Anybody can develop these crops, however you’ll must adapt relying on the kind of local weather you reside in.

A close up horizontal image of a head of Batavian lettuce set on a dark gray surface.

You want no less than seven weeks for the heads to mature, so so long as you’ve gotten about 50 to 80 days beneath about 70°F, you’ll be able to develop these crops.

Some cultivars are extra warmth tolerant and gained’t bolt till temperatures begin reaching the mid-80s.

On the opposite finish of the dimensions, these crops can tolerate a quick heavy frost and temperatures within the 20s, which is why they’re in style as a winter crop in temperate areas.

In addition they make a pleasant winter crop in heat areas.

A close up horizontal image of the reddish green leaves of Batavian lettuce.

Batavian lettuce does greatest in well-draining, free, wealthy soil that retains water effectively. It must have a barely acidic pH of round 6.0 to six.5.

Plant your lettuce in a spot that receives full solar. Much less ideally, you can even develop it in partial solar.

Hold the soil moist as these crops develop. As a result of they’ve shallow roots, it is best to add water as quickly because the floor of the soil feels dry to the contact.

There’s no must fertilize or pinch the leaves, however you should definitely maintain weeds effectively away. These uninvited crops will steal vitamins out of your crops and so they can harbor pests and illnesses.

Think about rising your lettuce close to different useful crops like alliums, beets, calendula, carrots, cilantro, nasturtiums, parsnips, and radishes. Simply keep away from brassicas.

You don’t need them sharing illnesses and pests together with your Batavian crops.

Rising Ideas

  • Plant in full solar or partial shade.
  • Hold the soil constantly moist.
  • Hold weeds out of the backyard.

Cultivars to Choose

There are dozens of cultivars on the market and new ones coming to the market on a regular basis.

You may’t go fallacious experimenting with a brand new one since there’s so little cash, work, and time concerned. However if you would like a certain factor, these choices are tried and true.

Burgundy Delight

I imply, there’s nothing fallacious with the marginally crinkled leaves on considerably free heads, with their vibrant crunch and candy taste.

However ‘Burgundy Delight’ delights for different causes. The darkish reddish-purple leaves are lovely whether or not you slap them on a sandwich or toss them in a salad.

A close up of a freshly harvested 'Burgundy Delight' in a green colander.

‘Burgundy Delight’

You may have vibrant, flavorful heads in beneath 70 days by heading to Burpee to buy a pack of about 500 seeds.

Nice Lakes

‘Nice Lakes’ was a collaborative effort between the US Division of Agriculture and the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station.

A close up horizontal image of lettuce growing in the vegetable garden.

It was launched in 1941 and is taken into account the primary “fashionable” iceberg sort.

However regardless of that, it’s nonetheless often labeled as a Batavian, with a big, considerably dense head and deliciously crisp leaves.

It resists tip burn, gained’t simply bolt within the warmth or chilly, and produces reliably even when the climate doesn’t cooperate.

For half a century, it was the most well-liked commercially grown cultivar of any lettuce, peaking at 95 p.c of the market. It was solely knocked off its pedestal when pre-packaged free leaves took over within the mid-70s.

A close up square image of a 'Great Lakes' lettuce growing in the garden. To the bottom right of the frame is a white circular logo with text.

‘Nice Lakes’

All that apart, this can be a unbelievable cultivar and completely deserving of a comeback, although you shouldn’t really feel too dangerous for it. ‘Nice Lakes’ remains to be fairly in style with residence growers.

If you wish to be part of historical past by rising this fantastically tasty cultivar with its completely crinkly leaves, run to True Leaf Market for a gram, quarter ounce, ounce, four-ounce, one-pound, or five-pound package deal of seeds.

Plant them and anticipate your harvest in about 75 days.

Ice Queen

‘Ice Queen,’ or ‘Reine des Glaces,’ is a royally marvelous French heirloom that’s recurrently lauded as the most effective Batavia lettuces.

It has inexperienced, frilled leaves on the surface and crisp, barely bitter leaves on the heart.

A close up vertical image of a seed packet for 'Ice Queen' with text to the left of the frame and a hand-drawn illustration to the right.

‘Ice Queen’

It’s additionally chilly and warmth tolerant, and very sluggish to bolt. Lower and are available once more, develop child greens, or harvest the mature heads at about 80 days.

Snag a gram of seeds at Botanical Pursuits.

Be taught extra about rising ‘Ice Queen’ in our information.


‘Muir’ is so warmth tolerant that it virtually appears it may not actually be a wide range of lettuce. Is it truly a wide range of Malabar spinach in disguise? But it surely’s not!

A vertical image of rows of lettuce growing in white hydroponic tubes.

It has semi-dense heads with extraordinarily wavy leaves which are good for capturing oily salad dressing.

It additionally resists illnesses like downy mildew and lettuce mosaic virus, and it’s extraordinarily fast to mature at 50 days.


‘Nevada’ has the killer mixture of a velvety texture with a refreshing crunch packed right into a uniform, free head.

It’s additionally much less prone to bolt or expertise tip burn than most different lettuces, plus it’s proof against widespread illnesses like downy mildew and lettuce mosaic virus.

A close up square image of a single head of 'Nevada' lettuce growing in the garden. To the bottom right of the frame is a white circular logo with text.


This open-pollinated cultivar is able to harvest after about six weeks and shops for a superb lengthy whereas.

It’s apparent why this one is so in style. If you happen to’d prefer to carry it to your backyard, True Leaf Market carries gram, quarter-ounce, ounce, and four-ounce packets of seed.

Managing Pests and Illness

Whereas any Lactuca species can technically contract the identical illnesses, Batavian sorts are typically proof against most points.

Some cultivars resist the oh-so-common downy mildew, whereas others are vulnerable.

If you wish to keep away from downy mildew, decide one of many many resistant cultivars. For the remainder of the doubtless nasty illnesses, learn our information to discover ways to establish and do away with them.

A close up horizontal image of a rabbit munching at lettuce growing in the veggie patch.

With regards to pests, herbivores like deer and rabbits, and invertebrates like aphids and slugs are widespread points. We’ve got a full information to stroll you thru these issues.


I like harvesting Batavian lettuce. Clipping the heads is so satisfying. As soon as they’ve reached their mature dimension, use a knife or clippers to chop via the bottom of the plant proper above the soil degree.

A close up horizontal image of two hands from the right of the frame harvesting a fresh head of Batavian lettuce from the vegetable garden.

You may as well harvest particular person leaves as they mature, utilizing a clear pair of scissors.

To retailer your lettuce, wrap it in a linen or cotton material and put the package deal in your vegetable crisper drawer. It could actually last as long as per week this fashion.

Fast Reference Rising Information

Plant Kind: Annual vegetable Tolerance: Some warmth, frost
Origins: Mediterranean area, later France, Belgium, Netherlands Upkeep: Low
Hardiness (USDA Zone): 2-11 Soil Kind: Unfastened, wealthy
Season: Spring, fall, winter Soil pH: 6.0-6.5
Publicity: Full to partial solar Soil Drainage: Effectively-draining
Time to Maturity: As much as 80 days Companion Planting: Alliums, beets, calendula, carrots, cilantro, nasturtiums, parsnips, radishes
Spacing: 6-12 inches Keep away from Planting With: Brassicas, fennel
Planting Depth: <1/4 inch (seeds), identical depth as container (seedlings) Order: Asterales
Top: As much as 12 inches Household: Asteraceae
Unfold: As much as 18 inches Genus: Lactuca
Progress Price: Quick Species: Sativa
Water Wants: Average to excessive Selection: Longifolia
Widespread Pests:: Aphids, beetles, caterpillars, crickets, deer, fungus gnats, rabbits, slugs, snails, voles Widespread Ailments: Bacterial leaf spot, backside rot, damping off, downy mildew, lettuce mosaic virus

What’s To not Love?

Batavian lettuce is unbelievable for thus many causes. Its versatility as a head or loose-leaf sort makes it a helpful addition to the kitchen backyard.

However with its illness resistance, warmth and frost tolerance, and ease of rising, it’s fairly arduous to not love.

A close up horizontal image of a row of Batavian lettuce growing in the vegetable garden.

How do you employ up your homegrown lettuce? Do you benefit from the child leaves in salads? Or do you anticipate it to develop huge and use it to make soup?

I’d love to listen to your recipe strategies. Share with us within the feedback part under.

We’ve got much more lettuce goodness should you can’t get sufficient of rising these inexperienced wonders. If you happen to discovered this information helpful, you’ll love these:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *