Try Oakleaf Lettuce To Avoid Icebergs As You Sail Into Fall Garden Season

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UT Gardens’ August Plant of the Month

This fall would be a great time to take another look at lettuce and experiment with some new options in your fall garden. Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is the vegetable cousin in one of the largest ornamental plant families, Asteraceae. As the third most consumed fresh vegetable in the United States, it hardly flies under the radar for gardeners. However, lettuce often doesn’t get the love it deserves because many gardeners may feel limited to leaf types if they have struggled with the more challenging iceberg or romaine lettuces. If that is you, this is the year to check out beautiful oakleaf lettuces that can be a tasty, productive and unique crop.

Oakleaf lettuce, as the name suggests, has a unique leaf shape as well as a more open head. This more open structure can help reduce the incidence of tipburn on young leaves that can be a challenge on romaine and the larger head lettuce types. The most common oakleaf color is a vibrant light to medium green. Recent AAS winners ‘Bauer’, a darker green oakleaf, and ‘Sandy’, a unique deer tongue leaf shape type, have been strong again tipburn and have done well in Tennessee trials. There are beautiful red leaf cultivars, as well, such as ‘Oscarde’ and ‘Rouxai’.

Read more at the UT Gardens’ site.

The UT Gardens includes plant collections located in Knoxville, Crossville and Jackson, Tennessee. Designated as the official botanical garden for the State of Tennessee, the UT Gardens are part of the UT Institute of Agriculture. The Gardens’ mission is to foster appreciation, education and stewardship of plants through garden displays, educational programs and research trials. The Gardens are open during all seasons and free to the public.

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