The temperature by day is touching double figures but the frosts at night keep soil temperature too cold formuch growth. It is impressive, therefore, to see a heritage variety of lettuce which I obtained some years ago from Irish Seed Savers in Scariff, Co. Clare, growing on bare patches around the garden, front and back.
Lamb’s Lettuce looks more like dandelion than say Iceberg Lettuce. It has small leaves and they melt rather than ‘crunch’ in the mouth and the taste is mild. However, to get any salad leaves without a greenhouse is rare in this weather. I let this heritage lettuce variety go to seed each year. This guarantees me copious fresh salad leaves early the following year.
I mentioned this variety to a local farmer who is very interested in developing another early season salad leaf commercially. I gave him a pot of my variety and I wish him luck in growing it on. Meanwhile, life in Dáil Éireann is trying enough at present and fresh salad leaves in a homemade sandwich at lunch help to keep things in perspective and feet on the ground. Roll on March and milder weather.