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Joker Lettuce

Botanical Name: Lactuca sativa

$3.95
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# of seeds per packet: 460

Description

50-60 days. Bred in 2011 by farmer, plant breeder, and seed activist Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seed, Joker has become our favorite head lettuce! It has a distinctly sweet, buttery flavor, yet every part of this lettuce retains a crispy, crunch. Even the green leafy parts are crunchy! It's a crisp-leaf type of lettuce with a loose head. Leaves are bright green with bursts of stunning red splashes. Frank has really out-done himself with this one. Grow in spring, summer or fall. Joker is downy mildew resistant and very cold hardy. As baby lettuce, it survived the polar vortex of 2014 in our unheated hoophouse. Seeds grown by Wild Garden Seed.

Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA zone 5b):

Lettuce prefers cooler weather and will bolt (flower) earlier in hot weather. For early head lettuce, start seeds indoors March 1st at 68° (cover flat with a dome and expose seeds to light). Sow lettuce seeds outside anytime between March 27th – June 30th. Lettuce seeds germinate when the soil temperature ranges from 35-80° (68° optimum). Lettuce seeds need light to germinate - plant seeds on the surface of the soil and pat gently with a hand. Keep seeds constantly moist until germination (laying row cover fabric on top of the seeds will help keep them cool and moist). Days to germination: 2-14 days. Space 10” apart for head lettuce. Joker lettuce is very cold hardy and can be grown into the fall. Sow it around Aug. 15th during a cool spell (lettuce seeds will not germinate if soil temperatures are over 80°) - try covering seeds with row cover fabric to keep them cool and moist. Broadcast sow seeds for baby leaf lettuce.

Harvest:

Harvest Joker as it forms a full size loose head but before it begins to bolt. Joker can also be grown and harvested as looseleaf baby lettuce.

Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):

Lettuce is mostly self-pollinated and rarely crosses with other lettuces. Isolation distance: 12’. Minimum population size: 5-10 plants. Remove early bolting plants. If lettuce stems fall over, stake them. Harvest lettuce seeds as they begin to mature (they will form dandelion like white plumes on them). Harvest seeds by tapping stems to shake seeds into a bucket. It is best to harvest lettuce seed after several days of dry weather. Harvest seeds over several weeks.

Seed Stories

Originating in the Mediterranean region, lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is grown in temperate regions around the world. Lettuce’s disdain for hot weather can be traced to its Mediterranean roots where mild weather predominates. Lettuces are important crops ‘round the world!

Joker lettuce was bred by seed breeder, farmer, and activist Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seeds in Corvallis, Oregon. Frank has been working for many years to breed disease resistant and cold tolerant lettuces with unique colors, textures, and flavors. We think that Joker is just the best.

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Joker Lettuce [[start tab]]

Description

50-60 days. Bred in 2011 by farmer, plant breeder, and seed activist Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seed, Joker has become our favorite head lettuce! It has a distinctly sweet, buttery flavor, yet every part of this lettuce retains a crispy, crunch. Even the green leafy parts are crunchy! It's a crisp-leaf type of lettuce with a loose head. Leaves are bright green with bursts of stunning red splashes. Frank has really out-done himself with this one. Grow in spring, summer or fall. Joker is downy mildew resistant and very cold hardy. As baby lettuce, it survived the polar vortex of 2014 in our unheated hoophouse. Seeds grown by Wild Garden Seed.

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Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA zone 5b):

Lettuce prefers cooler weather and will bolt (flower) earlier in hot weather. For early head lettuce, start seeds indoors March 1st at 68° (cover flat with a dome and expose seeds to light). Sow lettuce seeds outside anytime between March 27th – June 30th. Lettuce seeds germinate when the soil temperature ranges from 35-80° (68° optimum). Lettuce seeds need light to germinate - plant seeds on the surface of the soil and pat gently with a hand. Keep seeds constantly moist until germination (laying row cover fabric on top of the seeds will help keep them cool and moist). Days to germination: 2-14 days. Space 10” apart for head lettuce. Joker lettuce is very cold hardy and can be grown into the fall. Sow it around Aug. 15th during a cool spell (lettuce seeds will not germinate if soil temperatures are over 80°) - try covering seeds with row cover fabric to keep them cool and moist. Broadcast sow seeds for baby leaf lettuce.

Harvest:

Harvest Joker as it forms a full size loose head but before it begins to bolt. Joker can also be grown and harvested as looseleaf baby lettuce.

Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):

Lettuce is mostly self-pollinated and rarely crosses with other lettuces. Isolation distance: 12’. Minimum population size: 5-10 plants. Remove early bolting plants. If lettuce stems fall over, stake them. Harvest lettuce seeds as they begin to mature (they will form dandelion like white plumes on them). Harvest seeds by tapping stems to shake seeds into a bucket. It is best to harvest lettuce seed after several days of dry weather. Harvest seeds over several weeks.

[[end tab]] [[start tab]]

Seed Stories

Originating in the Mediterranean region, lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is grown in temperate regions around the world. Lettuce’s disdain for hot weather can be traced to its Mediterranean roots where mild weather predominates. Lettuces are important crops ‘round the world!

Joker lettuce was bred by seed breeder, farmer, and activist Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seeds in Corvallis, Oregon. Frank has been working for many years to breed disease resistant and cold tolerant lettuces with unique colors, textures, and flavors. We think that Joker is just the best.

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