To learn more about growing lettuce in the spring garden, visit this link from Vegetable Gardener. To learn more about growing it in the fall/winter garden, click this other link from Vegetable Gardener.
I grow Romaine and other types of loose leaf lettuces because they taste way better than head lettuce, in my opinion. Plus, and this is a big plus, they’re easier to grow. You can plant lettuce all year round but lettuce doesn’t like the heat so if your summers are intense, prepare to give your lettuce some shade and extra water. In moderate zones, lettuce will self sow if you let it go to seed. I’m in growing zone 5 and I let my lettuce reseed all year round so that I don’t have to bother with replanting it. Every spring and fall, new lettuce babies just pop up all over the place about the same time the mustards and other Asian greens start popping up. FYI, here’s a good article about growing Asian greens, another fine addition to your bun replacement regimen.
Lettuce is beautiful in the garden and so I don’t mind that it blows into my herbs and makes a home there. We keep it in the cutting garden, the children’s garden and the berry patches. We let it grow under bean vines and in the pumpkin patches. When too much sprouts up in one place, we pull the extras and eat them up. If you end up with more than you can consume, feed it to the chickens or goats.
Once you have some nice sized heads, send the kids out to gather some every time you grill but popping a few leaves off down at the base. Loose leaf lettuce is a cut and come again plant so you can do this until the lettuce decides its time to go to seed. Lettuce is the perfect gluten free option for your hamburger rolls. So, go ahead, pick your own buns. Its good for ya!
If you must have a bun, and let’s face it that sometimes we just do, you must try this recipe from Danielle Walker’s site Against All Grain – grain free, gluten free, paleo hamburger rolls. These are fantastic and easy to make if you’d like to take a little more time than it takes to pick your own buns in the form of lettuce.