Even after 150 years it's one of the most tender leaf lettuces.
Hugely popular for over 150 years, it's one of the most tender and delicately flavored leaf lettuces ever bred. The ruffled leaves are large with an appealing green color. Simpson is well adapted to a wide range of climates and is still the best for early spring sowing.
Sow lettuce seeds in average soil in full sun in early spring for first crop, in late summer for fall crop. Sow every 2 weeks to extend harvests. (In late summer, sow lettuce seeds in a protected area where the temperature is below 75� F.) Sow thinly in rows 12" apart and cover with 1/4" of fine soil. Space the sowings according to packet directions that are based on the size of the mature lettuce. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist. Seedlings emerge in 7-10 days.
How to Grow
Lettuce seedlings emerge in 7-10 days. Thin to stand 8" apart when 1-2" high. Keep lettuce plants well watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth. Lettuce is shallow-rooted, so avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding. Unless there is regular rainfall, lettuce plants must be watered deeply at least once a week and more frequently during periods of drought. Mulch your home garden with a layer of compost or clean straw to help the soil retain moisture.
For the best quality, pick lettuce early rather than late as lettuce allowed to grow too long may be bitter and tough. Try to harvest lettuce in the morning when the leaves are crisp, sweet, and full of moisture. Harvest looseleaf types anytime the leaves are large enough to use. Harvest butterhead types when they have formed heads and the leaves are a good size. Cut the heads below the crown. On leaf types, you can just pick a few leaves at a time, if you like. Lettuce is the classic ingredient in salads. It adds crispness to sandwiches and can be used as a garnish, braised, or added to soups. Many of the looseleaf cultivars are decorative in the garden.