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Freedom Lettuce Gene-Pool

Freedom Lettuce Gene-Pool Lettuce Mix OG

An inspiring mix with plenty of surprises, this gene pool was created by Frank Morton in his so-called “Hell’s Half-Acre lettuce trial,” in which he crossed his most disease-resistant cultivars with his best-tasting varieties to select and recombine for excellent traits. At least 10–12 “great looking and great tasting” variations won raves from trialer Donna Dyrek. Morton invites growers and breeders to work with this mix to create new varieties for their farms or for the general public, while stipulating that nothing derived from it may be patented or protected from others’ use in any way. This strategy, originated by software developers, is now known as copyleft (as opposed to traditional copyright). Morton has adopted it to keep his varieties and their derivatives in the public domain as a protected commons. OSSI. Seeds as nature’s software! Click here for more information on copyleft. Copyleft has the potential to return to free use such shared resources as our plant heritage that rightfully belong to all of us. As Morton proclaims, “Adaptive breeding cannot occur under a system of restrictive ownership.” OT-certified organic. Grown and supplied by the breeder.
Item Discounted
Price
2984A: 1g for $2.30  
2984B: 2g for $4.20  
2984C: 4g for $7.50  
2984D: 14g for $20.00  
2984E: 28g for $38.00  
2984K: 112g for $145.00   ($130.50)
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Additional Information

Mixes

Exact components will vary according to availability; click here for current list of varieties in each mix.

Lettuce

Lactuca sativa

All lettuce is open-pollinated.
1 gram packet sows 25 ft; 2 grams, 50 ft; 1 oz, 500–700 ft. Varieties average 875 seeds/1g pkt, or 1,750 seeds/2g packet.

Culture: May be started indoors in March and at regular intervals thereafter, or sowed outdoors as soon as ground can be worked. Many varieties won’t germinate in soil temperatures above 75° and most shut down above 80°. Where available, we present data here from a California germination experiment at 84°.

Hardy. All save icebergs tolerate heavy frost. Grow best in cool weather with ample moisture, many kinds suffer bottom rot and tipburn in heat; select summer varieties carefully. Use shade cloth to keep summer lettuce tender and sweet longer. Sesquiterpene lactones produced in the latex render lettuce bitter when it bolts.

Sow every 2 weeks for continuous supply. Lettuce will not head unless thinned frequently and ruthlessly to final distance of 1'. Heavy nitrogen feeders.

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Minimum germination soil temperature 35°, optimal range 40–80°, optimal temperatures 70–75°. Emergence takes 15 days at 41°, 7 days at 50°, 3 days at 68°, 99% normal seedlings at 77° but only 12% normal at 86°.

Days to maturity are from direct seeding.

Diseases:

  • BOR: Bottom Rot
  • DM: Downy Mildew
  • LMV: Lettuce Mosaic Virus
  • PM: Powdery Mildew
  • SC: Sclerotinia
  • TB: Tipburn
  • X: Xanthemonas

Pest: Aster Leafhopper (vector for Aster Yellows disease)
Cultural controls: control perennial broadleaf weeds near lettuce plantings, plow lettuce fields immediately after harvest.

Pest: Slug
Cultural controls: avoid mulch or nearby grassy areas.
Material: Sluggo

Disease: Bottom Rot
Cultural controls: rotate with grass-family green manures, plant in well-drained soil or on raised beds, more upright varieties escape infection.

Diseases: Downy Mildew, Grey Mold, White Mold
Cultural controls: rotation, reduce duration of leaf wetness, plant parallel to prevailing winds, use wide spacing, control weeds, use well-drained fields in spring and fall.
Material: Actinovate