Tom Thumb
×

Tom Thumb Butterhead Lettuce

(46 days) This venerable and adored miniature butterhead was introduced in England by H. Wheeler & Sons in 1858. It came to the States ten years later. One customer wrote to Burpee’s in 1894, “It is just what the gardener wants…a good dwarf variety, a quick grower.” Staffer Heron calls it “fairy cabbage.” In the dewy cool of spring or fall, Tom Thumb forms its extra-early tightly bunched tiny head. With sweet buttery light-medium green outer leaves and creamy white crunchy centers, it’s tasty and attractive for early markets. Can be closely spaced as the heads seldom exceed 5" in diameter. Please do not attempt to grow it in warm temps—it turns into an ugly toad!


2803 Tom Thumb
Item Discounted
Price
A: 1g for $1.90  
B: 4g for $2.40  
C: 14g for $3.60  
D: 28g for $5.00  
E: 112g for $8.00  
K: 448g for $20.00  
Log in
to start or resume an order

Additional Information

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.

Minimum germination soil temperature 35°, optimal range 40–80°.

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