Growing Lettuce for Market Gardeners: Selecting the Correct Variety

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Episode Summary

The Ray Tyler Lettuce Series is a new podcast mini-series hosted by Diego Footer and farmer Ray Tyler to take a deep dive into the technicalities of growing lettuce—from why lettuce is a farm staple to how to master growing the crop consistently to how to effectively market lettuce to maximize profits.

In this episode of The Lettuce Series, Ray and Diego dive into how to choose the right lettuce variety by answering the questions of what grows well and what sells well. They also talk about the importance of the propagation stage to ensure a successful lettuce crop.


This Episode’s Guest: Ray Tyler

Ray Tyler is the farmer and owner of Rosecreek Farms, a financially successful one-acre market garden nestled in Tennessee. Ray Tyler is also an educator who has helped many farms become more profitable through his coaching services. He also offers his services in the form of his three courses: The Living Farm Course, Caterpillar Tunnel Success, and of course, his Lettuce Masterclass.

Relevant Links

            The Farmer’s Guide To Growing Organic Lettuce by Ray Tyler

            Ray Tyler’s Lettuce Masterclass


In this episode of The Lettuce Series

  • Diego introduces the episode series on choosing the right lettuce varieties (00:28)
  • The primary reason for mastering growing lettuce (01:54)
    • Ray’s initial need to master growing lettuce (02:41)
  • Why it’s important to choose the right lettuce variety for you and your context (05:08)
    • Choose what grows (05:34)
    • Choose what sells (06:20)
  • The ebb and flow of lettuce varieties through four seasons (08:18)
  • How to start selecting the right varieties from a seed catalogue (09:17)
  • Heat-tolerant varieties are stress-tolerant varieties (12:15)
  • Why focus on propagation? (14:04)
    • Ray Tyler’s propagation tip (17:51)
  • Say goodbye to sandbags forever (19:04)
  • The difference between good potting soil and average potting soil (20:58)
  • Why Ray Tyler decided to use P200 trays (23:46)
  • The mistakes people most often make post-seeding (26:55)
  • A basic climate-controlled greenhouse for propagation (28:03)
    • Where to prioritize your farm’s resources (31:18)


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