Fall Field Lettuce Variety Trial 2019 - looking for growers &/or input

I’m planning to run a variety trial comparing the performance of various field-transplanted lettuce varieties planted for fall harvest. I’ve found it challenging to identify varieties that handle both the heat of summer and the cold of fall (with all the moisture & extreme temperature variability up & down we often have that time of year)

Ann Slater is also interested and we’re currently working on creating a list of varieties that are worth trialing - if you have a variety that has performed well for you in this seasonal niche we’d love to hear about it.

We would also welcome more participation as it leads to more robust data!

So far we’re thinking we’ll collect observations on:
DTM (seeding & transplant dates + harvest window)
disease pressure (tip burn, bottom rot, DM)
early bolting
Yield - # of harvestable heads & some notes on size

Our goal is to keep data collection as easy as possible, without a lot of need for specific measurements - more along the lines of simple counts for the presence of characteristics such as early bolting or disease, and a designation of “acceptable” vs “unacceptable” to capture the degree to which heads are affected.

If you’re interested in learning more or taking part, you can respond here or get in touch with sarah@efao.ca

Angie

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This is a great idea. I’m sure there is information out there on this. I have experimented with this on and off but have been more successful at overwintering for an early spring harvest than sizing up heading types in the fall.
Just an idea but approaching seed companies about suitable varieties or if none are available then trialing different market types to see their response may be a good starting point. I could also contact an old colleague who is the usda curator of the lettuce germplasm for thoughts on the subject.
I have a few varieties to include alongside any that you find.
Keep me in the loop.
Erik

Hi Erik - thanks for this! We’ve got 7 farms participating and have gotten feedback from Fedco, High Mowing and Johnny’s on our variety list, with some additional suggestions. We’re just doing our final narrowing down to core varieties now that all growers will include, and have a longer list that we are all able to choose some additional varieties from. Thanks so much for your offer - I think at this point we are solidly into the narrowing-down instead of expanding stage :slight_smile:

If you’re interested in participating contact sarah@efao.ca. We’ve had an initial planning meeting all together, but could still welcome another grower I think.

Angie

Cool cool. If you need another site in the Guelph region let me know. Always interested in running trials.
info@backyardseedsavers.com