TENNIS BALL (BLACK SEEDED) LETTUCE was introduced to gardeners in the 1850s (very much loved by Thomas Jefferson and grown at Monticello), was listed by Vilmorin in 1885, and by 1904 had grown in popularity to the point where it was listed by 116 seedmen. An Ark of Taste selection. The small rosettes of bright green leaves measure only 7" in diameter forming loose heads. During the 17th and 18th Centuries it was the practice to pickle the heads in salt brine. Butterhead type. 45-50 days. 100 seeds.
GROWING TIPS: Lettuces are my absolute favorite - I dedicate a lot of space to them in my garden because I like variety and they can be really beautiful kissed by the sun. Direct sow in early spring and late summer. The more space each lettuce has to grow the larger it becomes. If you are sowing for quick greens, don't bother to thin - just use your scissors to clips what you need for dinner as it will continue to grow. Lettuces love cool (not cold) weather and respond to well-prepared soil and regular weeding and watering. Relatively pest-free, with the exception of slugs (easily combatted with a barrier of ashes or copper wire) and furry invaders (chicken wire cloches work best there).