Bibb lettuce is a customer favorite in our Tower Garden Seedling Store. It’s a type of Butterhead lettuce, very similar to Boston lettuce. Butterhead lettuces are known for being extremely tender, and smooth and the leaves are loosely coiled. The heads are pretty small, and light and Bibb is somewhat expensive when compared to Romaine or other loose-leafed lettuces.
You’ll often find Bibb in a delicate salad as the leaves are sweet and tender. Because of their round shape, they make a great, low-carb substitute for tortillas.
When seeding head lettuces like Bibb lettuce, we use just one seed per Rockwool cube. Seeds will take approximately 3 days to germinate (split open and sprout) and the seedling will be an ideal size to put in the Tower Garden around 10-14 days later.
Direct seeding is an option, but in our trials, we have found direct seeding will add about a week to two weeks until the lettuce reaches a mature head. Direct seeding is where you place the seed directly in the Rockwool cube and place the Rockwool cube directly in the Tower Garden, without leaving it to germinate and grow on a table.
How To Grow
Bibb, like all lettuce grown in the Tower Garden, will be ready to harvest in as little as 4 weeks in ideal growing conditions. You can harvest the larger leaves on the outside of the head as the head forms. Once the head has formed take the whole thing out and plant a new seedling. You’ll be able to grow Bibb indoors with the Tower Garden LED Grow Lights or outdoors providing you protect it from frost.
It will likely be located in the middle to the top of your Tower Garden, but remember, where seedlings are placed is relative to the other crops you are growing in the same Tower. Ensure large crops like tomatoes, squash, eggplant, melon, and kale are not planted above your Bibb.
Download the Lettuce Growing Guide here.
How To Harvest
The video and the growing guide below will explain a few different ways to harvest your Bibb Lettuce. Lettuce gets tough and bitter as it gets older. On average, you’ll grow the same head of lettuce for up to approximately four months.
Pests that can bother Bibb include
- Leafminers. Leafminers simply “mine” their way through the leaf, between the top and bottom layer. Because of this topical pesticides need to be applied at just the right time in the cycle. You can use a pesticide with the ingredient “Spinosad”, but others have better luck with Sticky Traps that attract the larvae when it drops out of the leaf.
- Cabbage worms. These pests attack lettuces and cruciferous vegetables, but you can manually remove them when you see them. Use a pesticide with the ingredient “BT”. Thuricide is an option.
- Aphids. You may see aphids underneath the leaves. Providing you catch them early enough, they are relatively easy to treat. Check out our post here on aphids and ways to treat them. Ladybugs are also an option
A 1-cup serving of cut-up butter lettuce contains only 21 calories per serving. With less than half a gram of fat, 3.63 grams of carbohydrate, 0.74 grams of protein, 1.53 grams of sugars and only 8 milligrams of sodium, butter lettuce is a low-fat, low-calorie, low-sodium food choice that is nonetheless rich in other nutrients.
A 1-cup serving of cut butter lettuce contains 91 micrograms of vitamin A per serving. As an antioxidant, vitamin A helps your body protect itself from damage from environmental toxins as well as free radicals. A fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin A is necessary to produce as well as maintain healthy skin, soft tissues, mucus membranes, teeth, and bones.
Bibb is also a good source of Vitamin K and Phosphorus.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
These chicken lettuce wraps by Dinner at the Zoo contain ground chicken and veggies cooked in a savory sauce and served in cool lettuce leaves. A PF Chang’s copycat recipe that’s super easy to make and tastes just as good as the restaurant version!
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 5 ounces of shiitake mushrooms stems discarded, caps finely diced
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- 8 ounce can water chestnuts, drained and finely diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- salt and pepper to taste
- 5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1/3 cup sliced green onions
- 1 head of butter lettuce leaves separated
Visit Dinner at the Zoo for full instructions.
To start experiencing all the benefits Bibb has to offer. Order your Bibb seedlings today!