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A picture of a Lettuce 'Little Gem'

Lettuce 'Little Gem'

Lactuca sativa 'Winter Gem'

Photo by AcquaGarden (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








3 months to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

Lettuce 'Little Gem' Overview

Lactuca sativa 'Winter Gem' is a popular winter variety of the favourite Lettuce 'Little Gem'. A cos type lettuce, it forms a loose head of bright green leaves. Lettuce 'Winter Gem' can be grown all year; however, as the name suggests, it is ideal for autumn sowings as it needs cooler temperatures to germinate. In summer they should be ready to harvest within 60 to 70 days. Outdoor autumn sown plants of 'Winter Gem' will be ready to harvest between March and May the following year; however, they will need protection with a cloche or cold frame during periods of frost.

Common problems with Lettuce 'Little Gem'

Lettuce can be bothered by aphids. Minor infestations can be washed off and heavier populations can be controlled by growing nasturtiums as trap plant near your lettuce. Look out for diseases like rots and remove as soon as spotted.

How to harvest Lettuce 'Little Gem'

Gem types of lettuce can be picked 60-70 days after sowing and are ready to harvest when the head of the lettuce is firm when gently pressed. Stop harvesting when a central stem starts to form. This means that the plant is getting ready to flower or bolt, turning the leaves bitter.

How to propagate Lettuce 'Little Gem'


Between September and March (Northern Hemisphere), thinly direct sow seeds 6-12 mm deep and 20-30 cm apart in a prepared bed. Germination takes 7-14 days. replant or thin when they are big enough to handle.

Special features of Lettuce 'Little Gem'

Crop rotation

Lettuce 'Winter Gem' is a medium feeder and needs a moderate amount of nutrients and when crops are rotated, avoid planting radicchio, endive, escarole or artichoke in that area.

Pot plant

Can be grown in a container provided they are wide enough.

Other uses of Lettuce 'Little Gem'


The leaves and stems are edible and are great eaten raw in salads.


Rich in vitamins A, B and C, minerals like Magnesium and Potassium and almost as much Calcium as milk!

Edibles to Sow Undercover in October

In cold frames, unheated greenhouses, or under cloches, sow these now to grow over the cooler winter months.

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