If you think that lettuce does not grow in winter, you are wrong. Even if the weather gets worse and the temperatures drop below 0 degrees Celsius, there are types of lettuce that can tolerate temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius.

Lettuce varieties that tolerate frost

There are lettuce that can survive the whole winter in our beds because they don’t mind frost. So you can always enchant our plates with fresh greens in the cold season. Of course, the selection is not as big as in summer, but they are just as easy to grow and rich in vitamins as summer salads.

Tip: To promote the growth of the winter lettuce, you can cover the still sensitive, freshly planted lettuce with foil. It serves to keep the rain and wind away from the delicate plants. When they are sturdier, take the foil off again.


At first glance, this type of lettuce could be confused with red cabbage. Radicchio is a biennial plant, but we usually cultivate it as an annual. Depending on the variety, it forms a more or less thick rosette of leaves, which becomes a firm head of lettuce with elongated leaves. The leaves are patterned depending on white-red or burgundy. Well-known varieties are “Variegata di Castelfranco”, “Grumolo verde” and “Red Veronese”, which is good for overwintering, for example.

  • known as “red chicory”.
  • withstands temperatures down to -15 degrees Celsius
  • Harvest time for early varieties from September to November
  • Harvest time for late varieties in spring
  • bitter taste
  • Soak in lukewarm water or cut off the stem to soften the bitter taste
  • Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks after harvesting


The robust lettuce owes its name to the light green, oval, pointed heads of curled leaves with wavy edges. Sugar Loaf is an annual and has relatively solid heads up to 45 centimeters high. A very compact variety is, for example, “Uranus”.

  • tolerates frost down to minus 8 degrees Celsius
  • Harvest October to December
  • Use of the inner, whitish leaves
  • nutty, slightly bitter taste
  • goes well with sweet salad dressing

Lamb’s lettuce

The lamb’s lettuce is a lettuce and is a well-known type of lettuce in our regions. It is the classic winter vegetable and can be grown in the garden from October to April without any problems. Still notorious as a weed in the 19th century, it is now at the top of the popularity list. Typical of this lettuce are its flat, small, dark green leaves arranged in rosettes. Proven varieties are “Valentine”, “Dark Green Wholehearted” and “Jade”.

  • withstands temperatures down to -15 degrees Celsius
  • also often referred to as Rapunzel
  • can be harvested throughout the winter
  • doesn’t taste bitter
  • nutty, unobtrusive taste


This type of lettuce has small, fleshy, heart-shaped leaves. Winter purslane can be sown directly in the garden or in boxes from September to March. A popular variant is the perennial Siberian purslane.

  • only germinates at temperatures below 12 degrees Celsius
  • Harvest time from November to April
  • also called Indian herb in America
  • very robust and frost-resistant lettuce
  • tastes slightly sour, mild, nutty and fresh


This biennial lettuce grows all year round, but its popularity increases when there are frosts in winter. In the first year, a loose leaf rosette is formed with light green leaves similar to dandelion. After a period of dormancy, a bud-like shoot grows in the second year. After digging up the plant, the edible cones are driven out of it.

  • tolerates up to -10 degrees Celsius
  • Harvest from October to February
  • bitter taste
  • very popular in salads with fruit


As a so-called late summer or autumn salad, the endive can still be harvested well into December. It is grown by us as an annual and has broad leaf rosettes. In addition, there are 2 endive variants: frisée (variant with curled and slit leaves) and escarole (variant with largely smooth leaves). A robust variety is, for example, “Escariol Yellow”.

  • tolerates up to – 6 degrees Celsius
  • Harvest from Frisée August to November, from Escariol to December
  • Hearty, spicy and more or less bitter taste (similar to radicchio and chicory)
Tip: As soon as the temperatures are lower than the respective variety can tolerate, it is better to cover the plants with fleece. In order not to have to pay attention to the temperatures, you can also grow the lettuce in a greenhouse.

frequently asked Questions

In winter, do not harvest the lettuce in the morning, but only from midday. The metabolism must first get going and the nitrate content must decrease over the course of the day. Otherwise, you will harvest lettuce that contains too much nitrate.

Use a knife and start cutting directly at the root collar. If you cut too high, the rosettes will fall apart.

Even if many lettuce tolerate frost, you can still protect the plants from ice and snow with a cover of spruce brushwood.

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