The demand for organically grown lettuce is still rising. Rijk Zwaan offers growers a wide range of organic seeds, whether their focus is on taste, size, up-to-date Bremia or Nasonovia resistances or low nitrogen. Here, Rijk Zwaan specialists present their choice of lettuce varieties for both temperate and Mediterranean climates. Please note:
Because of the different rules in different European countries and for different crops, non-chemically treated seeds may not be used in some countries, whereas organic seeds are compulsory in others.
Basilio RZ (43-164) is a large-sized, shiny green butterhead lettuce. Eckhard Schaal, Crop Specialist in Germany: “In temperate climates it is most suitable for cultivation in spring and autumn. It has complete Bremia resistances, and the wonderful closed and slightly upright base makes it healthy and easy to cut. The nice head shape and generous size, even with low nitrogen, are other characteristics that make this variety so interesting for organic production.” Resistance against Fusarium strain 1 (Fol:1) is another of Basilio’s advantages.
Suyai RZ (83-559) is a relatively new oakleaf lettuce for spring, summer and autumn. The variety is vigorous and robust with a very healthy base, even in hot conditions. This double-red lettuce has complete Bremia resistances. Guido Drexler, Crop Specialist in Germany: “One great advantage is the good weight and fast growing speed, even with low nitrogen. This makes Suyai RZ flexible in mixed boxes.” The variety is strong against bolting and tipburn.
Deep red batavia lettuce Mineral RZ (81-551) has a long harvesting window and nice structure. “It’s a wonderful lettuce for organic customers. Volume, size and taste are very good. There is an interesting and growing market for this intense red Batavia,” explains David Pape, Account Manager.
Concretion RZ (81-BA4340) is a brand-new green batavia lettuce that will become available in the organic assortment in 2022. Pape: “This is the complete Bremia-resistant update of Impression RZ, one of our new standard varieties in batavia. Concretion RZ is a very reliable variety that has a long harvesting window. It will be very interesting for organic growers.”
Gustinas RZ is an all-round iceberg lettuce for open-field production. Martin Schrörs, Crop Specialist: “It’s one of our most grown varieties in organic. Its reliability, complete resistances, inner structure and medium size are the main advantages for organic growers. Besides Gustinas RZ, we’ve got Jasperinas RZ as a large iceberg in our assortment. It also has complete resistance. The head shape is flat and round, and the base is semi-upright. It’s a reliable variety with long field standability.”
Rawley RZ (41-374 RZ) is a new and very promising small cos. In its first season, Rawley RZ performed perfectly in this upcoming market. “Rawley RZ always reaches a good size and is strong against bolting. It is slow to fill and can survive a long time on the field without losing its quality. Set up a trial with this reliable small cos and you will soon be convinced by this full-resistant and tasty variety,” says Schrörs.
Bifrie RZ is the perfect green batavia lettuce for warmer climates. Andrea Rossatti, Chain Manager Italy: “We recommend Bifrie RZ because of its resistance package. It’s ideal for autumn and spring indoor production all over Italy and suitable for both domestic and export markets. It also gives great results on prepacked heads.”
For red batavia lettuce, Rossatti advises organic growers to choose the classic type Marinski RZ and year-round type Mineral RZ. “This variety is ideal in all growing conditions. It combines batavia elegance with an attractive red colour.”
Basilio RZ and Pierina RZ are the recommended green butter lettuces. “The latter we advise because of the full Bremia and Fusarium resistances. It’s also favourable due to its long open-field planting calendar.”
Green butter greenhouse variety Evadne RZ is ideal for central/southern Italy. The intense green colour is suitable for winter indoor cultivation. “Thanks to its vigour, Rivalda RZ is ideal for tunnel production in northern Italy.”
Red butter indoor variety Gilmore RZ is also a good choice for organic growers, says Rossatti: “We’re seeing great results for export markets.”
Green oakleaf Kidow RZ is the recommended variety for the open field thanks to its high degree of resistance to Fusarium. Kiela RZ is the best variety for indoor production.
Red oakleaf Cordai RZ is interesting for open-field organic growers because of the updated Bremia resistances. Rossatti: “In tunnel production, we’re seeing very good results with the new variety Ayarai RZ.”
Organic growers have a lot of choice in iceberg lettuce. “We recommend Azaronas RZ for winter production and Diurnas RZ, Signas RZ and Todonas RZ for the spring and autumn cycles, mainly because of their up-to-date Bremia and Nasonovia resistances.”
The chain manager advises indoor growers the lollo bionda type Limeira RZ (green) and Basalmine RZ (red) for export.
Rijk Zwaan also offers a rich cos assortment with complete resistances, explains Rossatti: “We recommend Quipus RZ for open-field cultivation in summer. This cos is flexible and easy to handle for packing in crates. Mencius RZ and Siennus RZ are also good varieties for tunnel production.”
Unique is the organic Salanova® assortment Rijk Zwaan offers. The lettuce type is specially designed for convenience and efficiency. Just one cut is enough to separate the head of lettuce into lots of baby leaves. This lettuce type is suitable for mechanical harvesting, has an excellent shelf life and is versatile, easy to mix and ready to eat. Because of these advantages, Salanova® offers growers great opportunities to add value to the organic lettuce category.
The Salanova assortment comprises different lettuce types and colours. Rossatti recommends the Salanova green butter lettuces Euler RZ and Hawking RZ to organic growers. The red butter Salanova Barlach RZ is also a good choice.
Salanova Crispy types 79-15 RZ and Expertise RZ are recommended green varieties, while Codex RZ, Frostex RZ and Haflex RZ are strong and reliable red varieties for organic growers.