|'First Early', also known as 'Black-Seeded Simpson', 'Earliest Cutting', and 'Carter's Long Stander' is one of the most famous American lettuces, an heirloom introduced in the late 1800's. It is difficult to keep this type true through seed saving. This variety grows very vigorously, and has a good texture and flavor. However, it rots quickly at the base of the stem and is very sensitive to weather changes. Start from seed 4 to 6 weeks before average last frost date. Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep in wide rows and thin to 8 to 12 inches apart. Thinned seedlings can be replanted. Keep soil moist but not soggy. Protect from rabbits and slugs. Extend the harvest season by planting successive crops. Summer heat causes lettuce to bolt. Pick outer leaves as they grow or harvest all at once. Harvesting when weather or day temperature is cooler will result in crisper leaves. Do not harvest lettuces until you are ready to use it.