Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Let Us Grow Lettuce

DSC_2202_5221Four varieties of lettuce has been planted in the salad bed – Cimaron (above), Merlot (below), Brune d’Hiver, and Iceberg.  Lettuce needs some heat to get started.  That’s why everything was planted in place by mid September.  The very fine seeds need well drained soil (seems like everything does) in a sunny location.  It’s impossible to evenly space the seeds by hand so expect to do some thinning.   Make sure to keep the soil moist but not soaking wet.  The seeds seem to sprout in about a week.

DSC_2203_5222 When the lettuce is thinned, I plan to try to transplant the thinned plants to some bare spots in the salad bed.  Either slugs or pill bugs have mowed down most of the iceberg.  I have more seed but not enough warm days to replant.  Perhaps in early spring more Iceberg can be sown.

DSC_2219_5237 The salad bed is just sprouting in this image and has progressed a bit since this time. 

From left to right (east to west) here’s what’s growing:

  1. Iceberg Lettuce and White Lisbon Bunching Onions
  2. Brue d’Hiver Lettuce and White Lisbon Bunching Onions
  3. Jaune Pailles Des Vertus Onions
  4. He-Shi-Ko Bunching Onions and Juane D’Or Ovale Radishes
  5. Craupaudine Beets
  6. Cimaron Lettuce
  7. Watermelon Radishes
  8. Merlot Lettuce

In bed #1 where the Iceberg has been hit by a Titanic pest event, bunching onions have been planted to help repel those boogers.  See the stakes laid out to keep garden kitties off?

The bed is framed with Lettuce Leaf Basil, strawberries, and Stevia.  The Stevia isn’t doing a thing; so I believe I’ll thin the strawberries into the vacant spots. 

I’ve never harvested lettuce by just removing the leaves that I need and keeping the plant in the ground to continue to grow.  My harvesting style was more Salinas in nature where the entire head gave its life all at once.  I’ll try the leaf-at-a-time method to try to lengthen the growing season.

Any favorite salad dressing recipes?

3 comments:

Ginny said...

I'm growing lettuce in containers on my deck - not enough sunny space in the garden left - it's all taken by perennials etc. We've been harvesting the lettuce (and spinach) by the leaf and it's been recovering and filling in, so maybe we'll have lettuce for a while. I did plant a second crop a couple of weeks after the first.

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

YUM!

They look like they will be very tasty!

Melissa @ Sweet Homestead Alabama said...

My lettuce seedlings are just sprouting. I was late planting our fall garden because of the heat and drought in our area. I can hardly wait to taste all those cool season veggies I love so much! I do love my greens. : )