Friday, January 21, 2011

Lettuce Get Busy

I’m studying the seed catalogs for ideas on what variety of lettuce to plant for the spring.  The lettuce planted in the fall is quickly losing its luster.  There’s a few things I would like to know.


  • What varieties of lettuce can be planted now – in place in the Central San Joaquin Valley (Bakersfield, California, zone 8-9)?
  • Is there enough growing time if I plant now but clear out in May?
    • I would like to plant squash and sweet potatoes in this bed for summer growing – if that makes sense.
    • If more time is needed, there is an alternate location.  In fact, the alternative is looking more and more attractive.

I prefer growing the darker color, loose leaf lettuces like Merlot (above).  Iceberg didn’t do so well in the garden this fall/winter season.  That was planted to add crunch to salads.  Sure.  I would like the organic, heirloom, GMO/GEO variety; but something that is vigorous, pest and disease resistant, and slow to bolt would be ideal.  All the organic criteria can follow once I have the varieties narrowed down.

Lettuce doesn’t take up much room and by harvesting the “cut and come again” way, the lettuce has paid off by continually producing beautiful, nutritious vegetation. It’s sad to see the salad bed start to dwindle.  The few dollars spent on packets of seed has been reaped a gajillion times in the amount of salads ingested.  I bet if you had a sunny patio and a decent (indecent may also work) sized pot with some good soil sprinkled with a variety of a lettuce seeds you could keep a healthy, cheap salad going for quite a while.  Imagine what you could do with that extra unspent grocery money!  You’ll really notice the difference in the quality of your salad if you grow your own.  Give it a shot*. 


*Note:  If any heinous crime is committed after reading or not reading this post, I do not claim any responsibility.  In fact,  I suggest that any destructive behavior be worked out doing manual labor in the garden. Grab a shovel and get busy.  Amen.


Melissa Price said...

Amen, Maybelline. I've found that the loose-leaf lettuces are easy to grow in our area, too. They were actually one of the very first crops I ever harvested - only radishes preceded them. Long live the salad!

Maureen said...

We've planted second beds of lettuce in Feb. or March and tho it's slower growing than the greens that are planted in the fall...there's plenty of time to get another crop. And it'll take awhile for the squash or sweet potatoes to crowd out any lettuce that is still around in the spring. Plus, you can leave a couple plants along the edges to let go to seed if you choose to save some.


*Sweet: I may try to grow some salad in the shade this summer but it's probably too hot here.
*Maureen: Thanks. My plans for a 2nd planting are underway.