Posts Tagged ‘lettuce’

Lettuce in the square foot garden

This year I am growing Tom Thumb and Tiny Tim Lettuce in the square foot gardens. The catalog says that these grow 4 to 6 inches wide and tall. I guess they are ready to eat now.

In another location I have planted several more.  I put a Kale plant in the middle of a group of lettuce, thinking that after I cut the lettuce out the Kale would have more room to grow.  For whatever reason (probably our strangely warm early spring) the Kale looks awful.

Sad little kale sticks out like a sore thumb.

First week of April Garden Overview – 2010

My average last frost date of the year is April 14th. That means there is still a 50/50 chance that I could get another frost on that date. A week later is my 10% chance date.

This year has been different. We haven’t had a frost for about two weeks now, since late March. The coldest night in next week’s forecast is Thursday morning, which is now slated to dip down to 36 degrees. Everything I have out in the garden can take a little touch of frost.

I have out broccoli, lettuce, strawberries, onions, sugar snap peas and carrots.

Every other plant will wait in the little greenhouse until after April 14th and any forecast of frost…just a little insurance.

Saving Lettuce Seeds

Normally you want to pick all of your lettuce either before it gets bitter from days that are too warm or before it sends up a seed stalk (bolting). To save lettuce seeds, you need to let the plant grow flowers.

The lettuce has bolted

The lettuce has bolted

Lettuce flowers

Lettuce flowers

Partially dry group of lettuce flowers.

Partially dry group of lettuce flowers.

I cut the whole head of flowers off the lettuce when some of the seeds began to drop onto the ground and took it inside. I let it dry out  a bit more in a paper bag.

Find a dry flower

Find a dry flower

Break open the dry lettuce flower

Break open the dry lettuce flower

Here are your seeds!

Here are your seeds!

Lettuce Seeds

Lettuce Seeds

More lettuce than your family could eat.

More lettuce than your family could eat.

One bolted lettuce plant could easily yield enough lettuce seeds for your whole next year.

May 2009 Backyard Garden

Gardening by numbers     

Gardening by numbers
Bed 1 is my wife's herb garden with an 8 foot row of cucumbers along the fence.  Just seeded this weekend.
Bed 1 is my wife’s herb garden with an 8 foot row of cucumbers along the fence. Just seeded this weekend.
Bed 2 has strawberries, three kinds of peppers and a couple eggplants I got at the farmer's market this weekend.
Bed 2 has strawberries, three kinds of peppers and a couple eggplants I got at the farmer’s market this weekend.
Bed 3 is seeded with sweet corn on the left side, white onion sets down the middle and melons on the right.
Bed 3 is seeded with sweet corn on the left side, white onion sets down the middle and melons on the right.
Bed 4 is seeded with bush green beans, beets and carrots.
Bed 4 is seeded with bush green beans, beets, sweet potatoes and carrots.
Bed 5 has rapidly maturing broccoli and was seeded a few weeks ago with beets and radishes.
Bed 5 has rapidly maturing broccoli and was seeded a few weeks ago with beets and radishes.
Bed 6 has broccoli, a zucchini, cabbages, a couple lettuce and my sons' 2x2 squares on the left corners.
Bed 6 has broccoli, a zucchini, cabbages, a couple lettuce and my sons’ 2×2 squares on the left corners.
Bed 7 has hybrid Big Mama tomatoes, supposedly a huge paste tomato.  The perimeter is planted with radishes.
Bed 7 has hybrid Big Mama tomatoes, supposedly a huge paste tomato. The perimeter is planted with radishes.
Bed 8 is planted with 8 heirloom tomatoes and has a perimeter ring of carrots.
Bed 8 is planted with 8 heirloom tomatoes and has a perimeter ring of carrots.
Bed 9 is a row of straw bales planted with lettuce and a couple extra herbs.
Bed 9 is a row of straw bales planted with lettuce and a couple extra herbs.
Bed 10 is an 8 foot wide narrow bed planted with a double row.  Cucumbers and snow peas will climb the lattice.
Bed 10 is an 8 foot wide narrow bed planted with a double row. Cucumbers and snow peas will climb the lattice.

Dinner salad harvest

I haven’t been keeping up with thinning the lettuce, but these three plants had been thinned out and repotted on their own a couple weeks ago.  They made a lovely little butter crunch salad last night.

 

Cut off their heads

Cut off their heads

Then just eat!

Then just eat!

Grown sometimes in the greenhouse, sometimes indoors, depending on the weather.

Lettuce in January!

I think I’ll get to eat some of this lettuce this month.  I started this bunch under lights indoors and then set it out in my attached greenhouse.

There was an incident that ruined half the lettuce in the container (melting ice, water, plastic roof, heavy, spill, mess) but it has been bouncing back.

Here is a shot of the biggest bunch, taken in noon-time sunlight today on my lunch break:

Lettuce in January!

Lettuce in January!

It’s awesome!

Update:

Two weeks later...

Two weeks later...

 

Two weeks later . . .

Two weeks later . . .

Rapidly approaching the end of the month and I think I’ll have a fresh salad tonight! Brought to you by winter container gardening!

Garden changing weekend ramble

The lettuces are done.  They never made a head…it just got too warm for them and now they are bitter and milky inside.  I pulled all of them out.  We did eat 5 or 6 salads from the garden.

The last bed of radishes did not form bulbs…headless!  All carrots are coming along slowly, very slowly.

The broccoli is definitely done and I pulled all of them, even the small ones that hadn’t made anything to eat yet.  The cauliflower failed completely, so I pulled some of them and will pull the rest tomorrow. Maybe after I raise the beds higher next year I’ll have better luck with those two.

The cucumber vines are starting to grow.  I can see a little baby cucumber once in a while but I can’t find it the next day.  I’m starting to think I’m not going crazy and that a squirrel or bird or slug or something is taking them.

The zucchini is doing great and has quite a few little veggies growing along for me.

The green peppers, jalapenos, etc are still very small, very slow growing.  I hope they start putting on some size soon and maybe setting some veggies too.

The peas look horrible.  They got started too late because the early planting rotted in the ground. This is a strange wet year.

The watermelons and cantaloupe are growing vines slowly.  I’m not too hopeful about them.

The jackolanterns and pumpkin gourds are doing GREAT.  Taking up a lot of space and growing like crazy…bigger every day.

The green beans seem to be doing fine.  I have them planted in three 4×3 foot sections, planted every 10 days or so to stagger the harvest a bit.  I’ll attempt one more planting of green beans in the bed where the broccoli and cauliflower were, probably early this week.

Today I built a trellis for the supposedly smaller tomatoes that I was planning to just stake up with a short stake.  I wish I could show some pictures but our very nice digital camera is broken.  I’ll have to grab a cheapie for the time being.  I wouldn’t want to lose my loyal fans for lack of pictures.

I transplanted a few extra cucumber plants to a container on the back porch.  We have an old aluminum roof/awning and I’m going to let these cucumbers climb the roof legs.  It might even look decorative.

There is a rather big party here on the 4th of July.  I have to get the garage cleaned up nice enough to serve food in (which will include moving the table saw back into the back corner).  I probably need to move the lumber that was/will be the tree house but I don’t know where else to put it.  I could put it outside the fence, but if the creek floods again it will all float away.  It might just have to stay put as an ugly eyesore in the middle of the yard.  Maybe I’ll get started on putting it back up…I do have 2 full weeks and then some.

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