Posted in Garden, veggies, tagged Garden, lettuce on August 20, 2009 |
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It’s time to plant a second crop of lettuce. I put the seeds in a few days ago. With all the cool weather we are having I should have lots of lettuce in no time.
This year I’m planting Mesclun. It perfers the cooler autumn weather and doesn’t do very well as a spring crop once the days get hot.
The Mesclun blend of greens I planted includes:
- Salad Bowl
- Red Salad Bowl
- Corn Salad
- Curled Chervil
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What a difference a week makes. It has been rain, rain, rain and 20 degrees below normal temperatures for most of June. Now it’s 20 degrees above normal with temperatures over 90°F.
This is bad news for my lettuce which was growing beautifully with all the rain and cool days. Lettuce hates hot sun, and too much heat will make it wilt and then bolt to seed. For the last few days I’ve helped it out with a shade umbrella. And yes, it does work. Freshly picked lettuce from the garden is so good it’s worth the trouble.
With a little effort lettuce can be kept happily growing through July in the midwest: Choose varieties that are better able to withstand heat. Pick a location that will get shade in the afternoon or will be next to taller plants. Next year I may try rows of lettuce between the tomato plants for shade. Water often. Take cuttings of outer leaves rather than waiting for entire heads. This keeps the lettuce growing and it won’t go to seed or get bitter tasting.
I had success with this mix last year so I planted it again.
- Four Seasons (soft butterhead)
- Lollo Rossa (curly red leaf)
- Buttercrunch (heat tolerant cousin of Bibb)
- Craquerelle du Midi (French Romaine)
- Black Seeded Simpson (fast growing looseleaf)
- Salad Bowl (looseleaf)
In mid August I seed again for a fall crop which will last until we get a frost.
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