Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cool Weather Lettuce

True to April style, the weather is still very temperamental: sunny in the morning, pouring rain in the evening, gorgeous and warm one day and freezing the next. It's a terrible time to have to pack a suitcase, but the perfect time to grow lettuce! Lettuce gets bitter when the weather is warm, and goes to seed easily. It's fantastic to grow when the temperature's too moody for summer plants, and again after warm weather veggies have quit. (In between, you can grow lettuce in containers that you keep in a cooler, shady spot.)

Leaf lettuces are generally easier to grow than head lettuces, but experiment with those you like! I'm a sucker for lots of Asian greens, so am planting lots of those. Turn your windowsill into a salad bar!

If you're like me, you'll drop too many seeds too close together. If so, don't feel bad about thinning—it's an absolute must to give the plants enough room. Make sure to give your seedlings plenty of water, and you'll be picking leaves in as soon as three weeks. If you pull an entire head, plant another seed in that spot.

Daffodils today, lettuce tomorrow. Next up, peas!

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