Lettuce/Greens for 2018

Just a quick note about how dis-jointed this post may seem: I started writing this post much earlier, and then added to it over a few weeks.

I have this dream of having a garden bed full of beautiful lettuces and greens that last the entire year, but I feel like I need to work on my ability to grow them first. Especially throughout the hot months of the summer. I also want to grow tons of brassicas (cabbage/broccoli/cauliflower/kale etc). BUT until I have a large garden where I can properly net them so they don’t become little caterpillar nurseries,  I’m going to save my small amount of space here for tomatoes and zucchini (and other small bits).

That being said, I will likely put in a bit of ‘Dwarf Green Curled’ Kale in a container that I can easily pick leaves off for salads rather than letting them get to full sized plants. And if, perhaps find I have a bit of space, I’ll add in some of the Dinosaur Kale as well.

I will also direct sow some Spinach, Probably wherever I plan on putting my tomatoes. By the time the Tomatoes can go out, the spinach will probably be trying to bolt.

‘Bright Lights’ Swiss Chard will probably make an appearance somewhere in the garden as well. It adds a bit of color, and is such a low-maintenance crop to add in.  It does well in shaded/low sun areas. Its great to add a quick bit of green to dinners. I like adding it to lasagne or pasta sauce like I would with spinach.

In addition to the Herbs I am growing primarily for drying; I also picked up some ‘Purslane’ to try (which is direct-sow), and I have had a packet of “Rocket” and also one of “Sorrel” to try. Rocket is Arugula from what I understand (my packet of seeds is from a UK company, but I also have a packet of Arugula from McKenzie seeds.

I’ve had the Sorrel in my seed collection since 2015, but it keeps getting cut at the point of sowing things, so this is the year for it finally. As you can see in the photo above, it is from McKenzie Seeds. The seed packet description is as follows: “Large, succulent leaves with a slightly acidic taste give zest to salads, soups and many other dishes. Remove flowering tops as they appear to maintain tender leaves. The leaves are best fresh but may be dried or frozen for alternative use.” 

 

On April 15th, I sowed in little seeder pots in Seed-Starting Potting Mix:

  • 2 cells of Rocket
  • 2 cells of Sorrel
  • 4 cells of Romaine Lettuce
    • “Splendid quality that develops elongated heads to long ribbed leaves. The dark green outer leaves are coarse, while the inner leaves are a lighter green. Romaine type of Head lettuce especially known for the Caesar salad. Plant in moist, well-drained soil, as soon as ground can be worked in the spring. Thrives in cool weather.”
  • 4 cells of ‘Marvel of 4 Seasons’ Lettuce
    • “Heirloom, Butterhead type with 20-25cm (8-12″) heads. Light green, with reddish tip on outer leaves”

I will likely do a successional sowing of the Romaine and Marvel lettuce in a couple weeks so I can extend my harvest a bit.

One thing I would like to try (someone remind me in the summer); is to save my own lettuce seed. Both my Romaine and ‘Marvel of 4 Seasons’ lettuces are heirloom types, and our summers can get quite hot, so there is a possibility that I would be able to save my own seed from them. Does anyone have any tips/tricks/how-tos/youtube videos to saving lettuce seed?

Update as of posting this live (May 2)… {And sorry for the lack of photos. Its been a busy few weeks}

None of the ‘Marvel of 4 Seasons’ Lettuce germinated. So I guess the seed is too old and no longer viable. I’ll have to keep my eye out fora new packet, or find a new variety to try out.  The Romaine, Sorrel and Rocket are all flying along.

 

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