“I just want to help others know how to grow a garden and let them know how much fun it is.”
So, I was going muse about vegetables in alphabetical order, but I'm really excited about lettuce, so I just have to start with that first. I really didn't start planting lettuce in my garden until about 7 years ago. And I planted way too much and most of it bolted and we only ate one tenth (if that) of what I planted. It takes a while for me to learn my lesson, so I probably did that for 4 years. Then I realized that I should plant in succession, which means, plant a little, then some more later, and some more later. So for the last 3 years, I've planted like a 5 foot row, then 2 weeks later, another 5 foot row, then another 2 weeks later, I would be distracted by planting other things, then 2 weeks later plant other things, and then my lettuce would come up, and we would eat one tenth of it, because there are other things like asparagus and peas to eat, which is more fun than lettuce, and then the rest would bolt. See? HUGE difference. So glad I'm doing it differently 😜 I think I had finally decided to not plant lettuce anymore because I lack lettuce discipline.
I went to the Porter County garden show and went to a talk by Damien Appel, a market farmer. He got me really excited about lettuce again. He talked about starting it in trays, and only planting one row in the tray, and when that starts coming up, to plant the next row, etc., and then when they are a couple inches tall, plant that one row in the garden. So I’ve gotten 6 different varieties of lettuce. Some grow well in the heat of the summer, so I'll start them later than the other varieties. I plan on doing a little plug of each lettuce in the row, according to the season. so I have just a little bit of each one, instead of a bunch of the same lettuce.
One variety I ordered is "Summertime" - kind of an iceberg type lettuce that I have grown before that I know from experience does well in the heat of the summer. I'm also trying out an heirloom that says it does well in the summer, "Crisp Mint", (it doesn't taste like mint, they say) a type of romaine.
A fun one I'm planting that Thomas Jefferson grew in his garden is Tennis Ball, does well in the early spring. I've planted it before and does well.
I'm planting Red Romaine, which is new for me, and I thought I'd just throw a bit of color in the mix.
And lastly I ordered a lettuce called "Drunken Woman Frizzy" and yes, I ordered it because it was named Drunken Woman Frizzy. How could I not?? What's that like? We are going to find out! See, this is the danger of actually reading all the different varieties of vegetables. You just feel like you need to try them all out.
I super excited about this. I am also super excited in February about any gardening. Not so much in August.
Will I remember to plant a row of different lettuces in the tray each week? Will I care about it in July as much as I do in February? It remains to be seen.