Any tricks for growing lettuce during the hot months?

Hi, I'm in NJ and my leaf lettuce plants often bolt during the hot summer months. On a train trip to FL last summer I saw acres and acres of farm land with what looked like black netting ot tents over all the crops. That made me think they were creating a cooler environment for the crops but I have no idea what was growing.
Do you have any tricks for growing lettuce during the hot summer months?
---pete---
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On Mon, 15 May 2006 13:58:47 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@snip.net (---Pete---) wrote:

I am in northern NJ. I usually grow mixed greens, such as mesclun and keep them picked, by the leaf, very often. If you stagger your planting and re-seed every 2 weeks or so, you should have a fine supply all season. Watch carefully for bolt and "nip it in the bud", as it were. If you are vigilant, you can avoid bitterness.
Again, I do not grow "head" lettuce, only leaf, so your problem might be quite different and my solution not useful.
Boron
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On Mon, 15 May 2006 12:10:34 -0400, Boron Elgar

Yeah, I do all leaf lettuce too. I start mine indoors in early march ant they take 2 months to get to transplant size. I never seem to have much luck with seeding direct in the garden.
What is the best technique for planting lettuce in the garden?
---pete---
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I start Romaine indoors under lights about a month before setting out in the spring. Seeds are broadcast in trays filled with potting soil, then thinned to stand about 2" apart. I also broadcast some seed outdoors at the same time, rake them in lightly, and cover the seed bed with a light pine straw mulch to prevent the soil from drying. Germination takes longer sowing outdoors but the results are usually good.
Come mid-August, I sow more seeds indoors and set out the 4" seedlings mid-September.
As for growing lettuce in the summer; here in Zone 7 along the mid-Atlantic US coastal plain, I don't even bother. It/s too hot and humid and besides, my limited garden space is filled with plants that love the heat. You might try putting a lattice over the plants to create some shade, plant them in the shade of taller plants, or someplace where they get only the morning sun.
--
TQ



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On Tue, 16 May 2006 20:19:44 -0400, "TQ" <ToweringQs AT adelphia.net> wrote:

----- Lettuce plants are so delicate. How do you separate them when it's time to plant in garden?
---pete---
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the
thinned
When I say thinned, I meant that I transplant the 1-1.5" sprouts into another tray on 2" centers.
A couple weeks later, the sprouts have b/come 3-4" seedlings ready for hardening off.
Before I transplant to the garden, I add a little water to moisten the potting soil so the seedlings can be gently removed from the tray.
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---Pete--- wrote:

Grow them under the tomatoes, or better, under the beans, switch to a summer lettuce variety, or better, use two summer varieties, one early one late, so you get two crops out of one seeding. I use a cold hardy mix for overwintering, oak leaf for the spring and summer, and a couple romaine species in the spring. Even in spring, I plant a later variety amongst the garlic, to get a later crop. The garlic light shade delays maturity further. I also have a spot in the herb garden, that used to be full sun but now is part shade, currently occupied by rapini but to be seeded with lettuce in july.
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------- I like the idea of planting the lettuce between my tomato plants. I'll try that this year. Thanks
---pete---
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