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?
On Mon, 15 May 2006 13:58:47 GMT, email@example.com (---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.
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?
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
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
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
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.
Grow them under the tomatoes, or better, under the beans, switch to a
summer lettuce variety, or better, use two summer varieties, one early
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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