Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If At First You Don't Succeed At Earning Lettuce Love...

Try, try again,

and again to beat the squirrels,

and again to thwart the chupacabra/dog,

and again to allow the acorns time to fall,

and you will be rewarded.

I harvested my first bowl of lettuce and chard and a fantastic carrot to boot. There is really nothing like that crisp nutty taste of fresh lettuce from the garden, is there? I honestly can't believe the lettuce is doing so well. I wrote it off as a loss for the fall, especially because of the acorn damage, but planted some transplants from the store on a lark because I was bored. I'm so grateful I did.

We've had an unusually mild fall so far; we've yet to get a good frost, but I'm not complaining. Things are growing well and in about 2-3 weeks there should be one head of broccoli ready to harvest. The rest will come in time.

This spring I planted the broccoli in a checkerboard pattern which worked out well. This fall, I tried the actual square foot gardening spacing for broccoli and it's not working as well, just as I had predicted. The plants are crowding each other out and competing for space. Since the sun moves to the side of the garden, and not directly overhead, there are some plants markedly smaller than the others. Some have even yet to start to head. Avarice got the better of me this fall, but I'll be sticking to the checkerboard method from now on.

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.


  1. One of the things I like about homegrown lettuce is how it can really sing with a simple dressing, or with a nuttier dressing than store-bought stuff.

    Looks great! Makes me wish I'd planted my lettuce early (and then figured out earlier it was birds noshing on it rather than slugs. Sheesh)

  2. Congrats on the lettuce!!!

    And broccoli is a huge space hog-but if it produces, oh so worth it!
    I had my first broccoli IN YEARS (!!) this year-it was also the first cool summer in years.

  3. I'm glad you got to your lettuce before the local wildlife did! This is my first fall garden and I'm so surprised at the pests that are still active this time of year...I thought they would all be hibernating by now! I on the other hand am battling slugs hard.

    We had a mighty frost last night. I was a bit concerned when I opened up one of my hoophouses and found my lettuce covered with it...luckily by the time I got home from work, it didn't look like they were the least bit affected.

  4. One of my beefs with SFGing is the spacing. Not all of it but some. One foot is really too close for broccoli. It just doesn't head well and if it does it takes forever. I think 18" is a better spacing (which is close to your checkerboard spacing).

    Whoohoo on the lettuce. You really can't beat home grown lettuce.

  5. Daphne, I'm learning to take it all with a grain of salt and give things a 'bit' more space, but over all, it's not too shabby for things like radishes, peas, beans and cucumbers.

    Thomas, you'll be amazed at how hardy lettuce is. Last year, my lettuce was frozen solid for three whole days (that's a big deal in GA) and it came through without a hitch, sweet as ever.

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