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Friday Favorite: Homegrown Lettuce

May 10th, 2019

The longer I garden, the better I get at succession planting. It can be difficult to keep on the correct schedule and to figure out what schedule works for your garden, soil, and climate. For example, I have found that seeding every two weeks it too often for me. The lettuce seems to all come ready at once. When I seed every four weeks, I can have beautiful butterheads for salad all summer long. If there’s a bit of a lull between the lettuce forming heads, I simply harvest the outer leaves.





For me, growing lettuce is one of the greatest joys of edible gardening. There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a row of perfectly formed butterheads, they look like giant roses. If I had to choose one thing to grow in my edible space, it would definitely be lettuce.

Do you grow lettuce? Do you have a favorite variety/type to grow?

Snug as Bugs

November 7th, 2018

Two weeks ago our weather started to dip down into the 20’s at night. Before the cold snap hit, I covered my fall broccoli and my lettuce with low tunnels and plastic (the lettuce has a layer of agribon on top of the plants as well as the plastic). It has since warmed up a bit again, but I still have them protected under their warm blankets. Yesterday, I headed out to see how things were doing.



The lettuce is looking GREAT, as is the broccoli. I won’t get any large heads of broccoli, but that’s OK. Once we harvest the heads that are there, the chickens will enjoy the leaves. I’ll wait to pull them until the snow flies and the chickens are pining for something green to eat. The lettuce we will harvest here and there as we need it. None of these varieties are particularly cold tolerant, so they will all be eaten before Thanksgiving. Overall, it’s been a decent fall gardening season, especially since I didn’t really plan on doing much at all!

Are you growing any winter vegetables? any favorites to recommend?

Garden Harvest, Today and Future

July 30th, 2018

Growing vegetables is a rewarding experience. I enjoy heading out to the garden before dinner to harvest lettuce, onions, and other vegetables to including our meals. There’s also the constant planning of replacing harvested vegetable with vegetables for future meals.

Slowly, I’m getting better and better at successional planting. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. There are times when, not matter what you do, all the lettuce bolts at once (especially when the weather decides to turn scorching). Overall, I get better with each passing year. I still plant way more vegetables than we can ever eat, but when crop fails we have extra of another. If it bolts, the chickens turn it into eggs.

I’m focusing on growing a wider variety of vegetables and fruits in smaller quantities over a longer season. Ideally, I’d love to not spend much time blanching/freezing large quantities of vegetables and spend more time in the garden.

This week I’ve been harvesting: bulb fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, lettuce, peas, peppers, and onions. There are also loads of flowers to cut.

What are you harvesting this week?

Giving it a Go

July 26th, 2018

A long time ago, someone told me that if you cut peas back after they have produced, they will regrow and produce more peas. There must be something about the timing of this, because I always cut my peas back to leave the roots in the ground for nitrogen for the following crop (usually cucumbers since they’re heavy feeders and need the support). They don’t usually grow up again.

This year, I waited a bit longer than usual, and I noticed that the peas were starting to regrow from the base. I figured this must be the ticket, a little bit of fresh growth to feed the roots so they will resurrect.

I’ll keep you posted on how they do, I may get another flush of fall peas from these vines, they may not do anything. If they do produce again, I’ll be interested to see the yield. It certainly would be convenient to get a second crop of peas from one packet of seeds.

Have you ever done this or heard of this? Was it successful?

A Winner

July 16th, 2018

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I planted a new variety of pea, ‘Sienna’ from Johnny’s Seeds. Around here, I’ve mostly grown heirloom peas, so this variety was a first for me. Overall, I’m really happy with it. All the pods came ripe at the same time, allowing me to harvest the entire row, pull the plants, and replace with something else. These peas are kind of like determinate tomatoes, very convenient if you want to process them all at once.


It was nice to harvest all of them and not have to be picking peas every couple days. Processing them all at once for the freezer was also very convenient, no small batches to process every week or so. If you’re growing peas for freezing, I highly recommend giving ‘Sienna’ a try. I also appreciate that they are ready to pull from the garden a month or so ahead of ‘Green Arrow’, which means by the time I’m pulling the other variety, I’m already going to be harvesting lettuce from the space where the ‘Sienna’ peas were growing. If you have a small garden, maximizing space is a great reason to consider this variety.

Are you growing any new varieties this year? Do you love them or prefer others?

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About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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