Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lettuce; bolting, flowering and a few things I learned this week.

I harvested my lettuce today. Well, some of it. I couldn't bring myself to pull all those beautiful red and green leaf lettuces out of the rich, dark soil. So I left a few for Saturday.

If you're anything like me (which is a loaded statement, I know) then you're probably new to gardening, planting, watering, maintaining and nurturing your new fall crops. I thought I would have lettuce all winter long, or at least through the end of the year. Not so. I've been watching my lettuce grow with fascination, awe and surprise. My lettuce grew as if I gave it a triple dose of hair tonic.

Last week, I learned that my lettuce were growing so fast they were bolting! What the heck does that mean, anyway? If you're growing green leaf lettuce, it means they will be shooting towards the sun and baby flowers will appear in the top center of the plant. Go ahead and pull the whole plant out of the ground. Harvest the leaves and replant something else (broccoli, cabbage, etc).

If the lettuce is left in the ground too long, the leaves get bitter. Well who knew? So, harvest your lettuce and share your wealth. They're be salad on my table for a few more days.