Monday, January 12, 2009

What to Grow 2009 - Lettuce

Meet Speckles, a butterhead type lettuce, reported to be an old Amish heirloom. This photo is from Sunday, Jan. 11! Sure, maybe not in his best form. However, not bad considering those 18 degree days and snow we had in December. This little guy is from a fall planting and is slightly protected by a window cloche (two sides of protection, two sides open). After the worst of it, I brushed off the remaining slush from the center of the plant, and now we have new growth! In the summer, I think there were more red speckles.

After a few years of growing a lettuce mix, not knowing for sure which plant went with which name, last year, I picked specific varieties: Speckles and Crisp Mint. Still growing some remainder of the mix, but noted where I planted these two.

I will be growing more Speckles this year. I tend to pick the leaves as needed and let it keep growing. I thought these were good all spring and summer. I did start new plants a few times during the year, although I cannot remember if any of the Speckles plants bolted.

I will also grow Crisp Mint again. It is a romaine lettuce. From the fall planing, I had been harvesting leaves up until that December storm. Its leaves are larger than Speckles and were crispy good in salads, sandwiches & hamburgers. I don't recall any bitterness during the summer. It was a larger plant than the Speckles, but it doesn't seem to have survived the snow.

Soon, I'll be "winter sowing" the lettuce seeds and others. After some repairs to the larger cloche, maybe I'll have some new seedlings to plant in it soon.

5 comments:

Nathan's Garden said...

I have not heard of speckles before but theres nothing better than seeing things grow in the depths of winter.

Karen said...

Congrats on getting your little Speckles through the worst (I hope!) of our winter. My mom grows this pretty much every year and always gives me some. I love the little purple spots!

Lucky-1 said...

There are so many different kinds of lettuces available. Makes for a pretty garden and dinner plate.

Molly said...

I'm planning to try Crisp Mint this year. Glad to know it's a good one. I was harvesting greens from under my cloche until that first really cold spell. My cloche collapsed under the snow also, but I'm seeing signs of life underneath the plastic now.

Petunia's Gardener said...

I love the "harvest as you go"ness of lettuce. And it doesn't take long to start harvesting, either.
Thanks for visiting!
Paula