Lettuce Harvest!
June 29th, 2010

I probably should have done it at least a week ago (likely more), but I pulled the lettuce out of the ground that I, like the kale I picked last week, also started in the kitchen window a few months back. They obviously got bigger then necessary, and there’s more then I know what to do with. If I want to make this lettuce growing thing work, I’ll need to find a method of working it so I have just one or two heads of lettuce in the ground at a time, and at different intervals, otherwise I have nothing and then WAY TOO MUCH, as you can see:

I remember when they were just baby seeds!

I learned some things though – the crisp mint was the most hardy and grew the most. However, it was REALLY affected by pests, there were a bunch of insects living in/near the crisp mint plants but not the other ones. I think it had to do w. the structure of the lettuce head – it grew fast and upright, allowing for more places to hide. I’m not that grossed out by insects living in my plant or eating it, but some people might be I guess. However, I’m not going to use pesticides in my garden so that’s how it goes. The crisp mint is also the greatest producer, another reason not to have too much of it – I should have definitely pulled it sooner. I really like both the mascara and yugoslavian red varieties, they look very cool and taste quite tasty. I’ve been eating them in a salad w. some the rest of the kale, some soybeans (that I completely overcooked, but it kind of worked out b/c they taste different now), a few green beans, and these grape tomatoes I got at the Crocker-Galleria Farmers Market last week that are ridiculously sweet and tasty.

It’s time to start some more lettuce – it’s so hard to predict though. Honestly, I have thus far had the best results with this batch of seeds I started in egg cartons w.o plastic or heat in the germinating process. They did take a long time to grow actual leaves and I did move them a few times, but those plants are all pretty happy, whereas the ones I’ve started in the cell packs with a little more attention to detail have gotten to tall too fast and don’t survive the transition outdoors. Attempts to container garden with things like spinach and lettuce have had issues too, as there has either been too much or too little rain. I have picked up some actual seed starting mix (as opposed to high quality soil w. fertilizers/etc already in it), so we’ll see if that helps or not. The shallowness of the egg cartons made things take a while, but at least it did it right!

I planted some flowers in the backyard from seed as well, after working the soil a little bit w. the last bag of planting soil in my backyard. On a side note, it’s a little hilarious how much effort needs to be spent on obtaining dirt and poop. Personally, I have to rent a zip car for an hour or so, drive up and down a hill, park, cart around, buy, get into my backyard (which is a pain b/c I don’t have a key to the side gate b/c technically its just for us to use to take the trash out), and then return the car. All for some dirt and worm poop. At least the parking spot is convenient. Anyway, I planted Echinacea, Sunflowers, and Little Buttons in this area that has always been weeds. The ground was really dry and tough b/c of the on/off sun and lack of rain. It’s also on the top-most part of the garden and on a slope, so water travels downhill. Who knows if they’ll grow, but I think if I keep them watered correctly it could turn into something:

Here goes nothing!

In addition to harvesting and planting, I also cut down the milk thistle – it had gotten out of control. I cut a few seed pods, but the fact is I already have a bag of milk thistle seeds I spent a bunch of money on that I haven’t used (that bag of seeds is where the plant came from – I believe it was just two seedlings when I transplanted it) so I apparently haven’t determined a use for milk thistle other then it grows fast and bites you when you don’t expect it, at least one that I’m willing to put the effort into. I”m hoping it’s prickly nature wont prevent it from being compostable.

I'm not sure what to do w. it - sure is prickly stuff.

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