Under the two long cloches devoted to this task I planted a total of 17 lettuces. They were of two different types - "Winter Density" and "All Year Round". In the photo above "Winter Density" is on the left.
|The long cloches in November|
A few days ago I took the cloches off, on a sunny day, in order to do a bit of maintenance. By this I mean removing any dead or yellowing leaves, cultivating the soil to aerate it, and giving the plants a bit of water. I judged that although these lettuce are likely to get bigger, I could justifiably harvest the first of them. After all, we wouldn't be able to eat them all at once, so it's best to start eating the first of them while they're young.
So, before replacing the cloches, I cut these two. One of each type.
Neither of them has much of a heart, because they are not fully mature, but as part of a mixed salad I think they are certainly acceptable. Here they are being supported by tomatoes, fennel and chicory from our Abel and Cole veg box, and a few home-grown salad sprouts:
Nice....which one do you like better? I will have to choose a good "winter lettuce" for the hoop house next year. I had an old seed tape with a few varieties and found that the red leaf variety don't do too well. Outer leaves were very thing and damaged. The winter density looks like it holds up well. How is the flavor and texture???ReplyDelete
Inspiring stuff. I bought winter density seed last year, but we didn't get around to growing winter lettuce this year. In the past I've found WD leaves on the sturdy side, but lovely to be harvesting salad in the winter at all.ReplyDelete
Beautiful lettuce. I didn't grow much lettuce at all last fall. I kind of got sick of it. Now I'm thinking lettuce might be nice again. And just in time for the spring season to start.ReplyDelete
Beautiful letuces! And also love your sprouts. I can't grow too much letuces here because of climate (it 22C today and it's only March!), but I find sprouts works just fine for my summer salads.ReplyDelete
I'm really impressed with how well these cloches have worked out for you. I might be inspired to get some myself next fall. Cheers, JenniReplyDelete
Your lettuce looks awesome! Did you keep the portable greenhouse on it all winter long? By any chance do you know if it actually does keep the vegetables warmer? I recentley acquire a very similar portable greenhouse from the christmas tree shop and am wondering if it is doing much for my vege's. You can check mine out at http://victoriaspatiogarden.blogspot.comReplyDelete
Blimey! Cracking cloches and the lettuces look lovely too!ReplyDelete
Wow Mark - those cloches are paying off, aren't they? I have next to nothing growing at the moment (vegetable wise) and am looking at your site for a bit of inspiration. On the plus side, I do have five bunches of bananas on the go - do you remember how excited I go with my very first bunch?ReplyDelete
Victoria: The cloches don't make things warmer, but they can prevent them getting colder, if you see what I mean. They protect plants from damage caused by wind, rain, frost and animals.ReplyDelete
Hi Ali; Yes, I certainly do remember your banana antics. I'd dearly love to inspire you to start blogging again...ReplyDelete
Whoa, did you make those long cloches? If so, did you post how to do it? They're a lot more attractive than the piles of tarps, weed cloth, straw, and dead christmas tree branches I have scattered over my newly planted beds! I usually do poly low-tunnels but we haven't had time to build them yet.ReplyDelete
Congrats on the yummy looking salad!
The lettuces look great. I am a big fan of lettuce so tend to always have some in the garden. Interestingly inspired by your VSR posts I made an attempt to work out a VSR rating for each of the crops I'm growing and lettuce came out top.ReplyDelete
More than acceptable Mark. Our salad leaves are only small but far better than supermarket greensReplyDelete
They do look great. I hope my lettuces do as well this year. We didn't need anything like a cloche this year but on our normal years we are a bit colder and I would love to have a couple like yours.ReplyDelete
How satisfying that must be! I keep looking at those long cloches. What are the dimensions?ReplyDelete
David; The cloches are 122cm long, 45cm wide and 25 cm high. They are made by Parasene, and are called "Longrow Super Cloches".ReplyDelete
It's so satisfying to produce your own food and not have to resort to supermarket bought. I haven't in the past grown so much lettuce, but I intend to grow more this year as I'm trying to lose weight so plenty of salads will be on the menu.ReplyDelete
You have done really well with your lettuces Mark - I have finished all my salad leaves now, sadly - but have already sown the next batch. This year I will definitely try to extend the lettuce growing season with some sturdy cloches.ReplyDelete
Your Lettuce are looking good, they are "further on" than my Winter ones are at the moment.ReplyDelete
Those covers are really doing a great job!
I'm trying to grow lettuce for the first time - planted mixed lettuce seeds last week.