Sunday, July 17, 2011

Revamping The Lettuce Bed

Gratuitous flower photo

Once the garlic had been pulled out of the bed it shared with the lettuce. It looked pretty crappy. The dill shared space with the garlic, but after pulling it couldn't stand up anymore. I decided it all needed to get pulled. Much of it wasn't harvested since I had plenty. It was compost fodder.

Lettuce bed with dill falling all over

The problem with pulling all the garlic and dill is that it was shading my lettuce bed. Without it the lettuce was going to die a horrible death. We had a two day cool spell (hovering around 80F both days). I say cool spell but the reality is in a normal year it would be a normal temp. July's average high in our area is 82F. Not 90F even if it feels like that has become our norm. Saturday was the start of another heat wave, so I pulled half of the lettuce from the bed. The other half will have to try to survive the nasty heat that is predicted for us.

I did help the lettuce out by putting up some shade for it in the form of some old muslin. I was trying to shade it in the afternoon, but it turns out I had the above misplaced. I rearranged it this morning and I think it will now provide shade in the hottest part of the day. Poor lettuce. There were some little seedlings that I had direct seeded a while ago. Most of them gave up the ghost after Saturday's heat. The carrots that came up are struggling too. Many have succumbed and keeled over. I'm hoping I can get a good enough stand to survive, but it will be hard. I can get them to germinate, but that doesn't mean I can get them to live.


  1. The gardener's art is a constant battle against the elements, isn't it? We have the opposite problem here: our July is much cooler and wetter than it should be.

  2. The shade cover is a great idea. We just cut a tree down and exposed our garden to 3 hours of daily new sunlight, we may need to build the same thing for some of our plants too.

  3. Did you ever get any black eyed susan to bloom? I think you said they were taking forever? I planted some seed in my garden, but its not going to make it to bloom here.

  4. Mark, I keep waiting for the elusive "normal" year. It never happens. We always seem to swing one way or the other.

    Jody, Even with the shade cloth the poor lettuce looks wilted. It was just too hot and windy today.

    Kris, thanks

    Elizabeth, no I have one plant left and it is just a tiny little things. I find it funny since When I had a plant in my garden it would self seed everywhere. Now I can't get one to start. But that is fine, I can always try again. Or just go buy a plant.

  5. Normal? What is normal? We had rain and cool weather this weekend - felt suspiciously like fall not summer. Your shade sail is smart thinking. I hope it works for you. Because of our cool weather, I have lettuce coming out of my ears. I really need to start harvesting it more.

  6. Great idea shading the lettuce. Hope it works!