Lettuce! From the garden! And yes, quite delicious, it is. I had some on my sandwich at lunch today, and that made my 'brown bag' lunch seem like the finest gourmet cuisine.
And to think that I almost didn't pick this lettuce yesterday evening because I didn't want the month of April to get credit for it. Earlier this month, I documented my thoughts on this April, also now known as "Hate-pril" because it turned so cruel on us.
But somehow the lettuce, a cool season crop, made it through April.
Here's my lettuce bed:
You can see that I am a bit of a lazy lettuce gardener. I plant rows of lettuce in March, then leave it alone and start harvesting in late April. I should thin out the lettuce to get better heads to form, but I don't. I should also do some succession planting to extend the lettuce harvest, but I don't do that either.
I covered this raised bed with row covering when I planted it to keep the rabbits out. That's why the onions on the left look all bent over. They'll straighten up in a few days. Next to them are a few radishes, then a wide space where the beets were before they were zapped by the April cold. Then there is some spinach and the three rows of lettuce: 'New Red Fire', 'Pinetree Mix' and 'Tom Thumb', all from Pinetree Garden seeds. Along the back are some peas, variety 'Green Arrow', just enough to hopefully get a few small servings, raw and cooked.
I am concerned that the rabbits will discover those peas and the spinach, so I sprinkled them with cayenne pepper. So far, so good after 24 hours. Oh, and I used my new stirrup hoe to knock out a few weeds between the rows, which is why the bed looks so nice and weed free. I love my new hoe. It is one of my favorites, definitely in the top ten. How I gardened without it, I'll never know.
And now as the sun sets on April, we have the glorious days of May before us and many more days of fresh lettuce.
What could be better in a zone 5 garden than May, I ask you? All year I wait for this month, and now it is nearly here. Breathe the fresh air, enjoy the sunshine, see how green the grass is, how blue the sky is, watch as each day a new flower blooms. It's time to eat lots of fresh lettuce from the garden! It's time to plant the rest of the garden! It is the eve of May in May Dreams Gardens! Let the fun begin.
When April steps aside for May,
Like diamonds all the raindrops glisten,
Fresh violets open every day,
To some new bird each hour we listen.- Lucy Larcom, American poet (1826-1893)