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Monday, April 30, 2007

Goodbye, April! Hello, May! Time for Lettuce

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)

18 comments:

ginger said...

Carol:

I just planted lettuce yesterday! I can taste yours! I did see all your hoes on the previous post and one really can't have too many although the stirrup hoe is also my favorite. I don't usually have a rabbit problem, just deer. Come on over and visit and see my compost pile!

Anonymous said...

Deep breaths, Carol, deep breaths. Relax.....

Candice said...

Color me jealous of your delicious-looking lettuce. When did you plant those suckers? I just got around to planting mine 8 days ago. They're now some mighty fine looking 2 cm high lettuce-wanna-bes.

Carol said...

Ginger... I checked out your compost pile. It is quite large. From what I've read, I'm better off with a rabbit problem than a deer problem.
Anonymous... What? Don't I seem relaxed?
Candice... I sowed lettuce seed directly in the garden on March 17th. I could have picked some a few days ago, but waited. I picked more this evening for tomorrow's lunch.

Carolyn gail said...

I have visited your blog many times and left comments but apparently they are not important enough for you to return the favor. Oh, well.

Carol said...

Carolyn Gail... I recently set up Google reader to keep track of blogs that post, and appear to have missed yours. No slight intended. I'll be adding it and checking your blog more regularly.

LostRoses said...

Oh yeah, yay for May!! Happy May, May dreams!

Annie in Austin said...

Oh, that looks lovely, Carol - leaves all crunchy and colorful... I'll bet you sing and smile while you wield your special stirrup hoe!

Happy first week of May!

Annie

Entangled said...

Your garden is making me hungry! ;-)

M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

We had lovely salads in February and March and then we went away for a week. When we returned, the lettuce had bolted. So we've had nothing in April.

Turns out that bolted lettuce can be quite attractive. I'm thinking of planting it in locations other than the vegetable garden next year--or maybe in a wacky design like they do ornamental kales and cabbages.

Kylee said...

I'm so jealous! Last year, we were eating spinach at this time. This year, we have nothing planted yet. Much too wet. Maybe I'll get my raised beds this year. For some reason, my husband doesn't want to do it.

Marc said...

Great post! May is indeed the pinnacle of weather in the garden. Of course August gets to enjoy most of May's labor in the way of the warm season harvest!

Your lettuce looks great. Mine is a bit behind because I've been building my deck instead of gardening. What a sin, I know.

Hatepril is gone! Here's to a marvelous May!

Rosemarie said...

Your lettuce is making me hungry (it is almost lunchtime). And I too love May, I wish it were May all summer-long.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Taste good, doesn't it, the first lettuce of the year. Your lettuce bed looks good.

And now your dream month has begun, happy may dreams Carol!

Sissy said...

I have to say, a well planted greens bed is as pretty as anything I ever see in a landscape!!

Your veggie garden is so neat and impressive! My lettuce is far from ready to eat! Have a bowl for me!!

Carol said...

Lost Roses...Happy May to you as well!
Annie in Austin...Thanks, Happy May to you, too. I certainly will keep swinging my new hoe. It's a definite keeper.
Entangled... You should grow lettuce, too.
M Sinclair Stevens... I think there are quite a few vegetables that would work as ornamentals in the garden!
Marc... Sometimes working on the "hardscape" has to take priority. I'm sure you'll have lettuce before you know it.
Rosemarie... May all summer long would be wonderful!
Yolanda Elizabet... and Happy May to you as well.
Sissy... I had a bowl for you and a bowl for me. Delicious!

Thanks all for the comments!

sister with the homestead said...

Carol,

We enjoyed your lettuce last night in a fine salad. It was wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Gotta Garden said...

Awww, you shared your lettuce! That's so nice! I just wanted to say how BEAUTIFUL it looks! And, I agree...May is a wonderful month! Every day is so exciting! (And, I'm not calming down...lol!)