Monday, May 9, 2011

Lettuce Surprise


Before we left for 10 days in Florida, I said goodbye to my spring lettuce patch. I cut all the leaves of the biggest leaf lettuces and made large tender-crisp salads. North Carolina is subject to heat waves starting in late April, and I expected the lettuce to dry up or bolt while we were gone.

So it was a pleasant surprise to walk through the garden upon returning and behold a patch filled with beautiful baby lettuces. 

Lettuce patch surrounded by hardware cloth to keep out rabbits.
The 'Lolla Rossa' red lettuces had matured to eating size and glowed wine-red.  Even the 'Red Sails' lettuces that I had cut before leaving grew three or four new leaves. I like it when the garden demonstrates it doesn't need me. 

Salad again tonight.

8 comments :

Donna said...

Sheila that is the best to come back and find that nature has tended our garden lovingly and left us wonderful surprises

PlantPostings said...

Yum! Fresh lettuce is the best. You are so fortunate. Your photos are making me hungry for a salad!

Karin / Southern Meadows said...

That looks delicious! Wonderful that you could get an additional harvest before the heat sets in! It is starting to get hot this week!

Sheila said...

Donna, I live for nature's surprises.

PlantPostings, I find fresh lettuce from the garden is so much more tender than the packaged stuff at the store. I'm so glad I learned that lettuce grows well in part shade!

Karin, I know. I keep waiting for that heat. Once it starts, it's relentless. But I'm enjoying it now!

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

The new little lettuce leaves are always the best too. What a nice surprise.

Bel Mills said...

Sheila,
Very jealous of your lettuce patch. How do you keep the birds out? the quails are eating up mine!

Sheila said...

Bel, that's too bad about the quail. I didn't realize some birds were lettuce-eaters! We don't have any quail nearby. Have you tried covering the patch with deer netting raised on stakes on all sides and draped over the top? Some friends protected their blueberry plants that way.

Bel Mills said...

I've thought about netting, but haven't tried it because I'm trying my darndest to keep the veggie patch looking esthetically pleasing. May have to give that one up eventually. Or give up growing lettuce....