Follow

Left: the lettuce I painstakingly reared from seed indoors and then transplanted

Right: the lettuce I bought as starts at the nursery

Wondering if it's even worth trying to raise from seed next year... :sadboi:

@darius On the plus side: You own ones haven't bolted yet!

@axwax @darius I can never get my lettuce to form a head. It either gets eaten by slugs or just sits there for weeks and then bolts. Too hot, I guess?

@jan @axwax the leaves taste just fine at least, so I just keep harvesting through the bolting

@darius @jan

Sweet!

I've given up on growing lettuces in summer, as mine just bolted straight away and turned bitter quite quickly.

I started letting them go to seed though, hoping they will eventually grow once the conditions are right (here in southern Spain).

In spring/early summer that strategy worked very well and I had dozens of young lettuces I kept on harvesting single leaves from.

... until the chickens came and decimated the lot!

@darius
yeah i’m the same with my garden… the apartment stays very cold until like, late april, so anything i start indoors is a little bit stunted. might just buy starts next year.

@darius yeah I've had a similar experience with pepper plants. Only just now bearing fruit. But fortunately they're perennials and will be ready to hit the ground running come spring :)

@darius I figure your seed-reared ones are the winners, so :)

@darius the plants on the right look like they've bolted, so even if the plants on the left are smaller, you might get sweeter, tastier lettuce for a longer period of time with them.

Have you tried just directly sowing seed outdoors? I'm not sure transplants are worth it for something like lettuce.

@npd my direct sowing attempts failed but I think it was due to our unseasonably cold and wet spring. Like I think they rotted in the ground

@darius ooh yeah, wet cold spring plus extra hot summer is a rough combo for growing leafy greens

@darius for me this year rearing lettuce indoors worked out super well. But I even had a growlight (had some chilis etc next to them).

@darius right! transplanting lettuces usually does not work so well.

@darius I'm sure you could get similar results by growing from seed if you had a good growlight and a germination/heating mat. (Other useful things: A gentle fan on a timer to keep the seedlings from getting leggy, and possibly something to keep the humidity a little elevated.)

You might also try getting a mix of varieties and growing them all together and saving seed, letting them cross. Do some selection and pretty soon you'll have a grex that's adapted to your growing practices and local climate. :-)

@varx I'll try that! I did baby them at my work desk for a few months before transplanting. No grow light but a giant window and would "pet" them to simulate wind

@darius this happened to our tomatoes too. The seeds grew like crap and died, the starters from the local supermarket absolutely blew them away.

@darius think of it as succession planting. The bolted ones will soon be bitter, so pull them up so the seedlings get more light and you'll soon be harvesting them

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Friend Camp

Hometown is adapted from Mastodon, a decentralized social network with no ads, no corporate surveillance, and ethical design.