Time to Plant the Winter Lettuce

Gardening in September usually means a lot of harvesting going on and not much in the way of planting. The growing season is winding down now, but lettuce — being one of the cold crops — can be planted now for future enjoyment.

Lettuce can surprisingly make it through Winter, but it must obviously be protected from freezing conditions.

We like to use a sheet or other large piece of cloth material, like a curtain, to cover lettuce over the cold period. We call this overwintering lettuce the easy way.

Winter lettuce has become a thing to look forward to when the icy grip of winter starts to let go of the landscape. In March the baby lettuce that was sown in September will start growing again on warm sunny days.

By April you can be eating fresh salads while the grocery store offerings are still very expensive and puny.

We have plenty of time to plant some lettuce now. Broadcast a mixture of seeds for the best results!

Rough Winter Wiped Out Tender Perennials

Yes, it was a rough winter. We’re grateful that it’s history.

A friend said he’s had some late comers this spring, meaning that some plants stayed dormant from the cold of winter much longer than typical. He said to wait for a while before counting out the tender perennials.

I figure that the frost-free dates for our areas is a good marker of when to give up the ghost on late-comers.

It’s the middle of May and since they didn’t yet sprout I crossed off the following plants that did not ‘come back to life’ this year:

  • Rosemary
  • French Tarragon
  • Russian Tarragon
  • Hens and Chicks
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Wild Ginger
  • Grape Spiderwort

The wild ginger and spiderwort were a surprise on this list as they are natives that can withstand our winters and these particular plants did so for a half-dozen years or more. Maybe they were just old?

Already picked up rosemary and tarragon plants at a local greenhouse. The others will be missed but their demise opened a few spots in the gardens where we can plant something new.

This is the time that we’ve been looking forward to for months. Let’s get out there and plant something!