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Lettuce and Beans

August 8, 2012

Black Seeded Simpson, coming next week

Lettuce has taken a vacation the last week and a half. It should be back on Monday, Thursday at the latest. There are a few reasons, one is a slip in seeding. I missed a lettuce seeding back in late May. I seed lettuce every two weeks, from late February to mid-August, and sometimes, it is just hard to stay on top of it.  Another reason is the last planting got buried in weeds. The heads did not grow as well and the quality was just not up to par. The girls don’t mind how the lettuce looks though, so they are getting four or five heads from that planting to nibble on each day.

The girls are enjoying the lettuce, even though we aren’t

Other things can cause gaps in the lettuce, too, like poor germination. That happened in a planting from three weeks ago, which means there will be less lettuce in October. Conditions in the field can make or break a planting. In the spring, there are slugs, later there are butterfly and moth larvae or aphids that can damage the heads. Sometimes it is just the weather. If it is too hot, the heads may bolt prematurely. And of course, there are deer. Now I am covering all the lettuce beds at night. Once in a while I can see where the deer have walked across the covered beds. So far, they haven’t stepped on and crushed any lettuce.

This lettuce was planted out on Sunday.

Right now, there are four plantings in the ground, two more started in trays and one last one to be seeded next week. I plan for lettuce to be available into the last half of October. After that, I should have some chicories to take their place.

This is what Dragon Langerie beans look like when they are small

Now a  quick note about beans: The first planting of Provider beans has done well, though I am realizing, I may need to plant more next year! I had a little trouble with the second planting, however. I seeded Provider (half as many as the first planting), Dragon Langerie (the other half) and Tavera beans (a full bed). This planting had spotty germination all around, but especially in the Tavera beans. I reseeded it; keeping what was up and planting new seeds in between. Because I did that, the reseeding took the place of the next planned planting of Tavera beans. The final seeding of Tavera beans also had very poor germination and I reseeded that last week, a bit late. Luckily, with the warm temperatures over the weekend, it did much better. The weather into September will determine how the last planting does. Or maybe the deer will.

A Tavera bean blossom

Tavera beans are coming!

The last planting of Tavera beans are up.

 

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