After a period in August when I was sadly without home-grown lettuces, I’m delighted to be able to nip out again into the front garden to pick leaves for dinner. My butterhead ‘Merveille de quatre saisons’ (sown at the end of June) and the pointy oakleaf ‘Cocarde’ (sown at the end of July) have been giving bowls of luscious lettuce for a few weeks now, and as the weather starts to cool down, I want to see how these leaves will survive outside without any protection as autumn turns into winter.
I’ve also planted some small Cos ‘Freckles lettuces (sown at the beginning of August) that were so fantastic earlier in the year, to see how their growth progresses and how hardy they are at this time of year. If you haven’t got any lettuces on the go, but still want to have some winter leaves, have a read of Michelle Chapman’s great post ‘A cheat’s guide to salad growing‘.
Waiting in the wings to be planted are some tiny mustard leaf seedlings (planted a few weeks ago). They’re going in the same bed as my Tulips, but I wanted to wait until November to plant these bulbs, so mustard leaf seedlings are getting a bit leggy in their seed trays. The energetic me says plant these on into modules right now and they’ll put on some growth before transplanting in a few weeks, but the lazy me has just left them languishing in their trays. This successional planting can require good timing, luck (that snail and slugs don’t gobble all your seedlings) and above all, effort! I know how much I’ll enjoy having Mizuna, ‘Red giant mustard leaf’ and ‘Green in snow’ to eat in November and December though, so I really ought to get potting on straight away while the sun is shining and the leaves are still on the trees.