Tag Archives: Lettuce

Heirloom and Natural Hybrid Tomato’s

Tomato Growers would like for you to purchase seed from them.
With that said I present this site to you for reference and research purposes only. Purchase seed from your trusted supplier.

Disclaimer: I am not associated with Tomato Growers in anyway. I have never received money or gifts from Tomato Growers.
I have been satisfied with seed I have purchased in the past.
You must do your homework before sending any company money for their advertised products.

Tomato Growers website contains a ton of useful Tomato information including a picture and a detail description about tomato uses, size, days to harvest, disease resistance as well as other useful information.

650 varieties of hybrid and heirloom seed are sold by Tomato Growers supply company. Home page. Listings for tomato, eggplant, pepper, squash and more heirloom garden seed.

Tomato Growers promise to buyers is:
No GMO’s
All of our seeds come from natural hybrid or open-pollinated heirloom varieties.
Tomato Growers do not sell any GMO’s or genetically engineered varieties.

Go directly to Best site I have found to shop or simply learn more about Natural Hybrid and Heirloom tomato varieties.Tomato’s, natural hybrids and heirlooms page.

Never buy heirloom garden seed again. Become a seed saver and save your hard earned cash for other garden projects.

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Last Chance – almost.. Plant your Fall and early Winter garden this weekend

It seems that there is always something that needs fixing. Browsers and windows 10 seem to be in a long battle with each other to take control of our monitors or smart phones screens. It is the end users that must suffer when windows 10 and browser programmers and coders are in conflict.

Fast growing cool weather crops like lettuce, turnips and radishes can still be planted in zones 6-10.

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Where Did The Sun And Warm Weather Go?

Words of wisdom: Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.
Harry S Truman

Son-n-law and grandson took time out of their other activities and tilled my garden plot several days ago. Since then we have had 2 or maybe 3 light rains making the garden to wet to plant this years corn crop.

After a few of rain less days, temperatures in the lower 70’s and a bit of wind by yesterday afternoon tiny garden soil was dry enough to plant, but, guess what… my weatherman said we have a cold front moving in and morning temperatures are going to be in the low 30’s, about 34 degrees … grin or maybe lower.
So, corn planting has been pushed into next week when daytime temperatures are forecast to be in the low 80’s.

I’m still lagging behind in filling my 2 new porch containers with soil and planting a small crop of lettuce, beets, turnips(for greens) and radishes. I don’t know where son-n-law got these containers, but they are about 12 inches wide, 4 feet long and about 9 inches deep. They contain a number of drainage holes making an idea porch container for shallow rooted crops.

Not good. It’s middle of the afternoon and a cold North wind has been pounding me all day. Sooo, I will resort to the last thing on my to-do list. Sweep and mop floors.. YUK.

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Think Green – Green Salads Is On The Menu

Soil temperatures are creeping up. Many places soils are at or near 60 degrees. That is your signal to plant your salad garden.

leaf lettuce

leaf lettuce

Source University of Illinois Extension Lettuce is a cool weather vegetable that thrives when the average daily temperature is between 60 and 70°F. Plant in early spring. Many gardeners will need to select types and varieties of lettuce that withstand heat. Some are much more heat tolerant than other varieties.

Leaf lettuce, the most widely adapted of all the Lettuce types, produces crisp leaves loosely arranged on the stalk. Romaine types form a upright, elongated head. Butterhead varieties are generally small, loose heading types that have tender, soft leaves with a delicate flavor.

Green Leaf
Black-seeded Simpson (early to harvest)
Grand Rapids (frilly edges; good for coldframes, greenhouse, garden)
Oak Leaf (resistant to tipburn; good for hot weather)
Red Leaf
Red Fire (ruffles with red edge – slow to bolt)
Red Sails (slowest bolting red leaf lettuce)
Ruby (darkest red of all – resistant to tipburn)
Romaine
Cimmaron (unique, dark red leaf)
Green Towers (early – dark green, large leaves)
Paris Island (long – standing)

Leaf lettuce may be cut whenever it is large enough to use. Cutting every other plant at ground level gives the remaining plants more space. Leaf lettuce reaches maximum size (6 to 12 ounces) in 50 to 60 days. Butterhead varieties form small, loose heads that weigh 4 to 8 ounces at harvest (60 to 70 days).

Harvesting and Storage Harvest leaf varaties at any size. Store lettuce, wash, drip dry and place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Plant your lettuce carefully following the seed package instructions.
* What went wrong? Failure of seeds to germinate is almost always caused by insufficient moisture. Take extra care to keep the seedbed moist, but not soggy, until the seedlings emerge.

growing-swiss-chard Planting Swiss Chard
Plant chard seeds 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost date. Before planting, mix 1 cup of 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil for every 20 feet of row.
Water the plants evenly, water often during dry spells.

Harvest/Storage of Swiss Chard Start harvesting when the plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. Cut off the outer leaves 1-1/2 inches above the ground.
The leaves can be eaten fresh(raw) as greens or you can cook them like spinach.
Store chard in the refrigerator in ventilated plastic bags.

Swiss chard is not only one of the most popular vegetables along the Mediterranean but it is one of the most nutritious vegetables around and ranks second only to spinach following our analysis of the total nutrients.

Beet and turnip greens should be considered. Adding fresh, young, tender, flavorful beet and turnip greens to your salads adds another level of flavor and texture to your salads.

Another – Mediterranean style dressing.
1 medium clove Chopped Garlic
1 table spoon fresh lemon or lime juice
3 table spoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
Optional:
6 or more kalamata (packed in oil) olives
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 tea spoon soy sauce
1 tea spoon dry oregano

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Lettuce In My Garden

leaf lettuceMany gardeners in the southern 1/2 of the USA will soon be able to plant lettuce in their gardens. The rest of us should consider starting our lettuce seedling pots.

Lettuce is a cool weather vegetable that thrives when the average daily temperature is between 60 and 70°F. Plant in early spring or late summer. Some types and varieties of lettuce withstand heat better than others.

Leaf lettuce, the most widely adapted of all the Lettuce types, produces crisp leaves loosely arranged on the stalk. Romaine types form a upright, elongated head. Butterhead varieties are generally small, loose heading types that have tender, soft leaves with a delicate sweet flavor.

With so many loose leaf and head varieties your most difficult decision is which varieties to plant.

To extend your growing season, first plant the more cold tolerant lettuce varieties in the cool early spring months, then sow the heat tolerant varieties in late spring to spread out your lettuce harvest as long as possible. Stage plant lettuce, planting pots and beds every 7 to 10 days.
Lettuce benefits from a rich well drained soil.
Fertilize lettuce with a nigh nitrogen based fertilizer, something like 10-5-5.

My lettuce seed didn’t germinate! Lettuce seed require exposure to sun light to germinate. Sprinkle seeds on top of the soil, and lightly cover or scratch them into the bed just below the surface of the soil. It is helpful to cover pots and beds with clear plastic to prevent your soil from drying out before your lettuce seed germinate.
Hint For best performance, Lettuce must be kept moist, Not Wet, throughout its growing season.

As lettuce seedlings mature, they need to be thinned. When they are 2 or 3 inches tall, gently pull out the largest plants. Or better yet cut at ground level. Use these seedlings in your salad, being small and tender they are a wonderful addition to your salads. Leave 4 to 8 inches between the remaining plants so they have room to grow into mature plants.

In my opinion, Crisphead varieties like iceberg commonly sold at supermarkets are tasteless, worthless and a waste of time and space to grow.

Some Recommended Varieties
Green Leaf
Black-seeded Simpson (earliest to harvest)
Grand Rapids (frilly edges; good for coldframes, greenhouse, garden)
Oak Leaf (resistant to tipburn; good for hot weather)
Red Leaf
Red Fire (ruffles with red edge – slow to bolt)
Red Sails (slowest bolting red leaf lettuce)
Ruby (darkest red of all – resistant to tipburn)
Romaine
Cimmaron (unique, dark red leaf)
Green Towers (early – dark green, large leaves)
Paris Island (long – standing)

Northern Climates can plant lettuce in both spring and late summer. Southern climates lettuce planting is best done in late Summer or early Fall. Two or more successive plantings at 7 to 10 day intervals provide a continuous supply of lettuce.

Harvesting and Storage
Leaf lettuce may be cut whenever it is large enough to use. Cutting every other plant at ground level gives the remaining plants more space. Leaf lettuce reaches maximum size (6 to 12 ounces) in 50 to 60 days. Butterhead varieties form small, loose heads that weigh 4 to 8 ounces at harvest (60 to 70 days).

To store lettuce, wash, drip dry and place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Lettuce keeps best at 32°F and high (96%) humidity.

(Bolting) Formation of seed stalks is caused by warm temperatures. If seed stalks begin to form, harvest your lettuce immediately and store it in the refrigerator.

In overly warm/hot weather Lettuce may become bitter. Harvest wash and store the leaves in the refrigerator for a day or two. Much of the bitterness will disappear.

Nutrition Facts (One cup raw leaf lettuce, chopped)
Calories 9
Dietary Fiber 1.3
Protein 1 gram
Carbohydrates 1.34 grams
Vitamin A 1456 IU
Vitamin C 13.44
Calcium 20.16
Iron 0.62
Potassium 162.4 mg

Don’t ruin the flavor of your garden fresh lettuce covering it with a large amount of strong flavored/tasting supermarket dressings. Try one of these light flavored vinaigrette style dressings.

Red and Yellow Pepper Vinaigrette
1 small yellow bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons warm water
pinch of sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until combined well. This vinaigrette will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for 3 days. Recipe may be doubled. Makes one cup.

Citrus Vinaigrette
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (juice of one small orange)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon table salt)
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine the juices and salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in oils until incorporated. A blender or food processor may also be used. Pour into a glass jar and seal. Serve over your favorite salad greens. The vinaigrette will keep, tightly covered, for a week in the refrigerator. To warm cold vinaigrette, place jar in a bowl of hot tap water for a few minutes.

Mustard Chive Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon grainy Dijon-style mustard
black pepper freshly ground to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
Using a whisk or fork, in a small bowl combine all ingredients except the oil. Slowly add the oil, whisking vigorously, until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Pour over your favorite salad greens and toss. Store remaining vinaigrette in the refrigerator, in a tightly sealed glass jar, for up to one week. To warm cold vinaigrette, place jar in a small bowl of hot tap water for a few minutes. Makes 1/2 cup.

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The Color Of Fall Is Green

growing-swiss-chard Planting Swiss Chard
Plant chard seeds 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost date. Continue planting seeds at 10-day intervals for a month.
For a fall harvest, plant chard seeds again about 40 to 60 days before the first fall frost date.
Before planting, mix 1 cup of 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil for every 20 feet of single row.
Plant the seeds 1/2 to 3/4 of inch deep in well-drained, rich, light soil. Sow eight to ten seeds per foot of row.

Caring for Swiss Chard
When the plants are 3 to 4 inches tall, thin them out so that they are 4 to 6 inches apart or 9 to 12 inches apart if the plants are larger.
Water the plants evenly to help them grow better. Water often during dry spells in the summer. You can also mulch the plants to help conserve moisture.
For the best quality, cut the plants back when they are about 1 foot tall. If the chard plants become overgrown, they lose their flavor.

Harvest/Storage of Swiss Chard
You can start harvesting when the plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. Cut off the outer leaves 1-1/2 inches above the ground with a sharp knife.
If you harvest the leaves carefully, new leaves will grow and provide another harvest.
The leaves are eaten raw salad greens and you can cook them like spinach or eat them raw in salads.

SONY DSC

Swiss chard is one of the most popular vegetables along the Mediterranean as well as being one of the most nutritious vegetables around. Ranks second only to spinach following a analysis of the total nutrients. Slice leaves 1 inch wide and the stems 1/2 inch pieces and boil for 3 minutes. I recommend eating the stems of varieties with white stems. Colored stems can be very tough.

Spinach
Spinach is high in protein and low in calorie content.
Spinach is not a lettuce but a leaf vegetable. Spinach leaves are not broad like loose lettuce or romaine, but it is considered a leafy green. In a culinary context, spinach is used in many of the same ways broad leaf lettuces are used. Eat it raw in salads, sandwiches and dishes and cook into casseroles, pasta and soups. Spinach leaves are high in iron, fiber, protein, vitamin A and vitamin C. It grows in cool climates for harvest throughout the warm season and is canned for winter storage.

Radicchio
Radicchio leaves have a striking red color that accents any salad or dish.
Radicchio is a leafy form of chicory. It looks like a small head of cabbage with thick, waxy broad leaves. Its bitter flavor and chewy texture set it apart. It is named after the area in northern Italy where most radicchio comes from. According to the New York Times, many chefs fail to appreciate the true flavor of radicchio and use it simply as a garnish or for color. It can be eaten raw with olive oil and salt, canned, pickled or cooked. Self Nutrition Data writes that radicchio is a very good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

Red and Green Leaf Lettuce
Red or green leaf lettuce is a large leaf lettuce. The leaves are thick and appear crumpled along the tips. Red leaf lettuce will have dark plum coloring on the leaves while green leaf lettuce remains a uniform green color. Both varieties have thick white stalks. This type of lettuce is commonly used in salads, sandwiches and tortilla wraps. According to Produce Oasis, these leaf lettuces are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Potassium and Manganese.

Romaine Lettuce
Romaine lettuce heads are tightly wrapped and columnar in shape. This is a difficult type of large leaf lettuce to grow because it has not adapted well to hot climates and poor soil conditions. Despite its challenges, when grown correctly romaine lettuce is called the sweetest variety of lettuce. Its thick stalks are crisp and sweet in flavor. This is a classic lettuce used to make Caesar salad according to Better Homes and Gardens.

Butterhead Lettuce
It it also sometimes referred to as butter crunch lettuce. Butterhead lettuces have small, round, loosely formed heads with soft, buttery-textured leaves ranging from pale green on the outer leaves to progressively smaller pale yellow-green on the inner leaves. The flavor is sweet and succulent. Because the leaves are quite tender, they require gentle washing and handling. There are 2 main varieties of butterhead lettuce. The first is Boston or butter lettuce and the second is Bibb or Kentucky limestone. Both varieties lend themselves to lighter dressings because of their soft texture and mild flavor.

Belgian Endive
Belgian Endive is in the chicory family. It grows in compact torpedo shaped heads are about 5 inches long with white leaves tipped with pale yellow green. The leaves have a mild crunch and are bitter in taste. Cut off the end and separate the leaves. Endive goes well with a dressing that tempers the bitterness. Top with creamy dressings, mustard based dressings, or with sweeter citrus dressings.

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Lettuce That Green Stuff You Can’t Live Without

lettuce Can you call that a salad without Lettuce? Lettuce is the base for many(most) salads served in the U.S. Surly with so many varieties and different tasting lettuce varieties you can find one that is to your liking.

Lettuce is fast growing and quickly reaches maturity. It is a cool season plant best grown in the spring and fall of the year in most of the U.S. With so many loose leaf and head varieties your most difficult decision is which varieties to plant.

First plant the more cold tolerant lettuce varieties in the cool early spring months, then sow the heat tolerant varieties in late spring to spread out your lettuce harvest as long as possible. Stage plant lettuce, planting pots and beds every 7 to 10 days.
Lettuce benefits from a rich well drained soil.
Fertilize lettuce wit a nigh nitrogen based fertilizer, something like 10-5-5.

My lettuce seed didn’t germinate! Lettuce seed require exposure to sun light to germinate. Sprinkle seeds on top of the soil, and lightly cover or scratch them into the bed just below the surface of the soil. It is helpful to cover pots and beds with clear plastic to prevent your soil from drying out before your lettuce seed germinate.
Hint For best performance, Lettuce must be kept moist, Not Wet, throughout its growing season.

As lettuce seedlings mature, they need to be thinned. When they are 2 or 3 inches tall, gently pull out the largest plants. Or better yet cut at ground level. Use these seedlings in your salad, being small and tender they are a wonderful addition to your salads. Leave 4 to 8 inches between the remaining plants so they have room to grow into mature plants.

Some proven and reliable Lettuce varieties are listed for your consideration.

Cold-Weather Lettuce
Arctic King (green, semiheading)
Brune d’Hiver (green, semiheading)
Rouge d’Hiver (red, romaine type)
Winter Marvel (green, semiheading)

Cool-Weather Lettuce
Buttercrunch (green, semiheading)
Four Seasons (red and green, semiheading)
Lolla Rossa (red, leaf lettuce)
Royal Oakleaf (green, leaf lettuce)
Tom Thumb (green, semiheading)

Heat-Tolerant Lettuce
Black Seeded Simpson (green, leaf lettuce)
Craquerelle du Midi (green, romaine type)
Red Riding Hood (red, semiheading)
Two Star (green, leaf lettuce)

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