Last spring, I determined that I didn’t like lettuce mixes and that I would plant only head lettuce varieties, which I did. This spring, in a fit of perversity, I bought a pack of Allstar gourmet lettuce mix from Johnny’s Selected Seeds and started a tray of it indoors. It has been an unmitigated success. Go figure.
Above is a photo of the Allstar lettuce on March 9. It was planted around the first of March, spent time on a heat pad under a plastic dome, went under grow lights after germination, and went into a cold frame outdoors after that.
I invested in a super-duper, really expensive, grow light system this year, which can be seen in the photo above. This grow light is from Johnny’s, my goto source for seeds and garden supplies. It is sturdy and beautifully designed. In addition to growing the most beautiful seedlings I have ever seen, it’s a plus to have in the winter for the lovely light and the added humidity from the trays on bleak winter days. I’m thinking there’s no reason we shouldn’t have lettuce and herbs all winter from now on. I feel healthier just thinking about it.
The Allstar lettuce mix grew nicely under the grow lights, and lettuce for several salads was harvested in March straight from the grow-light environment. What a treat. In April, I transplanted the lettuce to larger pots and moved the pots to a cold frame outdoors, where again, lettuce for several salads was harvested.
By the middle of April, I planted the Allstar lettuce in the vegetable garden under covers, and it took off growing like crazy. The photos above show how lush it is. Also delicious.
Some unexpected salad extras from the vegetable garden include wild arugula, seen above, that came up again from last year. Totally unexpected. Is it a perennial. Has it become a permanent fixture in the vegetable garden. I don’t know, but it sure tastes good. Also some scallions left over from last year, such as those seen in the corners of the lettuce bed below. Add a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and enjoy.
The photo above represents to me the joy of vegetable gardening in early spring. Here’s my new garden sitting/kneeling bench. For many years, I argued that 5-gallon buckets were the best garden seats. Well, as can be seen, I still keep a bucket handy to set my tea on, but I have to admit that the sturdy bench is awfully comfortable. The little sprinkler at left turns out to be perfect for watering through the bed covers. Better than irrigation hoses for early spring plants such as lettuce. The lettuce doesn’t really need covers at this point. It likes cool weather. But I love how clean and fresh the lettuce stays under cover. Johnny’s Allstar Gourmet Lettuce Mix. I give it 5 stars.