This year is like a continuous mild winter. No frost or freezing temps but continually on the “cool/cold” side. That means night temps in the lower 40’s and day temps in the upper 60’s. That’s just not warm enough for me but I haven’t had to seriously cover the garden – just spot covering tomatoes a few times to be safe. One crop that is outperforming anything I’ve ever experienced is the lettuce. I grow several varieties and each and every one is incredibly lush. The photo doesn’t do it justice. For perspective, the concrete cylinders you see in front of the lettuce are 18” long and the taller green plants on the left are Swiss Chards with 2’ leaves. The other pic is the first pickable cabbage. In a normal season you’d see some insect damage on the outer leaves but this year, none at all. Nancy picked up the makings for corned beef so I see a traditional Irish St. Patrick’s day coming.
I mentioned in a previous post that the arugula was bolting. We still have plenty to mix with lettuce in salads but the bolted plants are being summarily yanked out to become compost. In bolting I think you can see the genetic lines back to the common dandelion – same flowering and cottony seed carriers. That shouldn’t be too surprising since I know both can be traced back to Italy.
I found a new seed company, rather they found me and sent an unsolicited catalog. The place is Seedsnsuch. I have a couple of seed suppliers that I’ve dealt with for years so normally just discard these that come in over the transom. Something in the format or cover kept it out of the trash and into the quick glance pile. What I found was that they had a decent selection of seeds, packaged them in small packets and priced accordingly, and there was a reasonable shipping cost per order. With most of my regular suppliers shipping charges make it stupid to order just a couple of packets. I also liked that they are headquartered in South Carolina so more likely tuned into Southern plants. I bought a couple of packets that focused on “southern” growing conditions – that’s code for hot and humid.