Lettuce be: A new view on growing your own

Glasses and vegetables

As I see it now, growing herbs and vegetables is easy and, yup, fun. Clockwise from bottom: lettuce, parsley and marjoram, beans climbing a tepee trellis, basil and a tomato hanging from an upside-down, hanging planter.

I have to admit that growing my own groceries hasn’t been high up on my WhooHOO-gotta-do-it!!!! list. Except for a brief love affair with basil and tomato plants back in the day, picking herbs and vegetables for me seemed a whole lot easier at a farmer’s market than in your own backyard. [And, yes, I know tomato is a fruit, not a veg, but you’ll have to cut me some slack because I’m working the whole poetic license thing.]

But this year I decided to go for it. Was it from reading one too many 100-mile diet blogs? Or the decidedly bland tasting produce that kept sabotaging our salads? Nope. It was plain and simple curiosity. I wanted to see if it really was as hard as I thought it was. And now, half way through the growing season, I can confidently say it wasn’t hard at all.

The secret, my friends, is to ignore all those instructions about making fancy rows and carefully planting your seeds or seedlings at carefully measured intervals. I opened up my first ever package of lettuce seeds about six weeks ago and was shocked to discover that lettuce seeds are teeny tiny. I wouldn’t have been able to pick up one seed with tweezers dipped in Krazy Glue. So I just emptied the entire contents into my hand and proceeded to sprinkle them all over my big container of store-bought organic vegetable gardening soil like finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano over a nice plate of Spaghetti alla puttanesca. Then I swept the dirt over the seeds lightly the way you clear crumbs off a table. I’ve been harvesting tender leaves of green ever since.

The climbing beans got the same treatment. One package of beans, spilled onto a big pot of dirt. Then poked into the ground where they landed. Hey, I figure if planting it where it lands is good enough for Mother Nature, it’s good enough for me. Yes, I’ll probably not maximize my yield as they say in the parlance of agricultural enthusiasts who actually do know what they’re doing. And I don’t care. In Southern Ontario, where summers are precious and short, I figure I’ll get just the right amount of good eating before the first frost hits after which I’ve got the makings for some kickass compost.

The moral of this story: Plants are pretty resilient. They don’t read the seed package instructions either. In the spirit of The Fab Four…. there is still a chance that you can see. There will be an answer, lettuce be.



2 thoughts on “Lettuce be: A new view on growing your own

  1. Pingback: The needs of seeds | Rhymes with Linnaeus

  2. Pingback: Magic beans | Rhymes with Linnaeus

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