This lettuce was started to harvest for Thanksgiving, less than a week away. I went with an organic fertilizer this year, kelp and fish based, 4-3-3. I’m not completely thrilled with the results (not that I’m blaming the fertilizer); the leaves look a little leathery. The red lettuce is “Red Sails” and the green is either “Yugoslavian Yellow or Simpsons Elite” I started some cubes of both and can’t tell them apart. Most of he Red Sails are a little too deeply red, there should be more green and variation, so I’ve been moving the lights further and further away. Does anybody know what I’m doing wrong to get leathery leaves?
None of what I’m growing now requires heat and I leave the basement cool; 60 degrees or less.
I’ll pick them early and crisp them well; with the addition of pears and goat cheese, they should still be fine for Thanksgiving Day salad but I’d also like to improve my results. I’ve seen red lettuce that was blanched by crimping the outside leaves together; maybe I’ll need to learn how to do that.
A friend from a warmer climate (apparently) asked me why I’m not still growing lettuce outside. I’ve been waking daily to frost and a crusty soil. I could use crop covers or season extenders but on my north side of the hill, I don’t get much sun, either. So for comparison’s sake, the first picture below is Mache, (variety Vit) aka corn salad that I planted in September outside. It will sit at this size all winter long but will be my first food crop in April when the sun hits this bed.
The picture below is Mache that I planted on October 19; it’s growing slowly but has definitely pulled ahead of the outdoor planting.