I got an email question from Harold from Madison, Wisconsin. He asks:
"I grew lettuce this spring, and I really enjoyed picking salads right out of my garden whenever I wanted one. Of course, once it got hot, all of my lettuce sent up flower stalks. Is there any way I can still grow lettuce, even when it's hot outside? It frequently gets into the mid-80's here during the summer."
The short answer is yes, you can. You will need to do a few important things to guarantee success.
- Plant heat-resistant varieties. There are several really tasty, heat-tolerant varieties of lettuce. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Black Seeded Simpson
- Grand Rapids
- Red Sails
- Lolla Rossa
- Keep lettuce out of hot afternoon sun. You can either do this by placing shade cloth over the area of the garden in which you are growing lettuce, or select a spot that gets afternoon shade and plant your lettuce there, either in the ground or in a container.
- Don't let your lettuce dry out. Lettuce is comprised of nearly 95% water, and requires steady moisture to grow well. Generally, we recommend watering deeply and infrequently, but lettuce is one of those crops that seems to do well with frequent waterings, especially since they are shallow-rooted plants
For more about growing lettuce, check out my Complete Guide to Growing Organic Lettuce.
Thanks for the great question!
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