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We had a fresh salad for dinner last night. It was delicious. What made it even better is that we produced the lettuce in our garden.  Last fall was so pleasant that I thought I would just plant some seeds in my plastic covered grow box and then see what happens.  I planted Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce. 

Well, they came right up and within a week were about 1 inch tall.  Then it started getting cold, but the temperatures this year were well above average.  This season's winter low was only 10 degrees F, with only 1 major snowfall. 

Each time it was cold, I would raise the plastic of the grow box, preparing myself for disappointment.  The cold didn't even touch it.  I was quite pleased.

So, from the end of November to the end of February, about 3 months, my little lettuce plants grew... Slowly.

Yet, despite the length of time it took to grow, it still tasted like healthy sweet lettuce. 

This coming winter, I'll plant more seeds and a little earlier.  Once they get well established, I'm hoping that they will generate new leaves faster.

Any suggestions on how to get a great winter crop of lettuce?

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Comment by Ruell Chappell on February 25, 2012 at 10:53am
Winter gardening is totally doable and a "commercial production" opportunity that i hope many of our local commercial producers will take advantage of soon!!!
Comment by Bill Buron on February 24, 2012 at 2:38pm

Carlton, we have been doing this for several years now.  We have two cold frames  and we start both early with spinach and leaf lettuce.  We ate out of one until it was looking shabby then moved on to the other and replanted the first one.  We have had lettuce all year long and it looks like we are in for a real early spinach and lettuce crop lfor the spring.  We have had such success that our neighbors are now doing it.

Comment by Ruell Chappell on February 24, 2012 at 12:32pm
Get the Book "Four Seasons Gardening" if you have not already. It is all about cover and holding the heat against the ground ( plants ). I have a cold frame that works great during the winter. Jilly and i are readying the green house right now for new seedlings

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