|Undercover Lettuce (background) and radishes (foreground).|
Last week it was quite hot -- 96 degrees in the daytime, and my spring lettuce is just about perfect. This is, of course another lesson in Murphy's Law, because when it is that hot it becomes very common for lettuce to turn bitter, and even bolt prematurely.
Luckily last year I bought some white shade cloth, so this gave me the chance to try it out. In addition to providing shade, it also reflects quite a bit of light, making the lettuce cooler and not as stressed. I also made sure I watered plentifully, in order to keep the roots (and therefore the leaves) as hydrated as possible.
This week we are back to seasonal temperatures (the 70s) and so my lettuce and I survived the first heat wave of the season. I take my lettuce crop very seriously, as it gets too hot to grow it here in summer. For us, therefore, it's a fall, winter, and spring treat, and I'm always aware when "lettuce season" (which is in reality three seasons) is coming to an end. I miss those salads in the summer, but there will be other pleasures once the hot weather really takes hold, like cucumbers, squash and of course tomatoes.