Introduction My Wide Row Gardening System
What do I mean by a wide row?
Wide rows provide a continual harvest
Save hours of weeding and watering
My three big-harvest garden plans
The Salad Garden (6'x8')
The Summer Garden (30'x40')
The Eat 'N Store Garden (60'x80')
Planting a wide row
Thinning, weeding, and harvesting
Double and triple rows
Getting the Soil Ready
An early start cuts weeding
Soils, pH and fertilizers
Raised bed technique
Garden in a strip of lawn
Count backwards for starting dates
Soil, pots and light
Cold frames and hotbeds
Meet my friend the radish
Stop Weeds Cold
Stop annual weeds early
Introducing the In-Row Weeder
My favorite hoes
How to fight perennials and win
The buckwheat story
My favorite mulch
Watering, only two rules
Side-dressing guarantees top nutrition
Quick recipe for home compost
Harvesting for best yields
Succession crops keep garden green
My fall garden
Peas feed soil
Beans are soil's summer nourishment
Buckwheat easy to turn under
Annual ryegrass blankets garden
Planting a green manure crop
Eternal yield gardens
The Root Cellar
System to maintain cool temperatures
Root cellar know-how
A Vegetable Treasury
The Bean Family
The Cabbage Family
The Greens Family
The Onion Family
The Root Crop Family
The Vine Crop Family
Insects and diseases
Handy Garden Charts
Excerpt from page 243
Iceberg types - for solid heads, start early
Too many people think head lettuce or Iceberg lettuce has to be bought at the market.
I grow wonderful crops of head lettuce and yet every year some new visitor looks at my bright green rows and says, Â?Hmmmm. I didn't know you could grow that here.Â? Well, you can and it's easy.
All you need is some cool weather in spring or fall. Get started early; head lettuce needs as much time as possible developing in cool weather, so the earlier you can set out some plants, the better. They will have the best chance to head up before the scorching days of summer.
Great Lakes, Iceberg, and Ithaca varieties have all done well in my garden. I start them indoors in shallow flats or pyramid planters about 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected frost date.
The most important step in early planting is to harden off the plants very well before setting them into the garden. After they are about 4 weeks old, I start giving them some time outdoors. That way they can handle unexpected cold snaps and even a light frost.
I may sound like a broken record by now, but head lettuce belongs in wide rows. When I set transplants outs, I first prepare a wide row seedbed 20 inches wide. Then I set the plants 10 inches apart in a 3-2 pattern down the row, two at the edges and one in the middle in the first row. And two in the next row, each 5 inches in from the edges.
Lettuce roots recover quickly from transplant shock. To help them out a bit, I trim some of their outside leaves. Leave the center alone, of course. Don't be afraid to set out even the smallest of transplants. If they have some decent roots, they'll make it.
With so many plants in the wide row, you can afford to start harvesting as soon as the leaves are big enough to eat or the first heads are the size of softballs. You'll get plenty of bigger heads later. After all, who needs a whole row of head lettuce at once? Start picking early!
Keep your head lettuce plants supplied with water as they head up.