We’ve mentioned before that successive sowings of crops is a great way to spread out the length of time you are able to enjoy a particular vegetable. It also hopefully prevents you having massive gluts of each vegetable where you find that you’ve got enough to be eating it three times a day, and then a week later, having none left!
Well last week, we had our first harvest of the season – Little Gem lettuces!
These are the ones that we sowed back at the start of April, planted out on 19 April and grew in a container in the polytunnel for a start to give them a bit of a head start.
Interestingly, the sowing that we planted out on 2 May are also almost ready. They are certainly starting to heart up! So as and when we need a lettuce this week, we’ll make a start on these.
We think it’s actually got a bit warm in the polytunnel for these over the past week or so, so we probably should’ve moved them outside. Never mind, we’ll have to try and remember for next time!
Therefore, although successive sowings are a great idea, you can’t always guarantee that the harvest intervals will remain the same as the sowing intervals – crops at the beginning of the season, when it’s still colder and the days are not so long, will inevitably take longer to grow than the sowings sown later on. Hence why these lettuces were sown 2 weeks apart, but are ready to harvest within a week of one another! However, if you just sow a few each sowing, hopefully they’ll be enough to see you through until the next lot are ready.
Equally, although we put these two sowings of lettuces in the polytunnel to help them along a bit. If you don’t have that option, it’s worth planting some in the soil anyway, protected by a cloche or similar where possible, and they should grow fine anyhow. They may get off to a slower start if it’s a cold season, but they should speed up once the weather gets warmer. And as soon as we get a particularly warm spell, they may even overtake those grown indoors, as it will get too hot for them.
The beetroot that we planted out at the same time as the first lot of lettuces are still growing away. Although we did spot this one that’s about the size of a golf ball – so fingers crossed it won’t be long before we can have a homegrown beetroot with our salad too!