Gardens
Plants
Journals
Forums
Questions
Seed Swaps

Lettuce: spring

This planting has been archived (Harvested).

Sown from my lettuce: spring Seeds.

Quantity: 14

Plant Lettuce Lactuca sativa 6979
Variety Spring Mix 15

Photos


Linked Plantings & Stash Items

Name Garden Gardener Location Planted Archived

Milestones


Comments

TropicanaRoses

TropicanaRoses

Folia Helper

United States7

Question. You and I are about in the same zone, but my SFG book says to plant things like peas, spinach and lettuce 5 weeks out from last spring frost. When is your frost date?

Posted on 26 Mar 09 (over 6 years ago)
cristyn

cristyn

Folia Helper

United States5b

Well, the last frost date is an average; we can only guess at the actual day. My average last frost date is may 7. So I guess I’m actually putting this stuff out pretty close to 5 days ahead of time. But I didn’t base it off of the timing charts. There are several things I looked at.

First, I ignored zone. Zone tells me which perennials are likely to survive my winter and nothing else. There’s a pdf you can download here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/freezefrost/freezefrost.pdf
that gives you more precise weather information than zone and last frost date. It’s a bit of a pain to use, but you can paw through and find the vital stats for either your town itself or some nearby airport or weather station. I translated my town’s vital stats into non-obtuse-graph here: http://myfolia.com/journals/46446-freeze-frost

Second, I looked at the weather forecast and the average highs and lows in my area in the near future (http://weather.com will give you the next month worth of averages) and determined that the average lows are around freezing for a day or two (but the forecasted lows are above freezing), thereafter, the average lows don’t get to freezing ever again. Then, I looked at the record lows, none of which dipped much below what hardy greens can handle. Lettuce, for instance, can handle 20F, so once it’s under a cloche and a row cover, a record low of 17 isn’t that big of a deal.

Ooohh, I just saw my first geese fly over.

Third, I took into account a host of less weathery factors. I was running out of seed starting space. These guys had their true leaves (had any of the brassicas had big enough true leaves to attend to, they would have been put out as well). These guys had been on the glass-enclosed back porch for a few weeks getting used to the elements. They had already survived a fairly serious freeze, so they’re quite hardened; I never would’ve planted seeds that had just been living indoors out right now. And I started too many seeds and have limited space, so if these guys all die, I still have enough lettuce seedling indoors that can take up the actual space my plan allots to lettuce.

The thing I did not rely upon was experience, which I haven’t got, so you should take anything I have to say with a healthy dose of skepticism. My well honed Southern California weather wisdom tell me that it is really 70F, there’s no such thing as frost, I should’ve gotten my tomatoes in the ground in February, and that I shouldn’t see rain until November. I’ve spent a lot of time with my nose in a various books trying to understand this whole freeze concept, but it’s just book larnin’.

Posted on 26 Mar 09 (over 6 years ago)
TropicanaRoses

TropicanaRoses

Folia Helper

United States7

I am from mid FL, but have lived in cold climates since ‘96. So I do understand that a spring blizzard is a very real possibility. The difference here is, if we get one, the ground is likely to be warm enough to melt it off quickly, and the temp could be as high as the lower 40’s during the storm. It is a really great area to be in. Thanks for the advice. I just wonder, since I have no south facing windows that I can use, which deck should I use? The east, or the west? I am thinking the east, but I don’t know. The west side will be cooler for most of the day, and well shaded. The east gets more sun and is warmer.

Posted on 27 Mar 09 (over 6 years ago)
cristyn

cristyn

Folia Helper

United States5b

Use whichever deck is most convenient; if they’re equally convenient, go with east.

Posted on 27 Mar 09 (over 6 years ago)
TropicanaRoses

TropicanaRoses

Folia Helper

United States7

Thanks. That would probably be better anyway since our dog uses the west one to sleep on. He is really big, and it would definately be more of a hassle. You have been a lot of help!!

Posted on 28 Mar 09 (over 6 years ago)

Would you like to add a comment? Sign up for a free account, or log in if you're already a member.