Sunday, January 10, 2010

Accidental salad greens

We added a little homegrown red sails lettuce and mesclun mix -- pictured above -- to our Romaine for a salad to accompany our traditional Sunday night pizza tonight. In a Nov. 3, 2009, post, “Lettuce be happy” I blogged about the fate of red sails lettuce seeds that I dropped on a kitchen rug and planted by shaking the rug over a section of our veggie garden. I had also scattered a few seeds from a mesclun mix packet into another section of our garden plot.

I had great hopes for both the mesclun mix and the little red sails plants that emerged all crowded together. But taking priority over even minimal gardening were the retirement blessings of travel, babysitting grandchildren, holidays, visits with family elders, and joining them in doctors’ appointments. Plus, I had not done my homework about the changing patterns of sun and shadow caused in our yard by the Earth’s journey around the sun. My salad greens are severely deprived of needed sunshine.

We did harvest enough of our accidental baby greens in the past three days, however, for salads for two at two meals and a colorful addition to our salad tonight. Last year, my red sails success was transplants in pots. This year, both transplants and direct seeds to pots have just disappeared. Neglect or something more dire? Guess I will just have to keep experimenting. I am hoping that the red sails will survive the temperatures in the teens we are having in coastal Mississippi.

The satisfaction this retirement gardening experience gives me is all out of proportion to the meager success my efforts have produced. I haven’t quite figured out why that is so. I am sure more experienced gardeners could clue me in. In the meantime I am itching to prep our tiny garden for spring planting, plant some more red sails and attack the alligator weed that is advancing across our backyard, closer and closer to the garden. Arghhhhh! The alligator weed is a post for another day.

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