If you have a hydroponics system or some grow lights and pots for indoors, you can grow loose leaf lettuce this winter. Of course, you can grow it directly in the ground in the spring and summer. Loose leaf lettuce is a cut and come again type lettuce. Cut (do not rip) leaves off to eat and more will grow. Do not pull the plant up.
Good Monday morning! It is currently 49° at 7am. We were fortunate because the weather called for it to get down to 39° this morning but it did not. David made me grits. Norma (my sister if you have not kept up from last week for a visit) had toast with some of our delicious pecan chocolate butter, which is available for sale in our Farm Store. We have to leave the farm at 8:30am because we have doctor appointments in San Antonio this morning.
We went into San Antonio this morning to visit the podiatrist. After a good visit, we drove around a bit, showing my sister our old neighborhood and our house. The new owners are letting all of our beautiful trees just die. They are all turning brown and parts of each of them are dying after just over four years. They look terrible.
Then we went to Hobby Lobby and had some fun there. We stopped by Kentucky Fried Chicken on the way home and picked up lunch. After eating at the farm, we went to Devine to choose new paint colors for the store. It should be painted tomorrow by Nacho and his crew.
I spent the afternoon closing orders. Matt and Angelica pulled them while we were gone. I did not finish closing them. Around 6pm, I came in and made dinner. Norma actually worked most of the afternoon as well.
Matt grilled some sausage and hamburgers. We heated up the KFC sides and I made two German pancakes. They were delicious.
Then we watched Kitchen Nightmares followed by the movie, The Blind so my sister could see it.
We have a grow tower in our Farm Store for customers to look at and be inspired. This time, I planted loose leaf lettuce, specifically the Encore Mix of loose leaf lettuces to grow. I planted it on Monday, October 23, 2023. Once I had planted all 27 spaces on the grow tower, I turned on the watering system which is set on a timer to send water up once every hour. Also, I turned on the grow lights which stay on for 12 hours each day. David has them on a timer, too.
By Wednesday, October 25, I had tiny lettuce leaves growing! It is so exciting how quickly the seeds germinate in a grow tower.
By Friday, October 27, a lot of them have come up and they are already much taller.
It takes just 30 days before the leaves are ready to start cutting. Do not pull the plant up. Clip the leaves off and more will grow.
Encore Mix Lettuce is a lettuce mix with stunning colors, shapes and
textures. Varieties include Dark Red Lollo Rossa, Firecracker, Red
Saladbowl, Tango, Parris Island, Deer Tongue and Rouge D'Hiver. Suitable
for outdoor production or in low-light conditions present in
hoop-houses and greenhouses.
Good morning. I am up and ready to start a new day. I froze all night long. It is 49° and should get up to 62°. I need to finish closing those orders.
If you missed it, our Black Friday sale ended this morning at 6am. Our Christmas sale is now in effect, 15% off when you spend $25 or more so you can still save money but the Black Friday sale was the big one. A lot of folks took advantage of it.
I have nine dozen eggs in the refrigerator this morning at $4 each. Come on out and get them for your holiday baking!
I finally closed all of the orders. What a day. Nacho and his team were here painting the store. They got the front done. It looks good. The Farm Store is now green so when you drive into the parking lot, go to the green building.
Brendon picked a bunch of peppers today. For most of the day, he was out back pruning our trees. I hope he did it right because he does not know how to do a lot of gardening type stuff. As I said earlier, I finally got all of the orders from the Black Friday sale filled and out.
The owner of the used car lot in San Antonio came by our farm this afternoon to bring a check for the amount of the battery that we had to buy on Saturday. It turns out that they put a used battery in my car that I bought from them. Today, the owner said that they pulled my "new" battery from a wrecked car, thinking it would be fine because it was not old. It did not last for two months. We appreciate him coming out here but they really should have put a brand new battery in the car after they told me they would.
It is not good to cut corners on things that matter. It certainly would have saved a whole lot of inconvenience and aggravation on our part had they done what they said in the first place. David does not need to be getting upset over stupid things like this. The salesman that he spoke with on Saturday really escalated things by saying we must have left the car lights on. I do not drive at night because I do not see well then. I have never had the lights on. I am not even sure how to turn them on. David is too big to fit comfortably in it. He has a big truck.
We definitely do not want to deal with that salesman again.
It turns out that Nacho recognized the owner and has purchased two vehicles from him. They spoke here for a few minutes. Our pastor in San Antonio also purchased a large van from him. We do know a lot of people in San Antonio. We lived there for over 20 years and we are business owners as well as teachers of Financial Peace University.
The whole day was so cold. Even with the heat on in the house, I froze and the low was in the 40s.
We took a bit of a break from the no carb diet. Matt picked up pizza and wings for us last night from a drive through beverage place. He did not stay for dinner. The pizza was delicious. The wings were incredible. Tomorrow will be back to the no carb diet.
We watched some Kojak. I hate that show. I fell asleep on the couch.
Of course, you can also grow loose leaf lettuce in the ground or in a raised bed, a pot, or a planter like a Greenstalk using garden soil as your growing medium in the spring or in early fall. Spring is best if you are growing it outside in the dirt. We have several Greenstalk planters around the farm that we bought when Greenstalk was having a sale and we really like them. You can grow a lot in a little space.
The good thing about any loose leaf lettuce is that it grows quickly. You can start enjoying a salad of baby loose leaves of lettuce in about 30 days! Just add ranch and you are good to go!
Now we have a 15% off Christmas sale when you spend $25 or more. Don't forget our gift certificates. They make wonderful gifts.
Good Wednesday morning. I did not gain weight from the carbs last night. The puppies are outside. I took Ethel out and came back in but the puppies are still there.
I need to start some Christmas decorating. I still have my Thanksgiving wreath up. This is not good because we will be out of town for a week very soon.
The front of the store is all painted green and it looks good. The only thing there not done are the two window peaks. We painted the Farm Store so it would stand out since there are four buildings in the parking lot. Now when you drive in, there are three sandy neutral buildings and a bright green building with a sign that says "Farm Store" so you will know where to park and where to go in. The sign has been there, but no one sees it. I find that so interesting...
I have ten dozen farm fresh eggs in the Farm Store refrigerator since no one bought any yesterday. It is currently 52° Fahrenheit and it should get up to 60° today.
It was a busy day with a lot of orders but no customers. However, it stayed cold all day long...Somewhere around 9pm it started raining. It rained all night long.
Using a hydroponics system is very easy but so is planting seeds in some dirt. So let's talk about how to grow loose leaf lettuce in a pot in the fall and winter if you have a greenhouse or if you live in a warm climate.
Fill some pots with good garden soil. You can purchase this from a local garden center by the bag or by the yard like we do if you need a lot. Be sure you are making your own compost to feed the soil.
Plant your seeds about 1/8 of an inch deep. That is not deep at all because lettuce seeds are so tiny. Then water well. The soil temperature should be somewhere between 55° and 75°. Anything warmer is too hot for lettuce seeds to germinate. Seeds will not begin to germinate unless they get wet inside of the soil. Here are some germination tips written by David.
It is important that the pots are close to the grow light or that they are getting six to eight hours of light.
In seven to ten days or even less with some varieties of seeds, tiny green plants will start emerging from the soil. Mark it on the calendar and in about 30 days, if you water well and make sure the plants are getting six to eight hours of light each day, you will have a salad. Always cut the lettuce so the plant will grow more.
I took Ethel out at 6am and it was still raining. She did her business and then she barfed outside. When she was done, she came up the steps and I let her back in, thinking she was done. She was not...I cleaned up the mess. She would not eat. She finally was okay in the house.
Norma and I went to have our hair done over in Devine. My sister got a nice trim which she needed. I got a color and cut and I must say that I look fabulous again! Because it was raining, I did not want to drive. Matt was gracious enough to drive us. After we were through, we walked across the road to Tractor Supply. Norma has never before been to one. She loved it. We casually purchased several items including matching shirts. Then Matt picked us up, we got lunch at Billy Bob's to bring back to the farm and we ate. Now we are filling orders.
While I was gone, we had two customers. Thank you to the customers. I am
sorry I missed you. I know that Angelica took good care of you both.
The rain has stopped but it keeps on sprinkling. We need to finish doing laundry that we started this morning. It will soon be time to pack for our trip.
This afternoon, I had a message on Instagram. Turns out, it was Jay with Texas Gardener Magazine talking about us and the tomato conference he is holding in January 2024! My Instagram followers keep growing.
This evening, I put out a few Christmas decorations. I also took down the fall wreath and put up a pretty, red Christmas wreath. I have not even brought the tree out. I wanted the house cleaned first and my housekeeper has sick kids so she did not make it this week.
We watched Titanic after Hell's Kitchen. It was almost 11pm and it was still going strong so we turned it off. Tomorrow is a work day.
When you grow loose leaf lettuce in the fall, you may want to place it in pots. That way, if it gets cold, you can put it in a garden or in a shed when it gets cold so you don't lose it.
You can, as I mentioned above, also plant it in the ground if you start early enough. To get baby leaves, it takes 30 days so remember that you will need at least 30 days with no frost to get some salad. Plant some each week while it is not freezing so you can have fresh salad weekly.
You will want to plant seeds six inches apart. If you are doing rows of lettuce, leave 12 inches between rows. High heat will make lettuce leaves wilt and it will cause plants to bolt. Bolting means a stem will grow up tall from the plant and eventually, it will produce seeds.
Well, it is, once again, Friday. It is cloudy and comfortable, no rain. Two of our people have already left for the day and my sister has also finished for today. It is not even 2pm. She has been helping with pulling orders and has done a nice job.
I made some delicious chicken soup for lunch today and it was good. I did the dishes, the laundry, and a few other things and now I am back at work.
It looks like we are going to the Tomato Conference in January of 2024 in Independence, Texas. I am told we will have a booth to sell our tomato seeds in. I am excited about it. We have not done a show in a while and there is room for just 200 people at this one.
We had Constantino's for dinner and then we finished watching Titanic. Then we looked at Titanic II and it was sort of stupid in my opinion. I laughed a lot.
You can grow loose leaf lettuce in the spring, as long as it stays cool. Plant enough for a week's worth every week until the heat moves in. Once the temperature hits 76° Fahrenheit, you can no longer grow loose leaf lettuce until it cools down in the fall. As mentioned above, loose leaf lettuce will not germinate at that high of a temperature.
Good morning! The Farm Store will be open today from 10am to 2pm. I have 13 dozen eggs in the fridge. If you need some, come on by. Also, if you need to pick up an order from about two weeks ago, it is in the Farm Store, waiting to go home with you. Our Christmas sale is on now so when you spend $25, you can save 15%.
The Farm Store will be open next week for regular hours, Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday from 10am to 2pm. You can do your garden Christmas shopping for all of the gardeners in your life. We have fabulous pecan flavored whole bean coffees that make wonderful holiday gifts. We also have gift certificates. Come on by and we will hook you up.
My sister and I left early for Walmart to pick up a few things after I fed all of the animals.
Well, I got the orders out today but the mailman did not stop to pick them up. Hopefully, they will go out on Monday. We would have taken them to the post office, but our post office closes at 10am on Saturdays and the mailman went by after 11am so it must have been a substitute. The real one always comes inside the gate.
We had zero customers come out today. I should have shopped longer but came back early for customers. Oh well.
This afternoon, I found all of the Christmas decorations I was looking for but never found time to bring the tree inside and set it up. Maybe in another week...
Just as the name implies, when you grow loose leaf lettuce, you are not growing a head of lettuce. You are growing leaves of lettuce. Once a leaf matures, you should cut it off of the lettuce plant and more will grow back. This kind of lettuce grows up a single stalk. You can begin cutting leaves in 21 to 30 days if you want tender, baby leaves. Full grown leaves take 45 to 60 days. Make sure you cut the leaves. Do not pull them off or they may not grow back.
Today was a different kind of Sunday. Tonight, God's Scrap Iron performed a concert for Christmas at our church. God's Scrap Iron is from Leakey and our friend, Ruth Anne, is the pianist. Man, can she play! She is incredible.
Loose leaf lettuces are the least likely of all lettuce types to bolt and it grows in much smaller spaces than head lettuces do. The single stalks can grow closer together than six inches apart but you don't want to crowd them either. You will enjoy growing loose leaf lettuce and harvesting it so quickly. The fresh taste of homegrown loose leaf lettuce will grow on you and you won't want grocery store lettuce anymore.
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