- Go! Northfield-Dundas
- Submit Content
My Northern Garden - Mary Schier
Sharing experiences and ideas about cold-climate gardening
Updated: 33 min 35 sec ago
Earlier this week, I had my first vegetable harvest—some lovely leaves from my three lettuce-bowl gardens, dressed with a ranch-style dressing spiced up with snips of chives and parsley from the yard.
I love the taste of home-grown leaf lettuce, which seems softer and more earthy than the big, crunchy heads you get at the grocery store. These salad bowls were really easy to put together. I started several types of lettuce under lights indoors in early April. Later in the month, I planted them in large containers filled with a homemade potting mix.
Due to our erratic spring, I had to move them in and out of the house during really cold weather, but for a couple of weeks now, the bowls have been on the front patio, soaking up the sun and the rain and getting big and delicious. One of the bowls contains ‘Pablo’ lettuce, and heirloom head lettuce from Seed Savers Exchange. The other bowls have a leaf lettuce mix from Renee’s Garden. I’ll harvest these using the “cut-and-come-again” method, taking leaves from the outside and letting them continue to grow.
Do you grow lettuce in your garden?
- Deck Vegetable Garden is Looking Good! Like a lot of gardeners in the North (and South...
- Summer Salad My vegetable garden is like a jungle these days, but...
- Weed of the Week: Prickly Lettuce (and Sow Thistle) This weed has been driving me nuts all spring. It’s...
Imagine if the hunter or fisherperson in your household was told that the opening weekend had been moved back two, maybe three weeks? Anxiety? Disappointment? Lots of pent-up energy? Yes, to all that, as we gardeners well know having endured one of the most protracted ends to winter that I can recall. But, this weekend is it! The weather promises to be pleasant and warm. So, here’s what I plan to do:
- Clean up the gardens you can reach easily. You don’t want to be tramping around the yard too much (something I’ve been guilty of already this year). And you absolutely do not want to rake — let the soil firm up and dry out. But, if you can reach a bed from the sidewalk or other terra firma, clean up spent perennials and uncover any of those plants that want to grow.
- Buy some pansies! If you think you have been anxious to get out in the garden, imagine how nursery and garden center owners feel. Many garden centers will be open for the first time this weekend. Visit them, enjoy the beautiful plants they have in their greenhouses and buy some pansies to pot up for instant spring.
- Plant a little lettuce. I’ve started some lettuce indoors and those plants have been moved to pots and put on the front porch. But it should be warm enough now to plant out lettuce or even start some from seed. Hold off on tomatoes or any warm weather crops.
- Prune Annabelle hydrangeas and other plants that bloom on new growth. Hold off on pruning lilacs and other spring-flowering shrubs until after they bloom.
- Build a raised bed. Easiest garden project ever. I’ve built several and have a new one in the garage ready to go out to the vegetable area in the next week or so. (If you want to get really fancy, check out my brother-in-law’s deck garden.) You can fill your bed with compost and soil to create a fabulous environment for vegetables. If you are not sure what to grow, check out Chiot’s Run’s 5-by-5 Challenge, which gives you suggestions and planting tips to grow a simple 5-by-5 foot vegetable garden.
What will you be doing this beautiful weekend?