Realization Of The Day:
This is one of those rare occasions when my garden gives me lettuce and tomatoes at the same time.
A cold snap (and probably a killing frost) are expected Thursday night, so I am savoring every luscious bite. The tomato plants (which have already halfway succumbed to the season) will be history, but lettuce will survive temperatures below freezing if covered with an old sheet, so I expect to be picking from this plot for several more weeks. If it is still producing once it starts getting really cold, I'll cover the homemade, inexpensive mini-greenhouse frame with thick clear plastic that is sealed up at night with simple clamps, then opened up during the day so the plants don't fry. (If the sun is out, any kind of greenhouse, no matter what size, will become extremely hot inside very quickly. Venting is always necessary. One day of forgetting, and you will most likely murder your plants. Click here and scroll down to the comments section to read more about my mini-greenhouse beds.)
This is a mixed bed of heirloom lettuces that I (very heavily) direct seeded back on August 31st. (Click here to read more). For some reason quite a few of the seeds didn't sprout (the photo doesn't show the big patch of baby weeds happily filling in the other end of the raised bed), but the ones that did came in thickly. I always wait until lettuce seedlings get about this size before I start to thin them. That way they become people food rather than chicken food.
Click here to learn how you can go from seed to salad bowl in less than a month (even if you don't have a garden).