Summer seeding

Written by Doug Oster on .


It's easy to sit and watch the tomatoes grow a foot a day, but you can't just eat tomatoes when they come in, can you? Well, maybe, but wouldn't it be great to have fresh tender lettuce going full steam along with baskets of tomatoes.

I plant at least six crops of lettuce during the season, the variety above is 'Simpson Elite.' It's a great summer lettuce that's slow to bolt or go to seed. It's a relative of the 'Black Seeded Simpson,' a standard spring and fall lettuce that I also grow.

I've also planted some other cool weather crops knowing they will germinate quickly in the summer heat and be ready when fall is just around the corner. I've got arugula, spinach, Swiss chard and beets up and growing well.

All of the crops come up too close together and the thinnings are put right into salads for the freshest and most tender treats. I made a salad of 'Amish Deer Tongue' lettuce, arugula thinnings, tomatoes and Buffalo mozzarella. The dressing was good extra virgin olive oil with just picked garden garlic (Northern Italian). Sometimes the simplest and freshest ingredients can produce dish that will outshine a complicated recipe from a cookbook.

When space opens up in the vegetable garden, throw in some compost and plant something else. It will make the fall garden all that more wonderful.




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