Lettuces are nearly full-grown

I planted two kinds of butterhead-style lettuces in mid-spring: Buttercrunch and the chartreuse Mantilia. They’re close to being full-grown, so I’ll begin picking them pretty soon. While you can harvest them by snipping the outer leaves, I think I’ll pick whole heads, so I can see just how large the last head gets before I pick it. Here they are:

Buttercrunch lettuce, almost ready to pick.

Mantilia lettuce, in a window box.

Red and green leaf lettuce

Here are the red and green leaf lettuces. I’ve been snip-harvesting these for awhile. Each night, I walk the garden before bedtime, making sure no snails or slugs have taken up residence. I’ve taken to carrying Kailey, my guinea pig, with me. She usually gets a few lettuce leaves while we’re on patrol. She’s no good at snail hunting, so I put her in charge of morale. ;^)

Let us have lettuce! In fact, four kinds!

Since my lettuces are doing well, and are big enough to look like smaller versions of mature plants, I thought I’d publish some portraits!

I raise all these in shallow “windowboxes” set atop a folding table, to keep them out of reach of the cottontail rabbits that visit. I wish the squirrels were as easy to thwart. That’s why I have four live traps in the garden — to help me relocate the salad-bar-loving squirrels who visit from the canyon behind my yard.

Here’s the leaf lettuce, both a red and a green variety:

Red and green leaf lettuce

I also planted a couple of “butterhead” lettuces. This category forms a loosely-organized head, sort of halfway between a leaf lettuce and a true head lettuce.

First, we have Buttercrunch Lettuce, still pretty young. This variety germinates and grows pretty slowly:

Baby buttercrunch lettuce

My second butterhead variety is called Mantilia. It’s chartreuse, an unusual lettuce color. Pretty! Hope it’s as tasty as it is pretty, but I’ll have to wait a few weeks to find out.

Mantilia butterhead lettuce

Kailey enjoys fresh garden goodies

Kailey, our almost-10-year-old guinea pig, is quite in love with the garden harvests. Here, she enjoys leaf lettuce, and almost tastes the camera!

Leaf lettuce gets a trim and I get a salad!

In preparation for being away for a few days, I trimmed the outer leaves from my one leaf lettuce plant, totally changing its look. Here’s the before and after pictures, and a picture of the harvest. I grabbed the ready tomatoes, too. This stuff is sooo tasty.