Friday, June 19, 2009

June 19, 2009

Happy Friday! I hope you've got some great gardening and Father's Day celebrations planned this weekend. I need to mow the lawn, put up the trellis and maybe clean up and add some dirt to the potato bins to make sure I get as many potatoes as possible from my semi-failed bins.  Of course I think my dad expects some work on the house this weekend (Saturday of course), so when this all will get done I have no idea.

For this post, I've got one last thing that I accomplished this week to share.

My lettuce is starting to wilt in the heat and is growing out of control. I know KitsapFG says it's better when young, but I don't mind a meatier leaf myself, so I am still harvesting salads.  However, from last year's experience, the spring crop will eventually bolt or wilt, so a second planting is needed even for us who eat salads only once or twice a week.

This year, I decided to take a page from my brother and friends who utilized window boxes to grow lettuce.  My buddy Jen has hers on her deck railing and my brother has his on a shelf built a the top of his fence.  Either way, I love the idea for lettuce in summer.  You can control the amount of sun it gets by moving the container to the shade if it's a really hot day.

For my lettuce, I bought two self-watering window boxes from Wally World.  Then I filled them 2/3rds the way up with used Mel's mix (I'm running low so it's a good thing I am not filling my potato bins to the top).

Then I sprinkled a liberal amount of bloodmeal and 5-10-10 vegetable fertilizer.  Then I took them to my compost bin and filled them up the rest of the way with my finished compost.  Unfortunately it's not as finished as I thought it was.

The biggest problem is the dried grass that is seen in on the top of the lower bin.  It's also covering the replant of carrots, which would be good if they were fresh, but I doubt there's much nitrogen left in the dried grass that's a year old.  Regardless, it should be good for the lettuce.

To plant I removed the top 1/4 inch of compost and wet the soil.  Then I took EG's mixed loos leaf greens and sprinkled it down the middle and covered it back up with 1/4 inch of compost.  The other bin got strategic placement of my own seed for salad bowl, Italiensheir and Red Sails.  For now I placed them between two scrap 2x2s from last year's potato bins, spanning the 3rd and 4th beds.

I love that I can bottom water from any one of the four corners, and these only cost $8 each.  Next year I plan on using these for 4 to 6 mint plants like Jen has that we loved crushed in our water and tea.  I can't wait!

Enjoy your garden!


  1. I think that's an excellent idea, sinfonian. I'll have to wait until mid september before I can grow anymore. If the wife doesn't put flowers in the deck rail planters, i'll utilize them for mine.

  2. Same here, EG. My lettuce started getting bitter and all my spinach bolted. Not cute. Great post!

  3. I love containers for lettuces and herbs. I have two of them with lettuces growing on the deck and (as you pointed out!) they are easily moved to more ideal conditions as the season unfolds. In the fall, I just pick them all up and move them to the greenhouse when it get's too cold! I like those containers. I may have to make a trip to Wally World just to check them out.

  4. That sounds like a well-thought out plan.

    I hear you on the compost. I just scooped some out to do my potatoes, and let's just say it's going to finish in the ground, not the bin! I hope they don't mind.