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Lettuce False Starts - Any advice?

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Lettuce False Starts - Any advice?

Post  marc-in-pa on Tue 1 May 2012 - 13:36

For my third year with SFG, I decided to take a shot at pushing the season a bit. I planted some cold weather veggies from seed about 8 weeks before the regular planting schedule for my Zone and used a floating row cover to protect them. I was attentive and gave them plenty of TLC (Tender Loving Care).

The spinach came up well and one variety of lettuce, baby romaine, also broke ground. Growth has been a little slower than I expected but I would say this was successful for what popped out of the ground.

However, I also planted black seeded simpson, paris island romaine, and salad bowl lettuce. Not one of these varieties broke ground. I replanted after 3 weeks of not seeing anything develop. I waited 3 1/2 weeks and again nothing broke ground.

There were a few nights where we had sub-freezing temperatures, but they were under cover. Is it possible that these varieties of lettuce (or brands) are just not as cold tolerant? Weird that the one variety came up fine. For reference, these are all packets bought at the same time from the same vendor with the same brand.

Any thoughts on what might be going on?
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marc-in-pa

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Re: Lettuce False Starts - Any advice?

Post  walshevak on Tue 1 May 2012 - 14:04

How deep did you plant. Lettuce needs light to germinate and should just be sprinkled on roughed up soil and kept moist. My lettuce sprouted during light frost times, but I haven't had a hard freeze to contend with. I think lettuce germinates better in cool temps. In fact I was more worried about the high temps we had in late Feb and March. Planted bibb, black seeded simpson and ruby red.

This is black seeded simpson planted Jan 28. no covers provided. wish I could remember how long it took to germinate

3/10



4/30



and a gourmet mix planted 3/17 in the orange salad sack. lettuce on left, radishes on right



Kay

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walshevak

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Re: Lettuce False Starts - Any advice?

Post  marc-in-pa on Tue 1 May 2012 - 19:39

Looks like you enjoy lettuce as much as we do Kay. Your veggies are coming along nicely!

For my predicament, I don't think it was the way the lettuce was planted. I've had good results with putting extra vermiculite around lettuce seeds when planting to help with germination... something a SFGer from this forum recommended. I guess giving these seeds extra air with the multiple frosts might have done them in. Just weird that the baby romaine did fine from the same company.

I've replanted using a different brand. We should not see any more sub-freezing temps in Pittsburgh also. Hoping three is the lucky number with this third planting.

Good thing seeds are cheap!
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