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Do seed packets lie?

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Do seed packets lie?

Post  dansamy on 5/17/2010, 3:38 am

Yes. I'm serious. I have some lettuce seed packets that claim I can plant them now, even though it's pretty dang hot here. I just want to know if I am wasting my time by planting them now? (The other thread about planting late lettuce got me wondering!) One packet says Sept-May. 2 other packets say Jan-Sept.

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Re: Do seed packets lie?

Post  plb on 5/17/2010, 4:16 am

I suspect any lettuce would bolt at this time in your area... Does the packet specify that it would be OK in your area, or does it just give generic dates? Clearly what works in Canada doesn't necessarily work in Alabama...
You might be able to get away with planting it if you have a shady place, give the lettuce tons of water, and harvest them as cut and come again rather than trying to get them to full head stage...

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Re: Do seed packets lie?

Post  dansamy on 5/17/2010, 4:44 am

There's a little map on the back with colored bands. Lower AL, MS, GA, LA and all of FL are in the bottom band. The range for the bottom band gives the above referenced dates.

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Re: Do seed packets lie?

Post  plb on 5/17/2010, 8:30 am

It might be a bolt tolerant variety, but still, if it's hot they will bolt, especially if it's a sunny spot... I'd take the precautions I listed earlier and see what happens.

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Re: Do seed packets lie?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/17/2010, 8:43 am

I have three packets of different mixed (gourmet) lettuce and they say I can plant now -- one even says as late as June. But I know from experience I can't if I want them them to grow to harvest size. However, all you will "waste" is a bit of time and a square or two from your garden, so plant them and see what happens. If they don't do well you can always put a summer veggie in their place. And who knows, you might have a heat loving variety or the weather might stay unseasonably cool (our nights are, but the days are hot).

My spring planted lettuce and spinach all bolted last week after two days in the high 90's. The fall planted lettuce which was in the shade bolted the week before.

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Lettuce in summer

Post  ander217 on 5/17/2010, 10:28 am

I just noticed my spinach starting to bolt, too, here in southern MO. My Black-seeded Simpson lettuce is starting to bolt, but the Red Sails is still going strong as are some members of the Mesclun party.

My problem here with growing later lettuce is that it becomes way too bitter to eat once the weather heats up. I can tolerate a little bitterness, but ours quickly becomes inedible even using all the tricks.

For summer, my salads change mainly to the Mediterranean types - Greek salads with diced tomatoes, peppers, onions, olives, and cheese in vinaigrette, or tomato caprese with overlapping slices of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of vinegar, or eggplant caponata, etc.

My summer greens consist solely of swiss chard. I've heard of a summer spinach substitute called Malabar spinach, (not a true spinach) but I've never grown it.

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Re: Do seed packets lie?

Post  SirTravers on 5/17/2010, 12:47 pm

@ander217 wrote:

For summer, my salads change mainly to the Mediterranean types - Greek salads with diced tomatoes, peppers, onions, olives, and cheese in vinaigrette, or tomato caprese with overlapping slices of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of vinegar, or eggplant caponata, etc.

Wow now I'm hungry hahaha.
I'm not sure that seed packets lie per se, but they are going on general guidelines. I think that's why I've always saved my seed packets and then added my own notes after a growing season. I'm having to redo all my information now that I'm in New Mexico as I have all my notes from the Memphis TN area.

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Re: Do seed packets lie?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/17/2010, 4:54 pm

@ander217 wrote:
My summer greens consist solely of swiss chard. I've heard of a summer spinach substitute called Malabar spinach, (not a true spinach) but I've never grown it.

New Zealand spinach is also a good hot weather spinach substitute. Several years ago I found a variety of chard called spinach chard. It stayed small and was a wonderful hot weather spinach. Unfortunately I can no longer find it.

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