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Hot weather greens? Hmmm...New Zealand Spinach comes to mind (not really a"spinach") but will grow all summer, loves heat, is a good grower and you eat the leaves, either raw or steamed. (I personally never developed a taste for it.)
I also grow Swiss Chard all summer, yummy! Can be picked for its young leaves for eating raw in salads, or harvest the big leaves and cook them in a bit of olive oil, pinch of garlic, then sprinkle on some feta cheese! Whhooooeeeee!
(Tastes so good it'll turn your hair red.)
I experimented a few years ago growing lettuce in the summer under shade cloth. Worked OK, but had a terrible time getting the seed to sprout. Finally sprouted it inside (AC on full blast) then transplanted seedlings out. By then most of the terrible heat was gone, but lettuce grew well. I am going to do it again this year.
i have the chard. i grew it last yr and didn't really like the taste. but dh did so i grow it for him. i got online lastnight and ordered a few different varities of summer greens. plus a few winter seeds lol. the summer ones are worth a try but i doubt they were talking texas drought summer heat. i will most likely set up a shade cloth to help somewhat but even in the shade it does get hot. i just think it is funny sad that when the salad fixins are ready the lettuce isn't.
i will most likely set up a shade cloth to help somewhat but even in the shade it does get hot>>
I'm in the same fix you are farmgirl. I'm in the desert. Years ago we covered the patio with wood lattice type structures. We covered the lattice with sheets of window screen. The idea was to provide a bit of shade on the patio and keep the flies to a minimum. Well it worked but we got a bonus we weren't after. (Isn't that the way it sometimes works).
Too make a long story short, while shelling seeds to save (one of the Chinese greens that I grow overwinter here), several seeds eventually made it into the cracks in the concrete floor and sprouted. Well me being the experimental type I am, left em there. The did fine. But here's the cool part. The Chinese mustard, never bolted to seed. Further the flavor of the harvested leaves never turned bitter. All summer. I was still harvesting leaves from that plant in Oct for stir fry.
One of this summers experiments was to build a raised bed ON the patio, fill it with a decent soil mix and try growing lettuce. It isn't just the bolting that's a problem. In the heat I find the lettuce starts tasting very bitter.
So I hope I have good news to report here, come August :)
I haven't found a lettuce yet that can take our Texas heat and still taste anything but bitter, Farmgirl. :( But I did hear of one person who had grown lettuce in her California garden with shade like Dsrtgdn said, only she grew it in between her rows of corn! Kept them all well watered and fertilized and she said it did great until the end of July and beginning of August. I've been thinking of trying that method out now that we've expanded the garden enough to grow corn.
my corn was very sad this yr. i see all we did wrong so next yr the crop will be better (i hope). i do have a shady spot i am thinking of trying out. i ordered summertime lettuce from pinetree now i know they are a northern company but i am going to give it an old try. maybe i can get some small heads before they want to go to seed. i can't believe everything that wants to seed already. this does not feel like june it feels like july-august. but i think because our drought here is tooooo early.
yes i ordered from them this winter and all my seed did well that's why i thought i would give them another try. i did order a few seed for my winter garden too lol. i can not order any seed without ordering for all the seasons.
try stir frying chard in a little butter and add chopped boiled chicken and garlic, not shabby at all.
Bitter lettuce is quite good added to chicken soup with bread and garlic of onions, old french recipe
If you are really, really lucky; and the goddess of gardens shines on you; and Venus and Mars are aligned in a full lunar eclipse...you can possibly have lettuce and tomatoes at the same time in the fall. This has perhaps happened to me maybe 3 or 4 times in the last 20 years. LOL
I am going to try a method I saw posted somewhere. I am going to use a teepee like frame, let the squash trellison it,and plant the lettuce in the shade generated by the growing squash. Will let you know how that turns out.
Last year I planted lettuce in the shadow of my tomatoe plants in raised bed. It did ok, but the lettuce got bitter and strong long before I got tomatoes to go with it. I ate it anyway,...funny how we will tolerate something like that if we grew it ourselves.
PeggieK...many times you can break the leaf of a lettuce (near the base) and if the sap/fluid looks milky it will be bitter. However, if you pick the lettuce (preferably before the heat of the day) and chill it that bitterness will disappear. (I usually pick summer lettuce, immediately drop it into cool water (we have well water) and then drain it, then fridge it. It does great!
The teepee shading will certainly help until air temps get so high that "shading from the sun" no longer is a factor. (At that point the only thing to do to keep the lettuce crops cool is a misting system but unless you have hundreds of plants that wouldn't be a cost-wise investment.)
For "summer lettuce" ya'll might want to try a variety called "Jericho" which has been bred to handle the heat. I believe it was bred for Israeli conditions.
I grow soil-sprout greens on a windowsill all winter but I think it would work well for you folks during hot summers, take a look at the technique... www.thedailygardener.com to see how it works. My fam likes the greens and ask me to grow in the summer too! No rest for the wicked gardener!
Last year I grew a lettuce from Burpee called Crispy Frills that stood the heat really well. [here in IL, I don't know about down there in TX]. They didn't have it for 2007, but if you see it some other year, give it a try, with the shade cloth.
Right now I have in my garden Summertime head lettuce, making nice heads and not bolting. Capistrano heat-tolerant romaine is standing pretty well. Tom Thumb butterhead also did well, but the heads are tiny and now all gone - I should have planted more [all from Territorial]
Hi. I am new to this today and just read these posts. Here in South Florida fresh veggies are very expensive and my hubby & I both like lettuce & tomato on sandwiches most days. Since I am simply not going to pay nearly $2 for a head of lettuce I have had to figure out how to keep at least enough growing for our own use. I had an under bed plastic container about 6" deep, about 2x3 feet laying around so I made holes for drainage, filled it with potting soil and mixed in fertilizer. It sits out in a partly shaded area on our patio from October through mid June and I grow Black Seeded Simpson leaf lettuce. When it gets too hot for outside I have several big round pots for inside under plant lights to keep the letuce crop going for the summer. We don't have windows with wide enough ledges so I use the plant lights.
I use Earth Boxes for my tomatoes and have them most of the year. I'm still trying to learn about other kinds of things to grow here in Florida. Good luck with the lettuce!
What you see in my picture is the normal setup for Earth Boxes. It is a fitted plastic mulch. Works great!! Lettuce stays perfectly clean, no weeds, and potting mix stays moist all the time.(very important)