Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dreaming of Future Salads

Photo Credit: Flickr user the garden bell

I finally planted my lettuce seeds! After way too much research I just threw caution to the wind and winged it by planting my seeds in two window boxes, just under a foot apart. Here's hoping it works!

This is my first foray into container gardening of any sort, so I'm looking forward to learning from the experience. I had grand designs on building a wooden box, or a raised bed of some sort, but eventually decided to go with the window boxes. Although these seeds really should have been planted months ago, I am still hoping they will produce some lovely greens for future salads.

In my search for organic seeds, I came across Aimers Organics and their line of vegetable seeds suited for the Canadian climate. According to Aimers, this line of seeds "has been chosen for its excellence in performance and its suitability to the Canadian climate." Their seeds are 100% open-pollinated (no hybrids) and 100% certified organic.

I chose Black Seeded Simpson, Red Salad Bowl and Buttercrunch lettuces. I'm really a fan of red leaf lettuce so I'm especially excited to see its multicoloured shoots start growing!

Now it's just a matter of time! If all goes well I should expect some sprouts about 2weeks into the process. Wish me luck!

If you're looking for great advice on container gardening, I would look no further than P. Allen Smith or my new favourite gardening blog, Life on the Balcony.

What are you planting on your balcony or in your backyard?


  1. when I said I planted lettuce in a container it looked like the pic at the top. I think your will do wonderfully.

  2. I have black seeded simpson (its coming up now), lolla rossa darkness (not up yet), chicory (up and delicious), red leaf, red oak lettuce, arugula and some other leaf lettuce. I am addicted to the quick and tasty results!

  3. Thanks for the shout out!

    I think the trick to keeping lettuces happy is to keep the soil evenly moist (don't let it dry out between waterings) and to shelter them from harsh sunlight during the hottest part of the day.

    That, and you'll want to be vigilant looking for snails and caterpillars, they can eat your entire crop in one fell swoop. You can be proactive with the snails and surround your windowboxes with copper strips (the strip reacts with snail slime and gives them a shock, they won't cross it) or use a product called Sluggo (which is organic and also very effective). To deal with caterpillars, keep an eye out for their "frass" (which is a nice word for caterpillar poop), it looks like small black pellets. You'll often see the frass before you see the caterpillar. You can hand pick them off your plants or use a product called "BT" which is a special bacteria that only affects caterpillars and causes them to stop eating.

    Good luck!

  4. Food at home is where it's at. Both for flavour and that the pet plants keep you engaged with time and reality in ways city life can't. Good work!