Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Disappearing Lettuces

More rain on Tuesday will hopefully have put an end to our dry soil conditions on the plot and we can at last get on planting out our winter brassicas.
Above are my planting notes for my latest successional sowings of lettuce seeds. The tiny seedlings became rather leggy before they were transplanted despite my best efforts not to let this happen. I hadn’t any more lettuce seedlings to grow on so I decided to give them a go and see if they recovered.
As you can see they didn’t look brilliant when planted out. My next problem was I’d no coldframe space to put them in so I needed to find somewhere else for the three trays. Fortunately I found space for a couple of trays under the veggie mesh that is protecting our raised bed at home. One unfortunate tray had to remain unprotected. I thought I’d make it a bit tricky for the slugs to get to this tray and placed it on an upturned plant pot. This is how that tray looks now. 
Whatever had our lettuce seedlings they made a superb job of it and there’s not a trace of green to be seen. They’ve even had the nerve to remove my label. I think it’s bird damage rather than slugs as there’s no sign of any slug trails up the plant pot sides.

What of the other two trays under the protection of the veggie mesh. Despite my doubts they’ve gone on to produce some decent plants ready to go out into the plot.
Once down on the plot they’ll need some protection from the birds. It’s also time for me to sow another batch of lettuce seeds.

Just how far apart were the three trays of seedlings. I’ve circled in red on the photo below the location of the lettuces.
You can never take anything for granted where gardening pests are involved.

Just in case you’re wondering it was  the tray of Little Gem lettuces that were left in the open.


  1. In my garden there's a choice of birdy plant assassins, pigeons are always trouble, but sparrows will peck away at anything tender and green until it's all gone (and they can balance on a tray on a pot !) and magpies (lots everywhere this year) will tackle absolutely anything and what they don't eat, they walk all over (disappearing labels would be their kind of fun too). A shame because Little Gem is a really reliable lettuce - have you tried the red versions & can you recommend one ?

    1. We have the same assassins here too.

      Lettuces haven't been a great success this year. We've done well with salad leaves from the raised bed at home.

      I usually stick with Little Gem as my main crop lettuce as it usually produces a decent crop if the assassins don't get to it first.

  2. I find these days that it is practically impossible to grow anything successfully without protection. It makes you wonder how people managed before the invention of things like Enviromesh!

    1. I've always used a bit of netting as protection from birds. They don't miss you letting your defenses slip though.

  3. You're right! I too lost some seedling over the night due to my ignorance to the pest....


Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment - it is great to know that there are people out there actually reading what I write! Come back soon.
(By the way any comments just to promote a commercial site, or any comments not directly linked to the theme of my blog, will be deleted as soon as I spot them) Please do not follow links from any comments that appear to be spam - if in doubt ignore.