Wednesday, 23 January 2013

How Not To Grow Lettuce

How about a sunny picture of some bolted lettuce to take our minds off the weather conditions outside.


Bolted Lettuce - August 2011

The Oregon State University partnered with the Oregon Food Banks Learning Gardens Programme has asked for my permission to reprint this photo in the booklet that will accompany the courses.

I can only guess that they will be featuring this photo in a lesson called 'How Not to Grow Lettuce!'

It is a rather nice picture of bolted lettuce though, and because they asked nicely, I gave my permission for them to use it.

In 2012 the lettuce was all eaten by slugs before it had a chance to bolt, or even grow, for that matter.

46 comments:

  1. Your lettuce will be immortalised in print Elaine, bolted or not! I would have been dead pleased! I have changed my blog header now to a picture of the back garden last year on a rare sunny day, its far cheerier than snow to look at!

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    1. I must admit I was a little flattered and the photo reminds me that we used to have sunshine once.

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  2. When I was growing lettuce for the first time, I had the same results. My lettuce started to flower but I wasn't aware of that. I thought that it's how it should be! So, when I ate a couple of leaves I knew that something was not right. The leaves were bitter as hell! :) Greetings from snowy Poland!

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    1. Greetings snowy Poland from snowy Britain. It is only when the weather is hot and dry that lettuce usually bolts, when I kept chickens they loved the bolted lettuce, now it just goes on the compost heap.

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  3. I'll bet it's for a piece on saving lettuce seed :)

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    1. Could be Tanya - I never thought to ask.

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  4. It's a shame it bolted, but I must say, it is very pretty.

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    1. I agree if it does bolt I leave it in until I need the space for something else.

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  5. It is pretty Elaine.

    I sometimes get requests to use photos and it is often of surprising ones. A magazine once used my photo of a pea maggot!

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    1. Do you reckon they just google pea maggot and see what comes up. I googled bolted lettuce but my picture wasn't amongst the images.

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    2. I don't know, Elaine - it was for KG magazine. I Googled pea moth larva and carried out an image search and mine did come up. I guess fewer people are daft enough to take such a photo but I needed the image for a educational resource I was creating and I always like to use my own photos.

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  6. It is beautiful. As you say, if you try to grow them like that you don't usually have any luck!

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    1. They certainly didn't get a chance to bolt last year what with the wet weather and slugs.

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  7. What an honour. I tend not to grow much lettuce as there's only me in the house who eats it. I find cut and come agains are better for me so I can just harvest a few leaves as I need them.

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    1. I do grow a lot of salad leaves as well as I tend to have a salad for lunch every day in the summer.

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  8. It is very pretty. I like it when you see plants that usually don't get the opportunity to mature in their full glory.

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    1. Me too - I often leave the psb to flower when it gets beoynd eating - the bees love the flowers too.

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  9. I have never grown lettuce so I wouldn't know how to avoid it flowering. I understand it doesn't taste nice when it has boltet, but it looks pretty :-)

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    1. No Helene it does get bitter - you just have to make sure they are well-watered in hot weather.

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  10. I think that congratulations are in order for your photographic talents. It doesn't really matter that the Lettuce has bolted, it's still a good shot.

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  11. It is a truly beautiful sunlit ensemble of bolted lettuce and you should have charged them a fortune. You are officially the Queen of Bolted Lettuce!

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    1. Well, I'm not sure that's a compliment, but thanks anyway.

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  12. I used to hate salad as a child. It was only when I started experimenting with different coloured leaves that it became an attractive proposition. And just as nice seen growing in the garden.

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    1. I grow loads of the stuff - so much cheaper than buying bags at the supermarket.

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  13. I've had some similar approaches recently too. Some of my pics of Cherokee Trail of Tears beans on one website in the US, and a picture of a squirrel in a text-book for use in a UK university. As you say, it's nice that they have had the courtesy to ask for permission. Others would probably grab the image without telling you. Those lettuces of yours are much prettier than many "flowers" I could name.

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  14. It's the same here. I just haven't felt like eating salads, and only use them for 'decoration'. Maybe we could have a 'tallest salad' competition.

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  15. It's a really pretty photo. It's amazing to think how they came across your photo, but great they have asked permission to use it.

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    1. I did try Google images to see if that was how they found it but the photo didn't come up.

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  16. What a cheery vibrant red to brighten up a grey day. No problems here with bolting lettuces either in 2012 :) Good to read that they asked for your permission to use the photo Elaine.

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    1. I am hoping my salad leaves and lettuces will be a little more successful this year.

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  17. How refreshing that someone actually asked first! It will be fun to see just how they use it.

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    1. I never thought to ask to see a copy when it is printed.

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  18. My golden Pak Choi bolted, throwing up beautiful yellow flowers. I kept meaning to photograph them but it was so dull and grey, and then it snowed. Now they are all lying flat on the earth... But sometimes bolted salads - and other plants - are rather beautiful, aren't they!"

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    1. I have never been able to grow Pak Choi without it bolting but I do leave because it looks so pretty.

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  19. Oh Elaine, how wonderful. I am so pleased to read this. When we grew OSU Blue tomatoes, I was delighted to know the OSU meant Oregon State University. So I think your photo is in fine company..a great compliment. The photo is awesome by the way. Hi from snowy Nova Scotia minus 12.

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    1. Blue tomatoes eh! Did they taste like regular tomatoes? I must admit I did feel honoured by their request. Minus 12 - and I thought we have it bad here at the moment at minus 4.

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  20. I think it looks rather beautiful and I imagine it feels like rather nice to know that your photo is being used professionally! Last year I left my PSB and a 9 star broccoli to flower - the bees absolutely loved both and, in the absence of other stuff growing, added a bit of interest to the veg patch.

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    1. I think of it as a little bonus when plants go to seed.

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  21. Thought I'd left a comment before but must have clicked on the wrong button... Your photo is a great reminder of sunny days, and the long, warm growing season that 2013 is going to bring - wouldn't it be great to be compaining about bolted lettuces because of the heat, instead of slug damage because of the rain!

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    1. I never thought I would be thinking about a long, hot, dry summer - but I am.

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  22. Hi Elaine - what a great photo. Do you mind if I take your link onto my Salad Days post for this month?

    There's no harm in asking them for a copy of the booklet...

    ... and great that they asked first. My local paper didn't!

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