i direct-sowed a bunch of lettuce in september but nothing came up (but the brassicas all came up--broc, collards, rocket). christine (happly_fl_gardener) probably correctly diagnosed the problem as soil fungus, and the small seeds couldn't germinate. (maybe dusting them with fungicide or soaking them in a bit of weak need might have helped.) in the past, i've always direct-sowed my lettuce, but typically i don't plant it until mid-november or later.
at the beginning of october i sowed a bunch of red sails lettuce (from tony--thanks!) in a large windowbox in a mostly-soiless mix, and they all germinated. i've also got a bunch of jericho lettuce going in windowboxes...
anyway, long story short, i learned some things: soil's just to microbiologically active when temps are above, say, 80 here in florida. little seeds (like carrots, parsley, lettuce) don't germinate because they rot or are rendered otherwise sterile. if you want to start lettuce early, i think a soil-less or nearly so mix is necessary. if you want to direct sow, then wait until things cool down--evening temps below 60.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Growing lettuce in FLA
From a post over on the Florida Forum of GardenWeb... my thoughts on salad greens in FLA: