Late-Summer Lettuce Planting for Fall Harvest
Summer is prime-time growing season in North America for the most popular vegetable types such as tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and corn. Summer vegetables are normally sown or transplanted around mid-May in Northern Indiana. But cool-season crops can be planted in the latter part of summer and can be harvested well after the first frost date if care is taken to protect the crops.
The median first fall frost date for Chicago (which is close to Valparaiso, Indiana) is October 11. I am sowing Burpee Looseleaf Blend lettuce seeds in a bed on August 1, 2020. The average days to maturity for this lettuce blend is 50 days. This should mean that a crop could theoretically be harvested by approximately September 20. Furthermore, the median first hard freeze date is October 24. This means that I should get two or three harvests out of this bed before a hard, season-ending freeze occurs.
In addition to this late lettuce planting, I hope to employ a season-extending device to see how far into the winter that I can keep some lettuce alive. More info on this device to come in future posts!