Lettuce woes


  #1  
Old 06-06-23, 05:53 AM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: USa
Posts: 165
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Lettuce woes

I have a large vegetable garden, and a produce stand by the road. I grow a lot of things, but one thing I can't seem to grow well is lettuce. I water it daily, and have given it compost. But even if I go out first thing in the morning (which I understand is best) and pick some, it has a bitterness to the taste; and I can see when I break open a major vein, some of the white juice I associate with lettuce bitterness. I do have a west-facing slope in the garden, so afternoons can be quite hot here. There is a large forested hill to the east, so morning sun comes late. My native soil is quite sandy, but I have been building it up with compost for many years. Most other stuff grows pretty well. I'm in Michigan, in zone 5. What do you think is the problem here?
 
  #2  
Old 06-06-23, 06:59 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 27,522
Received 2,118 Upvotes on 1,897 Posts
I would say the lettuce is too old and should have been harvested earlier.

Some of my lettuce and mesclun are setting flower stalks (bolting). I have to be careful to only take the younger leaves. Even though the older big leaves look good they have the bitter taste of old age.
 
  #3  
Old 06-06-23, 07:36 AM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: USa
Posts: 165
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Thanks Dane, but this is even happening now at the start of the season on plants that are not fully grown.
 
  #4  
Old 06-06-23, 09:22 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 27,522
Received 2,118 Upvotes on 1,897 Posts
Have you had hot or dry weather? It only has to be in the mid 70's or above for the heat to become an issue, especially if they are low on water. Here in NC the season is coming to an end for growing outside though I extend it a bit by shading the plants.

It could be the soil. I once made the mistake of growing strawberries after I mixed peat into the soil. If you can imagine sweet strawberries with the funk of a peaty Scotch whiskey.
 
  #5  
Old 06-06-23, 09:25 AM
M
Member
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,952
Received 293 Upvotes on 263 Posts
What kind of lettuce.
Perhaps try a different one.
 
  #6  
Old 06-06-23, 01:35 PM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: USa
Posts: 165
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
I have several varieties, and all are this way. I guess next time I'll stick to varieties that are adapted for warm weather.
 
  #7  
Old 06-06-23, 02:00 PM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 27,522
Received 2,118 Upvotes on 1,897 Posts
Pick sooner!!! I pick long before the leaves achieve their final size.
 
  #8  
Old 06-07-23, 05:38 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 27,023
Received 1,900 Upvotes on 1,706 Posts
Don't know where you live but June 7 is not the start of the season. Lettuce is an early spring crop. Once it gets warm and the growth slows, lettuce gets bitter.
 
Shadeladie voted this post useful.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: