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RogueRose
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Lettuce

When can I start putting in lettuce seeds for a fall garden here in NJ? It's been so hot lately that I don't think I can put anything in soon.....

What other fall things can I grow? (assuming I can get my goundHOG situation under control.

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applestar
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I'm finding these publications extremely useful:
https://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/publication.asp?pid=E001

Skip over everything else and go directly to "Seeding and Transplanting" section. According to the Lettuce publication, fall lettuce should be directly seeded July 25 to Aug 10 in Pa. and cooler areas (I'm thinking central to northern Jersey or first average frost in early Oct) and Aug 5 to Aug 20 in warmer areas (south Jersey and Pa. to Del/Md or first average frost in late Oct).

Don't pay any attention to most of the rest (or actually read them -- seed treatment, Weed control, insect control.... Ugh! I preferentialy buy organically grown produce, but after reading these RECOMMENDED agricultural practices, I don't know if I can eat another conventionally grown veggies and fruits at all ever again without heebee jeebies :shock: )

Also checkout Southern Exposure Seed Exchange's fall/winter guide:
https://www.southernexposure.com/growing-guides/fall-winter-quick-guide.pdf

Note the significant difference. I believe it's because Southern Exposure is expecting a more individualized care of your garden than the Rutger's commercial recommendation, and I think they are looking at extended fall harvest past frost until hard frost and freeze, probably with protection using spun bonded covers and low/high tunnels. AND overwintering in some cases.

And Johnny's Select Seeds' Succession Planting Calculator Spreadsheet (I like this one better than the fall planting calculator spreadsheet because you can plug in the days to maturity of your specific varieties and control the fall adjustment factor) to find out the last planting date:
https://www.johnnyseeds.com/Assets/Information/SuccessionPlantingSpreadsheet.xls

You can also start the lettuce seeds outside in the shade, like Bobberman mentioned elsewhere, or inside under lights -- but it IS starting to cool down to low 70's and high 60's overnight so I tend to think outside might work better... Or do the opposite of early spring >> bring inside in A/C during the heat of the day and put them outside for the night. :wink:

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RogueRose
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Wow that is super helpful! Thanks!!! I am in central...so I'm going to go with Aug 10th I think. :)

Bobberman
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Since ettuce goes to seed fast in hot weather I would mix in some bib or any semi head that takes longer to bolt. The sei head may get very nice by the end of sept and will tolorate old down to the mid twenties! I also like the oak leaf that seems to do well in heat! I would plant simson by the middle of august since t can be eaten in 30 days!
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RogueRose
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I don't like any of the head lettuce....well, I guess bibb kind of counts. But I mostly like leaf lettuce.

Bobberman
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The semi head like butter crunch and bib are way better than head lettuce! They mature in 50 to 60 days but you can eat them earlier! Even the tom thumb lettuce is easy to grow and is a small semi head lettuce You can still oder seeds from most comanies quik!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

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RogueRose
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Lol I already have my seeds from earlier this year! I keep all my seeds in my fridge so they last longer. I have some tom thumb types. And some other "mini romaine" types. I hope to get my groundhog issue under control....I am going to do some in containers this time for the fall crop and plant my arugula AROUND the other lettuce since they really dislike that stuff.

Bobberman
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Put a couple old screens over the beds. The screens will also keep the cats from digging upthe beds! I put my screens about 6 inches above. I have a bunch of the alum 3 by 6 screens! As the letuce grows I put some lattuce on the screens and make a shaded area so they more tender! The sceens also stop the hard rains from moving the seeds! Mix some carrots and a few radish in with the lettuce and you will be suprised how nice they grow together!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

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RogueRose
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Thanks! I''ll put some carrots in there. I didn't know you could put them together.

Bobberman
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Usually in the spring I will start my lettuce in mu cold frames. I mix several other seeds in the lettuce bed like kohlrabi , broccoli carrots and even cabbage. It seems that they grow great together. When the other seeds are started nice I trans plant the because cabbage and broccoli tolorate some cold in the sping! I even leave the carrots in with the lettuce.
+++
When the lettuce is done I have carrots spaced nicely to produce in 30 more days and pick them as I need them!!. I will use my cold frames by the middle of august to start my fall crops and keep them going a month after the firs frost! Remember a cold frame can be used as a raised bed and vice a versa! Save those old windows for the cold frame!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

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RogueRose
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So I was thinking of starting my lettuce this weekend....looking at the weather for next 10 days, the weather is in the mid 80s....I feel that that is too warm for lettuce?

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applestar
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But what are the overnight lows? There's a good chance of success if the lows get down to mid-60's. Shade cloth may help during the day though. Another option is to sow where they get shade around mid-day right now but the crops providing shade could be finished and removed in 2-3 wks. You could also sow in flats/containers where they get mid-day shade for now, and plant out where they'll get more sun (keep in mind the changing shade patterns) when it's cooler.

Are you trying to grow head lettuce? If leaf lettuce, I would wait a little longer.

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PunkRotten
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My planned Fall crops are Celery, Cilantro, Carrots, Parsley, Beans, Spinach, Basil, Leeks, Green Onions, Lettuce, Chamomile, Fennel, Kale, Beets, and Radish. I am sowing Celery already indoors and beans in the ground now. And next month I will start most of the other stuff, then the rest in October.

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RogueRose
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I'm growing leaf lettuce. The overnight lows are kinda all over the place. From high 60s to low 60s. I think I might hold off.

Anyone have any success growing lettuce indoors under lights over the winter?



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