Ferox
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:09 am

Weed in my spicy lettuce mix?

Weed or lettuce?
Weed or lettuce?
I am a beginning gardener. I planted a row of seeds from a pack called "Spicy Mix", which is supposed to be a mix of several types of lettuce.

Now I have a row of small plants, and one much larger and healthier plant right in the middle. It is so much larger and healthier that I am suspicious that it is a hardy weed rather than an edible plant.

I have searched google images for hours, and tried several interactive websites that asked about leaf shapes, etc., but I can't seem to find the answer to my question, Is this a weed or an edible plant?

Thanks for your time.

Asica
Senior Member
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:11 am
Location: California (Los Angeles)

Re: Weed in my spicy lettuce mix?

This little but looks like arugula that is about to bloom. Let me compare in my garden tomorrow, but that is my first guess.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27739
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Weed in my spicy lettuce mix?

I agree, THAT'S arugula. You might delay the senescence if you clip off the tall-growing stalk above the basal rosette. You can still eat the leaves and flowerbuds from the stalk (eat the stalk if still tender, otherwise, discard)

If you remember, this seed mix had some black round seeds in addition to the skinny pointed flake-like seeds of white and brown? The round seeds are in the mustard family and they typically germinate earlier than lettuce. In addition to arugula, you might find escarole, endive, radicchio, etc.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Ferox
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:09 am

Re: Weed in my spicy lettuce mix?

Thanks for the responses. I will clip the little top part with the flowers off tomorrow, and then pull some of the leaves. My understanding is that if I pull the leaves they will grow back, and the plant will produce all summer.

I am surprised that its already gone to seed, since all the rest of my lettuce is either small plants, or even tiny little green buds just barely breaking the surface. I guess I have more to learn about how to time the planting of various things, and which things to plant as starts rather than seeds :)

Again, thanks for the responses. This has been very helpful.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27739
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Weed in my spicy lettuce mix?

Where are you located? Arugula is heat sensitive like many mustard family and will bolt even more easily than lettuce. My arugula has been in flower for a while now and I'm waiting to harvest seeds.

This is just one of my salad "garden"

Image Tallest with cream-colored flowers are arugula

Once this process starts, there's no stopping it, and as senescence sets in, the shape, texture, and flavor will change -- typically more "green" bitter and less mild, nutty, etc.

Most of my lettuce are starting to bolt except the most recently started ones in somewhat shady locations - elongate like your arugula has - and initially I cut them shorter to harvest new shoots, but I'm ready to give up on them soon -- probably by next week. I'm planting what s likely the last of the arugula and lettuce starts this week, and that will be it until late summer/early fall when I can start fall crop of the cooler temp leafy greens.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Ferox
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:09 am

Re: Weed in my spicy lettuce mix?

I am in eastern Washington. It's still pretty cool here, especially in the evening (although we did have a hot week a week ago), and I suppose I thought that vegetables would mostly come in during the mid-to late summer. I planted most of them in late April, as I recall.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27739
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Weed in my spicy lettuce mix?

Keep the lettuce bed from drying out, water if it doesn't rain, and if you have cool nights -- 50's to low 60's -- and mostly daytime temps in 70's to low 80's at most, they may be OK. But it still gets hot in direct sun. They are better off slightly shaded from noonday sun when it's gets warm enough to feel "hot". That's why sometimes late lettuce, etc. are planted where taller growing plants like corn or tomatoes, cuke and bean trellises, etc. will give them some shade.

Situation will be the same for peas, too, BTW.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Ferox
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:09 am

Re: Weed in my spicy lettuce mix?

We have nights in the low 40s right now. I have been watering almost every day, except when it rains. But most of my lettuce is still little green dots the size of a match head.

I am guessing that planting starts about now, instead of seeds in April, was the way to go. Next year I will know better :)

Return to “Plant Identification”