brekehan
Full Member
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Austin TX

Help my Romaine - Vines? with Pics

I planted Roamine Lettuce back in November, as it seemed to be one thing that tolerated the cold. Now the stalks have grown so long that I really have Romaine vines instead of the heads I was expecting. They won't stand up straight! When they lay on the ground they invite the snail army from my neighbors yard. The stalks are probably 2-3 long now.

What should I do with them?
Is it normal for them to lay on th ground like that?
How do I get seeds from them so I can start again?

I really havn't eaten much as the amount of snail slime grossed me out even after washing. I've gotten rid of most of the snails now, and would like to keep the lettuce around. I've probably cut 3lbs off of slimy snail eaten leaves. My composte pile is full of lettuce.

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

My Romaine in North Texas is doing the same thing. The early heat and intense sun we have had has made the Romaine grow fast in preparation for bolting. My lettuce at the top of the tall stalks is still very good, (no snails) but it will probably bolt in a week or two. I did put up a sun screen to shade my lettuce and it will delay the bolting. If you want seed, let your bolt and you will have seed. I just buy fresh lettuce seed each fall because I am trying different varieties to see which I like the best.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Lettuce is a cool weather plant, however that does not mean it should be grown in shade. Full sun for lettuce. Plant it very early in the spring. It can be planted a month or six weeks before your average last frost date. In your area, what does that mean, plant in late January or early February?

Your plants look like they have been stretching for some sunlight.

I think you were a little late planting for a fall crop. You need to get it finished before it is so cold it won't grow. I don't know about overwintering lettuce, since that never happens here.

Leaf lettuce grown in full sun will make a nice large roseate before bolting.

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/lettuce_09.jpg[/img]
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27896
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I would choose 2 or 3 in the sunniest part of the bed and stake them as upright as possible, off the ground. Sprinkle crushed eggshells and used coffee grounds around the three to keep away the slugs (check inside the leaves and make sure they're not LIVING in there). Hopefully, they will flower and set seed.

Go ahead and chop the rest off at ground level (salvage what you can, compost the remains), add a layer of compost, and plant something else. :wink:

Also, try the wheat bran or cornmeal trick. It's been said that the slugs eat them and die. Sprinkle along the base of the fence because the slugs are likely to be hiding there.

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

Because the time between last frost and early spring heat is so short in Texas, I plant my spring crop of lettuce in the fall of the previous year. It sprouts, grows a little, and then doesn't grow at all during the winter cold. When temperatures are perfect in the early spring, it begins growing again and produces nice lettuce until the heat arrives. I wouldn't plant in the shade because it does require sunlight to grow, but shade of some form does protect the lettuce from intense, hot, sunlight after it is well grown delaying stalking and bolting. The shade simply gives us a slightly longer season to enjoy the lettuce we have grown.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

mdacunha
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 2:07 pm
Location: Florida

Romaine Lettuce seedings are long and stringy

My Romaine lettuce seedings are long and stringy. I planted the seeds on 9/10/10 and they are about 7 cm long with about two leaves at the top and a long fragile stem which is bent over. They are getting water regularly. I am concern as to what I should do. They are growing indoors under a full spectrum light. :(

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

I've never grown or attempted to grow full sized lettuce heads like Romaine inside under any kind of light. I think if you do, the light will need to be placed within inches of the plants for them to absorb the spectrum of light they require to form properly. Normally, when a plant becomes thin and leggy inside, it simply is trying to grow towards the light source which is to far away. I don't know what kind of light you are using, but if it is a full spectrum like an incandescent or halogen bulb, it will generate to much heat to be placed close to the plant. If it is a full spectrum fluorescent bulb. you can place the plant within inches of the bulb and the plant will love it. If the light is fluorescent, but is one of those compact "18" fixtures. It probably will not generate enough light for the plant. You need more light.

Welcome to the forum. Enjoy your visit.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”