Planting Lettuce…Prepping for Fall..

Now that the summer travels have concluded with the fam, I figure I can devote a bit more focus to getting something started for fall. My plan was to start some things indoors for a couple of weeks and transplant them out.

The calendar is going to force cauliflower and broccoli soon. And, I need to get stocked up on lettuces, spinaches, and carrots. And, of course, peas.

But, when I think of the 100+ heat out there the past few weeks, I’m all but discouraged. Will it stop in time? Will it crush my seedlings if it continues? Most likely. But, what a fun experiment to see if we can’t roll the dice with Mother Nature again. After all, we had great luck in getting the upper hand with her this spring. Let’s see if we can’t beat her at her meanest. Well, again, that’s an exaggeration. We can be somewhat successful in the dog days of summer. We can’t do a darned thing with the sled dog days of winter….lol.

I was going to do vermiculite trays again, but decided I need to keep things indoors a bit longer than that technique allows. So, I ran outside and grabbed some MM from a couple squares lying fallow at the moment. Perfect! I have a growing medium that I can sprout in and transplant from with no problems, right?

Dead WRONG! The soil is so hot currently. I stuck a meat thermometer in there and it came out reading………Medium Well! Haha…gotcha. But, it may as well have. It said 96°!!!

Not much I want to plant will sprout in that. So, I just set up my lights for indoors and set the tray aside until tomorrow. My basement is a perfect 72° right now. According to Mel’s appendix on pages 252-3 of All New Square Foot Gardening, my lettuces will pop in 2-3 days at a 99% germination percentage.

I’ll post pictures as I give this a shot. Just wanted all to know what I was thinking. I may not be able to do much at the moment, but I’m still thinking of fall gardening.

Someone in the spring mentioned the Indian traditional way of checking the ground for planting corn or something. They mentioned if the Indian can sit on the ground for a bit with nothing but his loincloth to protect him, the soil is warm enough to plant. Well, I assume the reverse is also true. I don’t know too many Indians. But, I would imagine NONE of them would sit in 96° soil in just the loincloth, either. I guess we just wait for things to cool off a bit……..indoors. (Talk about hot enough to fry eggs…. )

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