There’s A Problem With Growing Lettuce In The Greenhouse

There’s a problem with growing lettuce in the greenhouse. I don’t want to pick it. I’ve watched them grow, looked at them every day for three months, and every time I sit I enjoy their beauty. I knew that when the leaves in the row start touching that it would be time to start picking, but I didn’t. Now the leaves are touching the ground and will be attracting sow bugs so it’s imperative that I begin. Tearing the leaves off a wondrously beautiful plant just to eat them is the purpose of growing them, but they have become living art work to me, that has a higher purpose than food. They feed the soul by their excellent execution of life, and so shall they feed the body by their death.

A three foot long seam in my greenhouse roof began leaking, and drops of water were hitting the ground two inches away from my direct seeded spinach. The drops were landing in a three foot long line parallel to the spinach, and that section was stunted. I initially thought that the vibration of the large drops of water was affecting the root fiber to microbe communication and prohibiting normal growth. I put a 1×2 piece of wood along the row where the drops were hitting and by the next morning, even though it had rained all night, the plants were standing up prim and perky. Water was no longer splashing on them and the difference was significant.They are smaller than the rest of the row and I must conclude that the constant shaking of the plant interfered with normal growth. We’ve had a lot of rain so maybe they got too much water also.

I found the motivation to start picking the greenhouse lettuce. Slugs. They were hiding under the leaves that were touching the ground, so if I don’t keep the plants trimmed up they will get eaten. Picking three to four leaves off of each plant does not significantly reduce their aesthetic appeal, and probably encourages new growth. The plants are already as tall as my Cole crops, that are beginning to touch the top of the wire tunnels. This allows the birds to stand on the wire and poke their beaks through the bird netting. Luckily the blackbirds have returned and should soon chase away the leaf eating garden sparrows. It seems that if I leave the wire on for too long, the plants begin to rely on it for support, and tend to get blown over in the wind when I take it off.

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