Is There Any Hope Left for Lettuce?

It’s the end of the month, which means it’s garden
question-and-answer time. Remember, you may e-mail me questions at
[email protected]
It’s the end of the month, which means it’s garden question-and-answer time. Remember, you may e-mail me questions at [email protected] Or you can mail garden questions in care of this newspaper. For a faster, personal response, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Q: My lettuce crop didn’t do very well for me this summer. But a neighbor said I can plant a winter crop. Is this true? If so, what type can I plant? – K.S., Gilroy

A: Yes, indeed, fall and winter are actually a better time to grow lettuce in our area because it’s cooler. Lettuce will have less tendency to “bolt” and go to seed too early. Although you can plant the common head lettuce varieties, many types of lettuce are the so-called “cut and come again” varieties. As the name implies, you harvest the outer leaves of the plant, allowing the plant to grow more and you simply keep harvesting all fall and winter long.

Renee Shepherd of Renee’s Garden in Felton has brought out about a dozen combination lettuce packages. Now you can grow a variety of lettuce types from a single packet. One is called Farmer’s Market Lettuce Blend, which includes sweet greens and reds such as green Little Gem, crimson and green Cimarron and burgundy Outredgeous. This blend is a favorite at local farmers markets. Renee’s Garden Seeds can be found at local nurseries, including Orchard Supply Hardware.

Q: I have a problem with morning glory. I have a groundcover in which morning glory is infiltrating. Is there anything that I can spray that will kill the morning glory but spare the groundcover? – I.D., Morgan Hill

A: Wild morning glory is difficult to control because it forms deep, extensive root systems. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything you can spray throughout your entire bed without killing your desirable groundcover right next to it. If you’ve very careful, you can spray a contact weed killer, such as Round-Up. However, you have to keep a barrier up between the morning glory and your groundcover while spraying. A large piece of cardboard will do, but be very careful because any herbicide on your groundcover could kill it. An herbicide containing trifluralin may provide pre-emergence control around many ornamentals. Of course, you have to get rid of the stuff in order to try to prevent it from coming back.

Q: What can I do to get rid of small clovers in my lawn? – M.R., Gilroy

A: This one’s a little easier. Ortho makes a product called Weed-B-Gon. You can spray your entire lawn with it, and it will only kill broadleaf weeds like clover and not your grass. You may need to make two applications before kissing your clover goodbye.

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