Self-Sown Gardens, Early Spring Gardens and Beautiful Lettuce

A garden can sow itself. Wasps will love you, and eat all kinds of pests in the process, and the birds, oh, my. The gold finches adore lettuce-gone-to-seed. And orach, too. Well, OK, gold finches love all kinds of stuff.

Speckled Trout Back Lettuce, Dill and Italian Parsley

A self-sown garden will be weeks earlier.

Lettuce (red and green), Dragon’s Tongue Arugula, Dill

Of course, one can help the process. I dug my potatoes last fall and sowed seed. It went well.

Red Lettuce, Cilantro, Red Orach, Spinach, Tatsoi and Some Interloping Wild Lettuce and California Poppy Enjoying the Party

Here’s another view. This is after the spinach (a flat-leafed variety that bolted quickly) was harvested (I got 4 gallons).

See what I mean about the spinach? That’s it poking up some flower stalks there. My guess it will be ready for a crop in September.

Time to Gently Remove that Wild Lettuce!

Don’t feel bad. It’s not going far.

In the other half of this garden plot, I didn’t sow lettuce, only two kinds of spinach and radishes. The radishes did not like this process. However, the spinach did well. Here’s my second picking (yet to come today). The flat-leafed ones have already been picked out, and these have been picked down to only the tiniest leaves. The frilly stuff in-between is some chamomile, demonstrating that it can sew itself well in the summer for an early year harvest.

Early Enough That There Are No Leaf Miners!

Irrigation: Once, for 15 minutes.

Not many weeds, really. It’s too early for the purslane, the clover is still manageable, the shepherd’s purse is still edible, and the wild lettuce, well, some crossed with my speckled trout back and made an incredibly robust plant. It gave me very early lettuce, but soon turned bitter. At any rate, I expect another 4 gallons of spinach. Is it OK to measure spinach by the gallon? That’s 1.7 kilos or so.

Notice the Forlorn Garden Stakes Remembering Their Past Glory

Last night, we enjoyed the cilantro that has been seeding itself for 8 years now, three crops a year. But, hey, all this is fine and good, but where am I going to plant all my other stuff? These red lettuces need planting out, for instance. Look at that dill laughing at me!

Note the Onion Happy to Have Been Missed at Harvest!

And that cheeky dandelion.

Looks like I can plant out some of that leaf lettuce, too.

Want some dill?

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