Betrayed by lettuce
I warned you when I started this gardening series that I did not really know what I was talking about. I am now going to provide some evidence of just how little I know about what I'm talking about.

I was betrayed this week by lettuce. That green leafy stuff you put on sandwiches and in salads. I had no idea just how self-centered and spiteful this little garden vegetable was. See, I've never grown it before. But this year, armed with a book and my husband's promise to till a nice big garden plot, I have been dreaming. And up until this week, when I ordered my seeds, my harvest looked something like this:

See all those yummy vegetables, waiting to be made into a fresh garden salad to be served less than an hour after harvest? How much yummier and healthier can you get? What more could you want from a backyard garden?

How was I to know that most of those delicious salad vegetables love long, sunny summer days while lettuce has done gone bitter and bolted to seed long before the others have even thought about their first fruits? That I'll be eating lettuce with store bought vegetables or garden fresh veggies with store bought lettuce? That a really good garden salad almost necessarily must be grown in two different hemispheres?

But I'm determined. Most of the information I have found about extending the growing season has been about extending it into early spring or late fall, not about helping cold weather crops limp their way into summer. Here's hoping that a heat-tolerant southern variety mixed with some shade and extra watering helps at least one batch of lettuce survive until the first early tomatoes begin to ripen.