Waiting Patiently, Eating our Brussels Sprouts
Just over a month ago, in mid-September, we were still living the sunlit, summer splendor of green cover crops and green vegetable crops. In this field, we had a fall buckwheat cover crop to help us squelch out some of the insistent weed populations. Between the buckwheat, we grew a trial of fall head lettuce. Fall head lettuce was a new one for us--we usually do several big successions in Spring and early Summer, but it is such a popular crop that we felt like we should at least try in the fall.
Transplants were started in early August in the greenhouse (shading flats that were seeded otherwise the lettuce seed won't germinate if the soil temps are much above 80 degrees). Transplants were placed in the field in late August. Cool weather and rain in August certainly helped the crop along. We did notice though that the Romaine and Butter varieties of lettuce performed much better than Leaf lettuce and some of the heirloom varieties, such as Deer Tongue.
Now the buckwheat is mowed (before it went to seed), the lettuce is gone, the hoophouse is sitting empty on the edge of this field, and we too sit waiting to get into wet, saturated fields. Hopefully garlic will be in the soil by Thanksgiving and the remaining potatoes, carrots, beets, rutabagas, brussels are out of the soil!
Brussels on the Stem: