(My oregano cutting is growing tiny shoots at its base. That looks like a successful rooting to me.)

When we toured this house early last year, I noted the raised bed was mostly covered in landscaping cloth. One side was uncovered, and in it were growing strawberries, lots of weeds, and two tufts of lettuce. I pulled them up and was disappointed by how bitter they were; but I really liked the idea of growing my own salad. So after I had cleared out the weeds and the landscaping cloth and moved the strawberries (which subsequently died because I put them in a big pot that, unbeknownst to me, collected all the runoff from the gutter), I planted a half-row of a mesclun mix and a half-row of spinach. They came up quickly, even in the cold, and I was delighted. They didn’t die when it got colder and Eric forgot to water them while I was gone, and I was grateful.

The lettuce grew up into big, healthy plants that I harvested several times for dinner and felt guilty about not using more of. Notably, I infected my brother-in-law with the lettuce-growing bug. “You can grow your own salad?!” he exclaimed. “I’ve got to try this!” He’s getting lettuce seeds as part of his Christmas present this year.My one beef with the lettuce I grew was that it wasn’t good for eating with rice because it was too serrated. But that’s easily fixed, and in all other respects I was very happy with my lettuce-growing experience. I will be doing it again and again.

The spinach, unfortunately, didn’t fare nearly as well. It grew slowly, and by the time the leaves had grown big enough to enjoy, it bolted. I prefer spinach to lettuce, so I was terribly disappointed. I believe this was Giant Nobel, and I’d like to try a different variety next year. This might not be fair of me; but I’m hoping a different variety will actually allow me to eat some.

I’ve already bought some black-seeded Simpson lettuce seeds (and some compact romaine, left over from the salad bowl planting–did you notice I never followed up on that? Yeah, there’s a reason). I planted them, plus a few more spinach seeds, this summer, but nothing came up–or anyway nothing stayed up. I plan to buy spinach seeds this winter, and early spring will find me trying my luck at salad greens again.

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