Preparing the Lettuce BedMar 21st, 2011 | By Justin | Category: The Veg Plot
Lettuce is something we get through by the ton! Week in week out all through the year we consume at least 1 or 2 a week. More in summer. And after our reasonable results last year, but total lack of planning, I want to really get on top of our Lettuce supply for the next 12 months!
Last year we grew our lettuce in a combination of the greenhouse, and one of the raised beds. This is great for getting them started, but due to the nature the greenhouse, obviously being hot, and the raised bed being in full sun, we really struggled with keeping the lettuce under control and preventing them from bolting.
A little research via google and after a few chats with my Father, we’ve come to the conclusion that lettuce should, despite what the packet says, be grown in the shade.
So… what to do? Well there’s plenty of shade in our garden, but most of it is in established borders and beds that are filled with perennials and shrubs. Looking around our plot, it seems the best place to put the lettuce bed is next to the tool shed.
It now has a couple of miscellaneous shrubs in the approx 5ft x 2.5ft bed, oh and a variegated holly bush which seems to suffer from constant mildew. If we take the first two bushes out, it’s going to make an ideal lettuce bed, and if we leave the Holly in there, it’ll give the lettuce even more shade on summer mornings, plus keep the big chicken wire covered fruit cage hidden from view when we’re down in the house or out on the lawn.
Removing Large Shrubs & Tree Stumps
The two shrubs we need to remove to make way for the lettuce stand almost 6ft tall, and I’ve given them a try with a fork to see if I can loosen the roots, but they won’t budge. So it’s time for some serious brute force.
The quickest way to remove tree stumps, shrubs & other large plants is with a Turfer. This is a great piece of equipment that you can pull pretty much anything out of the ground with. You strap one end to something fixed (or at least bigger and heavier than what you’re trying to pull out). The other end is shackled to the tree/shrub. You then flick the Turfer into gear, and start winding. As wind the turfer, magical things begin to happen, and slowly but surely, the then fixed tree stump or shrub slowly but surely begins to part company with the earth!
I gave both shrubs a bit of a hair cut so I could maneuver around them, then shackled up the turfer and got pulling. After under a minute of winding for each shrub, both were out and ready to be chopped up and composted, leaving a nice sized bed with what looks like very good soil. With a bit of a tidy up, this should look and perform very well for us this year!