It’s green. It rises up from the ground. And no matter how often you hack at it, it just keeps coming back. (cue scary music) It’s attack of the Zombie Lettuce!!!!!!
At least that is what my husband thinks. We are reaching the tail end of the baby greens season, and we are eating baby greens every other day. It would be every day, if I had my way, but my husband draws a firm line on how often he will eat salad. He tells me frequently that salad is what food eats.
Zombie lettuce, otherwise know as cut and come again lettuce or baby greens is the only kind of lettuce I can manage to get to grow here in the ‘burbs of Cleveland. The thought of growing a full head is almost laughable. Our “coolâ€ season is incredibly short. Cold weather lingers well into May and hot weather normally gets into full swing around mid June. That leaves precious little time for heat and chill sensitive plants like lettuce.
But I really don’t mind. I enjoy baby greens very much and this way I can pick exactly what I need.
Planting baby greens is cheap and easy. I know that the price for them in the supermarket belies something different, as in that “beautiful virgin women pluck each individuallyâ€ expensive, but really, they are easy to grow.
For less than a single bag of baby greens at your grocery store, you can have so much that you will probably grow sick of baby greens before it all bolts. All you need to look for is a small packet of “gourmet blendâ€ lettuce. They normally retail for $2 – $4.
Prepare a bed for your lettuce. This can be out in your garden or in a conveniently located container. I have grown baby greens in both the garden and in containers and both are equally easy.
Scatter the whole packet of seeds over the prepared area. Be a rebel. Completely ignore those pesky spacing requirements. These little guys will never reach full size so they don’t need full space.
After the seeds are spread, rough up the soil a bit with a rake or your hands. Then water thoroughly.
In a week or two, you will have the beginnings of your zombie lettuce. Once the leaves are 2 — 3 inches tall, hack away to your heart’s content. You can’t stop it from coming, it will be back. Mwahahaha…
Um… Anyhoo. There are a few things to be aware of. The really big one being slugs. Slugs LOVE baby greens, so when harvesting, make sure you look carefully for them and remove them from the mix. And they are sneaky creature in this regards. So far, my family has not really boughtthe story that I threw the slugs in for the extra protein.
The other thing is that the plants will be growing so tightly together that it might be difficult to weed. Just make sure the Canada thistle and other unsavories don’t make it into the salad bowl.
I would also recommend that if you will be growing baby greens, that you invest in a salad spinner. It makes washing the lettuce a breeze.
So, yes, while they will not tear into you house and eat your eyes and heart out, zombie lettuce does add a tasty new taste adventure to the dinner table.