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There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.

Janet Kilburn Phillips

August 9, 2011

My summer lettuce experiment was disappointing. (Read the original Summer Mesclun Lettuce post here). The mesclun mix sprouted and grew to about an inch in size in the raised bed and the container. Then, surprisingly it seemed to quit growing despite adequate water and application of liquid fertilizer.  On closer inspection, it appeared the baby lettuce plants were being eaten back to a jagged little rosette about an inch in diameter.

I suspected birds so I loosely covered the section of the raised bed and the container with row cover and left on vacation. When I returned I was pleased to see the lettuce had grown about three inches.

The row cover remained in place but only anchored it in a couple places in the raised bed. The next invaders apparently crawled under and devoured everything leaving little skeletons of lettuce. No snail trails evident and I can’t figure out what ate the lettuce. Here’s what my mesclun bed looks like now. At least the mesclun in the container is doing ok, but with the row cover still on top. This summer I’m buying lettuce at the farmer’s market.

So what do you think ate my lettuce? I can’t have this happen in the fall garden! Add a comment if you have any thoughts.  

The Dry Garden: How to water and mulch in the heat of summer