The Q&A Archives: Lettuce & peppers

Question: I planted (seeds)of romaine & butterhead lettuce in early May. How long does it normally take before there is an abundance of greens to be picked. It seems like they should be farther along than they are currently.

I have pepper plants that have lots of little buds, generally speaking how long before they flower & produce. It looks like some flowers have opened but seem to have died. Any help would be much appreciated.

Answer: It does seem as though your lettuces are a bit slow. It's probably weather related. Leafy lettuces such as Romaine can be harvested all at once (usually about 30 days after planting), or you can harvest a few leaves at a time by breaking them away from the plant. If you take just the larger, older leaves, and tear rather than cut them off, the center of the plant will continue to produce new leaves for several weeks. If you harvest the entire plant all at once, gently pull it out of the ground and then cut the roots off. Don't allow the plants to remain in the garden too long - the leaves will toughen and turn bitter.

Pepper plants thrive in hot weather so yours should begin to grow at a rapid rate when the weather gets really warm. If the flowers are not pollinated, they will wither and die. Encourage lots of flying insects (pollinators) to visit your garden by having lots of different kinds of flowers blooming all season long. This will attract the pollinating insects and you should have lots of peppers.

Best wishes with your garden!

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