Growing great lettuces and jobs to do over the summer break

Growing lettuces
  • There are hundreds of varieties of lettuces but the most popular ones fall into three categories: hearting ones like Iceberg and Tom Thumb (difficult to grow in humid conditions); Romaine lettuces like Cos and Freckles (which are great in Caesar salads); and loose-leaf varieties (the easiest to grow during the summer – you can simply pick the leaves off as you need them and the plant keeps growing).
  • Keep watering your lettuces during the growing period. They become bitter only if they’re stressed by lack of water and not enough nutrients in the soil.
  • Plant lettuces in a shady area if possible because they can get ‘tip burn’ from the heat of the sun. If you plant lettuces in a pot then you can move them out of the sun during the day. Leave the pot near the door you pass by frequently, so you remember to water it.
  • Lettuces are shallow-rooted so remember to mulch plants in the garden. This helps retain all-important moisture in the soil.
Thinning plum and apple trees
  • Branches of plum and apple trees can become laden with fruit as they near ripening. You should thin the fruit to stop branches breaking under the weight. Thinning also means the fruit that’s left is bigger.
Adding lime to worm farms
  • With the increased amount of food scraps you’ll have over the Christmas period, your worm farm or Hungry Bin can get a bit acidic. Balance this out with the addition of a handful of lime. The same goes for a cold compost heap.
Keep planting vegetables
  • Over the Christmas break you could put another zucchini plant in, and more beans and corn. This will extend the harvest of the summer season.


Camera: Jarod Murray
Editor: Thomas Asche
Production equipment and post-production services provided by The Black Forest Breathes