my kingdom for some lettuce

i’m trying yet again to grow lettuce. i broke down and bought five bags of chicken manure (25 bucks!) since that’s what chloe says george says is the key. and i thought it was good light, good water, good seeds…. i ordered them from johnny’s – red cross aka butterhead lettuce (lactuca sativa). they’re pelleted, a little easier to deposit (broadcast) than those other itty-bitty seeds but they require constant water to break open those hard white shells; and summer crisp lettuce (i like my lettuce crisp, don’t you?), also pelleted. the first variety estimates a 97 percent germination rate, the second, 99 percent. each packet promised to hold 250 seeds. i started counting as i pushed them in the ground but i got distracted and lost count. that’s alota lettuce. but seriously? 97/99 percent? i planted the first batch in the lane, the butterhead in the chicken manure, the summer crisp in the compost pile i started in the fall

“Some kind of crazy gardening book”

i couldn’t help but reprint an email – sans name – from a friend about my book, i grew it my way, how not to garden. days later i’m still chuckling. she got it!!


This is some kind of crazy gardening book. Or is it even that? At any rate so amusing and so unmistakably you. You don’t hold back girl. I found myself wholeheartedly agreeing and identifying with some of your opinions (I, too, LOVE compost and even though I’m now down to two miserable patches of land, I still compost my kitchen scraps; and yes spiderwort is a noble plant and you can’t grow too much garlic) while sorta disagreeing with you on others. Appropriate, I think, to attack too much order in the garden, though I admit I’m a bit more tolerant of it than you are. And you do go on about some truly weird stuff (stinging nettle?) and luffa, putting you out there on the fringes my friend. Which is perfectly OK — the world is certainly big enough for Jane gardeners as well as more timid souls.

I really don’t grasp people whose systems don’t go on alert in early spring. I’ve already made a secret visit to my favorite retail plant place in town and God, it’s gotten around in the neighborhood I was a master gardener in some former life. Now everyone wants my opinion on controlling erosion, even though most of us know being a master gardener is kind of a bullshit thing. You’re one if you can pass a multiple choice test. But, I do have hundreds of beautiful, unscientific opinions that are free for the taking.

Anyway, thank you, thank you for the book. It brought me smiles and a deep respect for your passion and energy and involvement with the earth.