Planting Lettuce and Other Cold Weather Crops in the North
I have some Mesclun and Italian blend lettuce seeds that I am anxious to plant in my garden. I live in northern Illinois, when is the earliest I can do this? I understand that lettuces are cold weather crops.
You and other northern gardeners can begin planting lettuce, spinach, beets and radishes outdoors in mid April. You can reduce the waiting time by using one of the floating row covers (sold as Grass Fast, Harvest Guard and ReeMay) to warm the soil and the air. Prepare the soil, plant the seeds, water and cover with these polypropylene fabrics that let air, light and water through while trapping the heat around the plants. Your extra effort will pay off with an earlier harvest.