Monday, June 9, 2014

my lettuce plant

Check out my lettuce plant. Isn't this amazing?

Isn't it?

Here's how it started off.

April 15

Along with my celery and my green onions. We just took the end of the lettuce that we had bought at the grocery store and put it in water.

Just a few days later, it was already a deep green colour. I moved it into a pot with soil.

April 19

And then it just kept growing.

April 29

And growing. Into this, one month later.

May 29

And then, after that, it started to flower

June 5

This has been happening during the time of the year where the sun is up twenty-four hours a day, so clearly my little Arctic veggie garden has been enjoying the sun.  This reaction from my lettuce plant was not something that I had ever encountered before.  

For a while, I wondered if I'd somehow gotten my hands on a magical beanstalk that was going to keep growing into the sky, and lead me to a giant's castle where I could find a goose that lays golden eggs, or maybe even better, six packs of beer.

It didn't seem like normal lettuce plant behaviour to me though, so I thought I'd ask the advice of gardening experts.

My mom told me that this is what happens at the end of the growing season and when the plant is ready to flower.  Sure enough, it was definitely flowering.

Rob's mom said that it's called bolting and that it happens to an older plant or with dryness and too much heat.

CBC North radio show Trail's end has actually been doing a feature these days on Arctic gardening, with gardening experts on air and online answering our gardening questions, like how do we get soil in a place that has no soil. One day we heard an unusual story about a woman who leaves bits of caribou carcass lying about to attract flies to make compost. Another woman asked about whether bison droppings could be used for fertilizer.

I decided to ask about my magical beanstalk.  But not on the radio, because that's for old people. I asked on Twitter.

Basically, the sense that I've been getting is that the lettuce plant is not supposed to do that, and that I should be trimming it, or at least eating it quicker. But I don't actually like leafy greens. I know, that's kind of weird.  Also, I think it just looks pretty cool.