Every year we battle with growing lettuce, a spring crop, in the hot summers here on the Tropic of Cancer. Why bother?
Our restaurant clients depend on us, and I hate to let them down! I tried explaining that it’s a spring thing and that they should invent a summer salad, like a Greek tomato, cucumber, feta mix. They looked at me like I was crazy.
It seems that their clients depend on them, and that everyone is in the mood for a cool salad in the hot summer. Makes sense. So where does that leave us?
We are installing a second garden here at the house (the farm is a block away on my brother-in-law’s place). The site here is shady, and we also have more access to water here, because in the summer months, the powers that be drastically reduce the agricultural water coming our way. Luckily here at the house we can supplement with municipal water.
Installing a Garden
1. Lay down drip tape. Water for a few hours.
2. Loosen soil with a pitchfork or a shovel. A day after watering, the soil will be soft for digging.
3. Throw compost on the bed
Sorry, I didn’t get a picture of Carlos doing this step, and he refused to reenact it for me! Just fill a wheelbarrow with compost and use a shovel to cover the bed. Doesn’t have to be neat!
4. Use a shovel to turn the soil. Just mix the top layer of compost under. If you compost regularly, you could skip this step and just leave it on top. We want that nutrition to be down with the roots right away in our case.