Planting Lettuce

On Christmas Eve, at work, one of my attendings brought me some lettuce starts to plant in my garden. These starts are from a seed mix of various lettuce greens, so I’m not entirely sure what I’ve got. She says she harvests the outer leaves when the plants get about six inches tall.

They were itty bitty, so I was a little nervous if they would survive transplanting, but I followed her plantng instructions and planted them that evening.

I dug a deep hole for each one, so the root could sit straight down in the dirt.

I put them in the above-garden boxes. Here is one plot of them. There’s some arugula from last year to their left.

They looked good for the first few days, but then I noticed that an animal was starting to dig in these boxes. They didn’t seem to interested in the lettuce, themselves, but the digging in the beds disturbed the plants’ roots. My housemate thinks it’s a rat. The birds and squirrels don’t seem to go in the bed during the day, and rats are nocturnal, so it seems like the obvious answer.

I set up a fork and knife fortress around the lettuce sprouts to hopefully deter the rats from digging there. Do you think this will work? I just need the lettuce to hang in there long enough for the roots to really establish.

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