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Kitchen Gardening

Why My Lettuce is in a Hanging Basket

So, we decided to do what any born and bred suburbanite would do; transplant the surviving lettuce into containers disguised as decorative planters - complete with flowers.

  • I have successfully tricked the birds with the old lettuce-in-the-hanging-flower-basket trick.
    Photo/Illustration: Chris McLaughlin
  • I admit I may have gotten carried away with this one. That artichoke is going to get BIG. But then, I've gotten away with worse. Trust me.
    Photo/Illustration: Chris McLaughlin
  • That's right, you traitor. Hide your head in shame.   Photo by Hyper Lemon under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.

So here in suburbia-town I was having one hulluva time keeping the birds from tearing apart my lettuces leaf-from-leaf. While they had never bothered any of my greens before, like I always say, “It’s just a matter of discovery”.

I have spent years blindly believing that my wild bird friends were just too well behaved – nay, too spoiled to even consider attacking my produce. That would be low even for the scrub jays who get blamed for everything (and face it – it’s usually for good reason).

Of course, it wasn’t the scrub jays this time, but we did see little sparrows with tell-tale bits of broccoli leaves in their beaks. That’s my thanks for years of careful shrub and tree choices so that the wildlife would have what they needed. Did they go so far as to eat my heirloom lettuce, too? I have no proof, but some little critter is having a ball torturing me and my newly planted starts (which I coddled from seeds, I might add).

So we decided to do what any born and bred suburbanite would do; transplant the surviving lettuce into containers desguised as decorative planters – complete with flowers. Not only did they turn out looking lovely, but the hangers are out front for all the world to see. I like that because most of my neighbors have never even seen lettuce except for with their heads lopped off in a grocery produce shelf.

I like to think of my vegetable planters as my “gateway drug” for the neighborhood. Soon, I’ll have all of the neighbors tucking lettuce in here, carrots in there, and kohlrabi next to the Japanese maples. Oh wait…yuck. Okay, Kohlrabi in the perennial bed.

It’s all in my sinister plan to transform suburbia into little micro-farms.

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