Harvest Monday, November 5, 2012 – Lettuce in Window Boxes & Growing Scallion Ends

Spent some time cleaning up after hurricane Sandy.

I was extremely fortunate, lost power and cable services (phone, TV and internet) Monday night, but all was restored before noon on Tuesday. There was no damage.

Harvest lettuce from the windowboxes. Got enough for 2 meals, right photo. Tasty and not bad looking.

Decided to gather the outer leaves of each plant instead of pulling up entire plants. The remaining plants will continue to grow, I hope, although will be very slow due of the below normal temperature and overcast days we are experiencing.

Curious to see how many more harvests I will have.

Before harvest

After harvest

In my October 8 post I mentioned that I cut some of the lettuce at soil level and left the stumps to grow side shoots. No side shoots materialized, I think this is due to the cold, damp, overcast weather, the stumps just rotted away. Well, I tried. You can see the empty spaces in the middle box above.

The boxes sit on my driveway during the day and in the garage after the sun goes down. Bringing the boxes in and out of the garage daily is my bone-building, weight lifting exercise (couple minutes daily is better than nothing) and also to deprive the deer of breakfast and dinner.

Is all this effort worth it? Depends. For actual yield, not sure. To satisfy my inquiring mind, yes, definitely.

Posted the following kitchen hint previously but cannot find the post. However, I do feel it is worth repeating, so here I go.

When purchasing scallion for a recipe, if possible, select the bunch with roots intact. Cut and save 1½ – 2 inches of the white part attached to the roots (as many or as few as you wish to plant).

Plant the bulbs (root ends) in potting mix and place on a sunny windowsill or other sunny indoor location. The scallion stubs will grow new green tops. When you need scallion for cooking or garnish harvest what is needed and leave the stub to grow more new green tops.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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70 Responses to Harvest Monday, November 5, 2012 – Lettuce in Window Boxes & Growing Scallion Ends

  1. I have planted some spring onions last week too 😉 they are growing, slowly, but surely. I am so happy about it.
    Glad to know that electricity is back and nothing has damaged.

  2. cocomino says:

    I like onions. It’s easy to plant and useful for various dishes.

  3. Daphne says:

    I really love the pretty lettuce on the bottom. It almost looks more like a flower than lettuce.

  4. Barbara Good says:

    Great tip on the spring onions Norma, I need a new plant for my window sill after the coriander (cilantro) curled up and died.

  5. Patsy says:

    Thank you for the cool idea about the green onions! I’m glad you didn’t have any hurricane damage! We didn’t either; I was kind of hoping a few of our trees would go down, 🙂 But seriously, it’s better to be safe! Your lettuce looks lovely!

  6. Eva Taylor says:

    Glad damage was minimal. Your lettuce box worked out well, and the exersize is a great bonus! Sadly our garage can barely hold our car let alone window boxes. Great tip about the scallions, I have a bunch in the fridge now!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      As if moving a few boxes is really sufficient bone-building excercise, who am I kidding. Hope there are roots on your scallion so you can plant some.

      • Eva Taylor says:

        Yes, indeed the scallions have roots. Now I am going to go down to the gym to workout (and hopefully warm up, it feels like my bones are made of ice today).

  7. Carrie P. says:

    thanks for the tip about the scallions.

  8. Kim says:

    Feels like winter today and I can not remember a Fall with so many cloudy rainy days can you?
    Must be time for me to move south :0)
    Happy gardening

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kim,
      I don’t think we had fall, seems we went from summer to winter, no wonder the plants in my windowboxes are not doing well. You must be so happy to be moving south.

  9. kitsapfg says:

    Glad to hear you weathered through the storm so successfully. The lettuces in boxes are growing nicely. I also have my fall crop of lettuces in boxes, but mine are growing on the deck and stay there 24/7. I don’t have deer to deal with though.

  10. Good news that you didn’t get any damage, Norma. The lettuces look like beautiful little dirt babies.

    I always put my scallions in a glass of water on the counter. I’ll start popping them in dirt from now on.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Maureen,
      The reason I do not pop the scallion in water is because of spillage, I am so clumsy and when liquid gets knocked over you know the mess it can create.

  11. Glad to hear you are OK and that there was no damage! Simply wonderful!

    Your lettuce looks wonderful! I have zero lettuce growing right now…suck a slacker I am 😉

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Melissa,
      I was very fortunate indeed. A huge pine tree across the street from my house was uprooted by Sandy. Friends less than 50 miles south of us, were without electricity for number of days.

  12. Kristy says:

    What a great tip. Maybe this is something I could actually try and grow! So glad the damage from Sandy was minimal for you.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kristy,
      I think this is something your kids would enjoy doing, the green tops sprout up really fast, and I can see Miss A or Mr N snipping them off to use as garnish or add to a dish.

  13. Ginny says:

    Thanks for the info on growing scallions indoors – I’ll try that next time I buy some scallions. We cleaned out most of what was left in the garden before Sandy arrived (other than loss of phone overnight and internet for several days, we were okay and we now have a large stock of batteries for the next storm!!!). What is left in the garden beds, the deer have returned for – saw 3 of them in the yard again this morning; they’ve even jumped up into a large 5′-6′ raised bed by my driveway and are munching away the rose bushes and Hylotelephium ‘ Brilliant’, etc.; I need to put up the deer fence for the winter before they devour the holly bushes. Your lettuce looks so tasty – Enjoy!!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Ginny,
      You are welcome. Glad to know you were not affected by Sandy. With your large stock of batteries, you all set for the Nor’easter which I hope does not materialize. Your deer are as aggressive as mine, I need to put up deer fence to protect my azalea, was hoping to get this chore done this week but not sure if I am able to.

  14. Barbie says:

    I have many times regrown lettuce from stumps. It really does have a lot to do with the weather when they are trimmed up. Your salad boxes look better than mine right now. I think they are not getting enough light or nutrients. 😦

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbie,
      I was so sure the lettuce stumps would regrow since I have no problem with the regrowth in the garden. The salad boxes do need more frequent fertilizing.

  15. Glad to hear you are safe my friend and that your harvest is going well 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  16. Great reminder about the scallions ends! I wish my kitchen window were sunnier b/c I don’t have a good place for them.

  17. I’m really happy you survived Sandy intact, Norma! The garden sounds like it was ok too. The scallion ends are a great idea, thank you!

  18. leduesorelle says:

    I’ve always wanted to try that trick of regrowing scallions from the roots, but haven’t bought scallions ever since my Egyptian Walking onions took off this year… Great job on the window box salad greens!

  19. Eha says:

    You do pass on some good ideas, milady! Have never thought to repot spring onions [would you believe half the supermarkets here in Oz call them shallots!!] and yet I manage to get thru ‘tons’!! OK, onto the list 🙂 !

  20. I’m glad you got up and running again so soon!

  21. Glad your shut down was short lived. I am going to look for the scallions with the roots now!

  22. ChgoJohn says:

    Glad to read that your power was restored relatively quickly. Would that everyone on the East Coast was so lucky. I hope your lettuce window box experiment pays off. That’s a lot of exercise, moving the boxes in and out of the garage, for nothing it you’re unsuccessful. And thanks for the scallion tip. This is something I can do in my kitchen.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      There are still some in my area without power, not to mention NYC, CT and NJ. a friend’s car was completely submerged. Nor’easter is predicted for tomorrow, may be lady luck is still on our side. Yep, that is a ton of excercise, just think if I did not need to move those few boxes daily I would be sitting on my butt and getting huge. I am sure you can grow more than scallion roots.

  23. Thank goodness you didn’t sustain any lasting damage, this has been a worrisome week as I wait to hear from bloggers on the east coast who were affected by the hurricane.. of course, no one could “blog” without power.. I’m so glad you’re all right! That is a great scallion tip, I think I’d heard of one where you put it in water? Or maybe I’m forgetting, that happens a lot lately, lol!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbara,
      A nor’easter is predicted for tomorrow, can you believe that!!!!! I hope your east coast blogging friends are OK. You are not forgetting anything, yes, you can put the roots in water and achieve the same end results. I dislike rooting in water for 2 reasons.
      1. I am clumsy and lazy. Just picture me knocking over the waterfilled container and have to clean up the mess that ran all over the kitchen counter and may be oto the floor as well. Would not be a happy person.
      2. My imagination gets the better of me sometimes. I could not help but wonder how many millions of invisible critters are multiplying in the water may be crawling up onto the green tops, I could not eat that.

  24. I’m glad that you came through Superstorm Sandy without much damage. Maybe the deer are worse for your garden than the storm! I also harvest only the outer leaves of lettuce plants, letting them regrow. I get so many harvests out of them that way. As for scallions, I have three pots growing at different stages all through the year and haven’t had to buy scallions for three years now.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Lou,
      You got it right, the deer are worse for my garden than the storm. I like your idea of growing pots of scallion at different stages, going to do just that, thanks for the idea.

  25. Liz says:

    Glad you came through the storms without damage, I do like your Spring Onion tip. How many times can you do that? I’ve only ever tried in winter and then the planted have flowered in the Spring and I’ve kept the flowered heads to save seed from.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Liz,
      I don’t know how many times I can cut since I plant the roots into the garden as soon as it is OK. If it flowers in the spring, I cut away the flowering part and new side shoots come up, if I allow the seeds to mature I lose the plant.

  26. I am happy to hear that you were only inconvenienced but no major damages or losses due to mother nature. I am eating a salad as I am viewing your post and my sad leaves look nothing compared to your fresh and vibrant greens.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Bam,
      I was extremely fortunate. But a nor’easter is predicted for tomorrow, hope lady luck is still on our side. Woke up to 20F degrees this morning, sure it was colder overnight, not sure how much longer I will be enjoying salad greens from my window boxes.

  27. hotlyspiced says:

    I’m so glad you didn’t suffer too much damage from Sandy. And it’s amazing they were able to get your power back on so quickly. xx

  28. I’m so psyched to try growing scallions inside – great idea! And the lettuce in window boxes, I hadn’t thought of before. Thanks for the brilliant idea and inspiration!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello RRB,
      You are welcome. I am sure you will do well with the scallion and lettuce in window box. Thanks, I am glad I was OK. Expecting snow tomorow, according to weatherman, 100%.

  29. Also glad you were ok after the storm passed…phew!

  30. Norma, I am really glad that the storm didn’t harm you too badly. A couple days without power is not too bad.

  31. Juliana says:

    Hi Norma,
    Glad to know that everything is good and there are no damages…I have green onion planted this way too…and they are doing pretty well 🙂 I would love to “collect” lettuce like you…
    Have a great week!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Juliana,
      I am sure you can “collect” lettuce like I do and even better because of your lovely California climate. If you lack the time to tend a garden, container gardening could be an option, you can have as many or as few containers depending on your time and schedule, who knows, maybe your husband would enjoy the activity also.

  32. I also started to pick the outer leaves of lettuce and found it works really well, especially with Romaines, it’s also easier to make/store a small salad than a whole lettuce, oh and I like variety with salad leaves too so it suits me! Good to see your gardening progress 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Claire,
      I am glad to learn that you harvest the outer leaves of your lettuce also. Besides having a variety of salad leaves, I also like the fact that I can extend the growing season without having to grow new seedlings.

  33. Karen says:

    Glad that you didn’t have damage from the storm. I looks like you gave the lettuce a good haircut. I do like you do and cut the outside leaves. It looks like you are being successful extending the growing season.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Karen,
      I know you are still travelling but was wondering if you know whether your home was affected by Sandy.
      I am happy with my growing lettuces in window boxes experiment so far and may repeat the experiment in the spring to make comparison.

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