Like most of the country, we are in the middle of a heat wave. With temperatures (outside my gravel garden) hovering near 90 degrees, I am praying for my lettuce. I am hoping to get another month or so out of it before it turns bitter.
Gardening books advise providing greens with midafternoon shade. Our good friend Sandy gave me scraps of shade cloth from her commercial greenhouse and I cut a piece to fit over my frost frame. Will it cool the lettuce? Or just absorb heat? Who knows. The wide open ends provide plenty of ventilation.
My next crop of lettuce is still smaller than a dime. When the pole beans and surrounding black beans sprouted, I was taunted by the large amount of empty real estate under each cluster of poles. Hmmmm... A shady place to plant lettuce?
I tried the same theory last year in the same bed, planting lettuce under the tomato and pepper plant but it never amounted to anything. I waited until it was too shaded, and the seeds never germinated. One did winter over though, and sprouted this spring so this year I have a towering teepee of lettuce. It's a beautiful plant and looks just like a Christmas tree. I haven't had the heart to eat it.