Snow Lettuce

We got four inches of snow at our house last night, and I'm pleased to report that this morning my winter lettuce is not frozen, not dead, and is in fact as happy as a clam. Good eating this winter! And I mean for our family, not for the deer -- notice that I've put inexpensive fencing around the lettuce patch. I've learned the hard way that deer are also big fans of fresh winter lettuce!

Interestingly, the colder it has gotten, the more beautiful the colors have gotten in the lettuce too. And the tender varieties in the cold frame are thriving too. This morning I used a soil thermometer to measure the heat (the cold frame is compost-heated three feet under ground, using chicken manure compost). Here are the results:

  • Temp. inside the cold frame, six inches deep in soil: a balmy 46 degrees.
  • Temp. outside the coldframe, six inches deep in soil: a chilly 36 degrees.
  • Ambient air temp. outside the cold frame: 48 degrees.
So the cold frame, naturally heated, is working exactly as hoped. No electricity, and much warmer than the surrounding land. Now that is smart, self-sufficient winter gardening!


  1. I'm impressed. I'm craving a salad right now, so the photograph looks delicious to me. Beautiful.

  2. Can't wait utill your book comes out so I can learn to do this!

  3. Fresh lettuce in the winter? Really? I so want to do this. How about spinach. Is this a winter variety of lettuce, or just regular lettuce in a "winterized" frame?

  4. You are mighty talented. If I just would have paid attention when my grand parents did this, I wouldn't have to wait for your book. Good listening . . .