Lettuce Tower

Do you have a small garden?  Do you have wild bunnies who eat your lettuce?  Does this make you whine? Hey – grow up!  Yes, you.  Growing up is the answer to your problems!  You can make a lettuce tower and rise above all adversity!  Here’s what you will need: Landscape fabric Stakes Staple gun Scissors Razer blade Dirt and lettuce Unroll your landscape fabric and place the stakes on top, approximately 4-5 inches apart.  Line up the landscape fabric so that it is even with the top of the stakes and cut if off about 8 inches from the pointy end of the stake.   The closer the stakes are to each other, the smaller your tower will be, which means it will take less soil to fill it.   (You will thank me later.) Now staple the landscape fabric to the stakes.  I realized my lettuce tower was going to be too fat halfway though the job of stapling the landscape fabric to the stakes and I quickly found a solution. Instead of undoing everything and starting over, I just rolled the stakes with the attached landscape fabric and re-stapled.  You might not be as comfortable as I am with this level of imperfection.  Don’t be jealous.  It helps that I have had years of therapy. Complete the tower by stapling the last flap of landscape fabric to the first stake. You should end up with something that looks like a flaccid triangle tower. Use a mallet or hammer to drive the stakes into the soil deep enough so that the tower is stable.  Then recruit someone to fill it up with dirt, because that part of the project is really boring and will take a long time if you did not follow my advice and made your tower bigger than it had to be.  I guess some people might not have had their listening ears on. Eventually, you will have a nice fat tower of dirt.  Use a blade to cut a small “X” opening, just big enough to shove a lettuce start into. I know the “X” opening doesn’t look very big, but you don’t want to make the opening any bigger than it has to be because soil will spill out if you do.  The soil has not compacted yet and it is fairly easy to just shove the roots of the lettuce start right in.   Go ahead, just push it right in – the lettuce will probably recover from the trauma and be just fine.  If it doesn’t, it was probably too weak to live without your constant care and protection anyway.  Sort of like Chihuahuas.  Really, why bother? Repeat this every 6 inches or so down each side of the lettuce tower.  You can grow different kinds on different sides or you can create a pattern and alternate varieties of lettuce.  You can even grow something out of the top – sort of like hair!  I am thinking a curly style like kale would look nice. I gave the tower a really long drink of water from a watering can, just to get things off to a good start and I could see the water trickling down all the way to the bottom of the tower.  I actually used some of the worm compost “tea” made by my box of worms, so the lettuce starts should be really happy!   I expect that my regular watering of the garden with a sprinkler will be enough to keep the tower moist, but I plan to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get too dry and supplement with the watering can if need be. There you have it – efficient use of garden space, creative outlet AND protection from wild bunnies!   What could be more plenty perfect?!

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  1. Shelley says:

    This is really cool… Mike was just throwing golf balls at our wild bunnies… now I have to go pick them all up. Looks like a driving range! Let me know how this works out… thinking this could work with strawberries, etc. (actually I couldn’t think of any other vegetables, but I didn’t think that hard!) Even at “plenty perfect” you’re still making me feel horribly inadequate!

    1. annie kip says:

      Oh Shelley – the whole point of my blog is to NOT make you feel inadequate!!! Sorry! Anyone could make this and I think strawberries would work great with this design!

  2. Nothing could be more Plenty Perfect!! Annie, this is great! I’m always looking for ways to go up in my garden and this is an awesome idea! I like that your assistant was free-lancing! Can’t wait to hear about your salads this summer. Well done.

    1. annie kip says:

      Thanks – it is crude but does the job! I am excited to see it in full “bloom”!

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