Planning for Quality and Quantity - Illinois Vegetable Garden Guide - University of Illinois Extension

Planning for Quality and Quantity

Lettuce

Having enough vegetables for exhibition requires careful attention to the time of planting, because this factor determines the time of harvest. Vegetables that are immature or overripe are of little value at show time. To determine the proper planting date, first check the seed catalog or seed packet for the approximate number of days required from planting to harvesting. Then, count back that number of days on the calendar, starting from the opening date of the fair. Mark down this date as the proper time of planting. However, remember that you will probably need to make an additional planting or two (perhaps one earlier and another a bit later), to allow for variations in weather that can aid or hinder plant growth. How early you plant depends on the hardiness of the vegetable, the days to maturity for the particular variety, and the climate in your area.