Don Kinzler, Published February 21 2014
Fielding questionsQ: What source do you have for Amish deer tongue lettuce? I received a free packet at the Perham, Minn., garden show last year, and it was wonderful. – Sherry Zueger, Moorhead
A: Thanks for giving the chance to promote a nice lettuce type even though it has a funny name.
Amish deer tongue lettuce is an heirloom variety of the bibb type. It has triangular tongue-shaped leaves that are slightly thick and rich green with good texture. It is more flavorful than many lettuces, having a snappy, full, somewhat tangy taste. It is vigorous and regrows nicely after cutting, producing continuous crops for most of the season. It is slow to bolt (garden talk for going to seed) which causes other varieties to become bitter.
Deer tongue lettuce seed is available from one of my favorite seed companies, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Winslow, Maine, www.johnnyseed.com. I also found it online at Burpee Seeds, www.burpee.com.
Q: While doing some Internet research to help trigger blossoms on my Phalenopsis orchids, I learned some interesting facts.
Blossoming is triggered by cool temperatures, and in nature orchids often grow upside down from rotten portions of trees. The aerial roots sent out by orchid plants will turn green when misted and allowed to absorb water. Clear plastic cups work well for orchid pots because you can observe the roots. – Nancy Shappell, Fargo
A You’ve suggested a topic that will make a great “Growing Together” column.
I’ve always been fascinated by orchids, and it is great to see how available the plants have become at garden centers, floral shops and even home supply stores.
I recently bought one for my wife Mary, and it continues to bloom strongly. We have had past success growing orchids as houseplants by following the instruction guidelines supplied when the plants were purchased.
Many of the plants now sold are grown in clear, plastic pots inside a colored container. It’s fun to observe orchid roots, which are more “tropical” looking than the roots of other plants. You can imagine them growing from a tree stump in a moist, humid, tropical paradise.
Thanks for sharing the information about your orchids, and I’ll write a detailed column discussing orchid culture in the future.
If you have a gardening or lawn care question, email Don Kinzler at ForumGrowingTogether@hotmail.com. Questions with broad appeal may be published, so please include your name, city, and state for appropriate advice.