In addition to the members of the Cabbage family there are two other important green vegetables, viz., Lettuce and Spinach. Lettuce is an important salad, and Spinach is a valuable vegetable.
Lettuce is a deservedly popular salad plant and may be easily grown on the school plots either in rows purposely reserved or as an intercrop between Celery trenches, Beans and Peas. Sowings may be made under glass in February or out of doors from March onwards through the summer at intervals of three or four weeks. The seed bed should be thoroughly prepared and the soil must be light and friable. Plant out in showery weather directly the young plants are large enough. If the plants are left too long in the nursery bed, tall, spindly specimens result, and these often have a tendency to " bolt." Each plant should be set nine inches from its neighbour. When Cos Lettuces are nearly full grown tie each plant with a piece of bast or raffia so that the inner leaves blanch and the heart becomes crisp and acquires a pleasant flavour. In August a sowing may be made for planting out to stand the winter, and Bath Cos is useful for this purpose. There are two forms of Lettuce, "Cos" and "Cabbage;" the former are tall and the leaves must be tied ; the latter are smaller and are similar in shape to a cabbage.
The Best Varieties :-Paris White, Paris Green, Black Seeded Bath Cos, Tom Thumb, Hammersmith (for winter).
Birds are often troublesome when the Lettuce seedlings are developing, especially in dry weather. The best protection is cottoning as in the case of Peas, The slug is a far more serious enemy and lime and soot must be freely sprinkled near the rows to keep this pest from the plants. At the same time rubbish, that may harbour the slugs, should be removed.
Spinach is not so popular as it should be ; it is easily grown and quite hardy. Sowings may be made from February to May and again in September to stand the winter and provide a spring cutting. Spinach is a strong yielding crop provided that it is not overcrowded in the rows as is so frequently the case.