Jamie Heaney wrote: I 'think' it is important that the butt goes through a travesty to regenerate otherwise it will go bitter and seed as normal.
Rosalind Riley wrote:Hi Rion
Forgive me if I'm doing the grandmother/suck eggs thing, but have you tasted the new growth? Old lettuce gets very bitter, usually as it prepares to go to seed, and you may find that it's not edible (though chickens will love it). I'd be interested to know if that's not the case!
You mention Kale and this is indeed a good crop to pick all winter. I thoroughly recommend Russian Red Kale as a different taste with very high hardiness, very tender - cooks to a dark green and has a sweetness different from most Kales. I have been picking the flower shoots this Spring and steaming them (Curly Kale shoots too) and they are lovely, though becoming rather strong flavoured as time goes by and they are REALLY trying to flower. Once they've flowered they're done and you have to start again of course.
Rosalind Riley wrote:I'm sure that variety will be good - the dwarf ones are less prone to being blown about if you are in an exposed position but seem to crop well. We grow regular curly kale (I don't know what variety as my mum-in-law gives us the plants) and the Russian kale as well.
One plant which I'm always surprised does not feature more is lamb's lettuce (also called corn salad or mache) - once you've let it seed in your veg patch you have it forever. I let it seed over empty beds and it will stand all winter and be edible all winter too (we go down to about -10 C which is about 14 F). Then in the spring it flowers, or you can catch it before it does and dig it in, or just compost it as it's not pernicious in any way. I've just pulled up a barrow-load of flowering plants to feed the compost and free up a patch to grow peas. It can get everwhere but you just hoe it off, it's not perennial. You can pick it really small too - if you have it everywhere you're not worried about leaving it to grow on.
I wouldn't say it's an exciting salad for flavour but it's tender and a lovely green and gives a contrast to lettuce. It's classic with grated beetroot.