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Thanks for the interesting info! I would no have known to let it dry more before packing it up.

I had a whole carpet of it come up in a graveled area, and it did shade out other weeds which is good. But it cannot handle much disturbance, so there is no trouble with it being invasive in behavior. For me it self sows and lives in uncultivated spots, but rarely appears on planting beds that are frequently worked. If i spot one amongst my lettuce or spinach i just simply add it to the salad. We have been adding a small plant of it to our smoothies everyday. Now that Sacramento is hitting 80 degrees, i gathered seed today and am pulling it up to compost.

I just took a shallow bowl outside and shook seeds into it. I found that the seeds fall and collect in the cups of lower leaves, and it was easy to gather about a tablespoon in 20 minutes. These will be a gift for a friend who has none in his yard.

Pam Peirce

Hi Paul,

Invasiveness is partly in the eyes of the beholder. In a food garden, I'm pleased when some plants resow themselves. I enjoy volunteer mustards, arugula, parsley, cilantro, chervil, etc. I even had a volunteer purple-podded pole bean last summer that bore earlier and better than the ones I planted later. Miner's lettuce will self-sow, but has easily recognized, easy to remove, seedlings. if they come up where I don't want them, I just pull them out. In my ornamental garden, I tolerate seedlings of California poppy, breadseed poppy, cineraria, forget-me-not, nasturtium, Virginia stock (Malcolmia maritima), nigella, Johnny-jump-up, and Linaria purpurea, and maybe some others I don't recall right now. Oh, I have some new columbine and bidens seedlings this year, too. When I am weeding, I just remove volunteer seedlings I don't want, or transplant them, if I'd like them to grow somewhere else. I consider miner's lettuce a self-sower that is among those least likely to be a problem. I have had no problem confining it to one or two locations where I can harvest it. It doesn't transplant well, so the trick is to find it a place and remove it if it pops up elsewhere.
Now if I had a garden where nothing was supposed to self-sow ever, I imagine I wouldn't want to grow miner's lettuce. But that garden I would find far less interesting.


Thanks for the tip- I'm wondering though: can miner's lettuce become invasive?

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Golden Gate Gardening

The new, updated and expanded third edition of Golden Gate Gardening has more of the information you'll depend on about California microclimates, soils, container gardening, vegetable varieties, herbs, edible flowers, cutting flowers, fruits, managing pests and weeds. Now includes 4 planting calendars, 2 for cool summer microclimates, plus 2 for more inland microclimates. More recipes and tips for learning to harvest and eat from a garden too.

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These common and easy to grow California garden plants are being reclaimed by current garden designers for their beauty and sturdiness. Learn how to grow them well, care for them throughout the year, and use them in your garden for reliable, drought-tolerant, year-round color.

Mar 31, 2006

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