Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Few Heat Wave Survivors

New Red Fire Loose Leaf Lettuce
Indigo Radicchio
Tete Noire Cabbage

Cabbage, lettuce and radicchio normally don't grow very large in Kihei as they're cool season crops. This year they had even greater challenges due to the heat wave we had in December and January.

Almost all of the radicchio was damaged from the heat but Indigo survived and rebounded when the night time temps cooled in February. Although it doesn't look like a typical Indigo, and that's normal here, it did form a small variegated head.

The Tete Noire obviously prefer cooler temps - they grew very slowly and that's not unusual for some varieties of cabbage. The slugs loved living under the row cover and the Tete Noire were their favorite. The outer leaves were full of holes and quite unphotogenic. The head was just under 2 lbs and 7 inches wide.

New Red Fire was a wonderful surprise. This was the 1st time I planted this lettuce. I sowed the seeds in December but they didn't germinate due to the heat. In February, one seed germinated and grew into a lovely head of loose leaf lettuce with a very red center. I'll definitely plant this variety again.

Tete Noire is available from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. New Red Fire and Indigo are available from The Natural Gardening Company.


  1. Very nice. Do you get the daily soft rains?

  2. Hi Lynda! Kihei is a resort are with beautiful, hot and sunny beach weather. We get some rain in the winter but not much rain otherwise.

  3. Aloha Jane,
    Just wanted to tell you that the Testa di Ferro looks like it is heading! Our nights have been cool and days hot. I'll keep in touch. Your lettuce is beautiful! Corliss

  4. Looks great Jane! I've tried a little cabbage this year thanks to you. No row cover though and the cabbage moths are having a field day! We'll see if they leave anything for me.

  5. Hi Corliss! I hope the cool nights hold in there through April and your cabbages continue to grow! I still have 3 left to harvest - they're growing slowly now but they're still growing.

    Hi Julie! The moths were just terrible this winter. I need to ID them and see if there are any lure products. The only worm that seems to tunnel are the cabbage worms. The others are smaller but they still do a lot of damage to the cabbage, chard and kale leaves.

  6. We are entering fall here and days are a little colder.. summer war so hot that I was anable to eat lettuches form the garden. I hope this new air brings back them to my kitchen.



  7. I tried new red fire one year and didn't see a difference from Red Sails so I just keep growing that instead. It is pretty heat resistant. But then I don't get that much heat here.

  8. Hi Carola! That's how summer is where I live too. It's too hot to grow lettuce and any other salad greens. I hope your fall garden will be filled with beautiful lettuce!

    Hi Daphne! I've not grown Red Sails yet and I didn't realize it was heat tolerant. I'm glad you mentioned it. I'll have to trial it next winter and see if it germinates better than the New Red Fire.