Fall salad crops can be difficult to start because garden soil is often very warm when seeds
need to be planted. To trick the internal mechanism that allows seeds to germinate in warm
ground, freeze them for a week or two.
Or start seeds indoors in flats where it’s cool, and transplant seedlings into the garden
immediately after germination. Be sure to include winter or cold-hardy lettuce varieties when
planting. They will take temperatures down into the 20s with little or no protection. ‘Little
Caesar’, Buttercrunch’ lettuces, ‘Frizz E’endive and ‘Baby’s Leaf Hybrid’ spinach are good
choices. When the thermometer dips below freezing, lay an old bed sheet or floating row cover
directly over the lettuce, endive and spinach for protection.