Lettuce, beans, peas, onions, and garlic

Does leaf lettuce and stinging nettle cross pollinate? I found both red and green leaf lettuce with stickers on the back of the leaves today. One is starting to bolt so I will need to pull it if it is a weed. How far apart do beans and peas need to be from onions and garlic? I have found out if they are too close the beans do not always grow.

Julia Crow
Gardnerville, Nevada

No, lettuce does not cross with nettles. However there is a weed called prickly lettuce that isn’t a lettuce but looks like a lettuce with prickers on the leaves. But because you have both red and green lettuce plants with prickers, I’d just let the “normal” plants go on to use and save seeds from. A few varieties of lettuce do have kind of soft stickers on the first leaves but they never get thorny or inedible.

Generally, there is no optimum distance between onions/garlic and peas and beans. They usually co-habit quite well. I just plant my bean rows about 2 feet from my onion rows and everyone is quite happy. Beans need plenty of moisture to germinate (but not soggy ground) and they like warm soil. In cold soil they usually rot in the ground instead of coming up. — Jackie

Canning curried goat

I would like to can some curried goat in pint jars. Can you explain to me how to go about this?

Ann Hazelett
Litchfield Park, Arizona

Mix up your recipe, bring it to simmering then pack in hot pint jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Place a new, hot, previously simmered lid on the jar and screw down the ring firmly tight. Process at 10 pounds pressure for 75 minutes. If you live at an altitude above 1,000 feet, consult your canning book for directions on increasing your pressure to suit your altitude. I would advise holding down the heat of your spices as sometimes during long-term storage, the heat intensifies. — Jackie


  1. Ginger,

    Prickly lettuce will cross with domestic lettuce, making it more of a pain than if it were just a weed alone. Grandma was right.

  2. The more that plant grew, the more like a nettle it looked (getting branches), so I dug it up. I have seen the little soft stickers a lot but no problems.
    Thank you so much. The last 2 days we have canned 10 lbs of cheese & 8 lbs of butter so not taking up room in fridge. Turkey in oven to can tomorrow.

  3. Ann, I just love goat. Could you share your recipe for curried goat? Jackie, do you have any recipes for it? I would be very grateful for any recipes. Thank you!

  4. Hey Jackie, hope you are mending well & quickly.
    My grandmother always told me that “prickly Lettuce” is a wild strain of actual domestic leaf lettuce and because of that, I have always made sure it was cleaned out well from in and around our garden area for fear of crossing with a leaf lettuce that I might be planting that year. Is grandma correct?

Comments are closed.