what salad greens do you grow in FL?

ka0ttic(CFL 9b)October 19, 2013

This is my first time trying to grow salad greens. I know they're more of a cool weather crop but what have you guys had success with?

Over the last month I've sowed 2 different mesclun mixes and spinach. I don't get much morning sun unfortunately so I've kept them shaded on the front porch where they only get 3-4hrs of late afternoon sun. I was worried that they wouldn't be getting enough sun or that it would still be too hot but they seem to be doing pretty good. Today I just harvested about half the mesclun mix I sowed first.

Here's a picture I took a week ago. Mesclun on top and bottom, spinach on right. I spaced them pretty thickly mainly due to the space restraints and I knew I would mostly be harvesting them fairly young. And yes that is a blue litter box at the bottom ;-)

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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

I understand greens can tolerate more shade than other veggies.

I grow Pinetree's lettuce mix, baby bok choy, perennial arugula & chicories - also Egyptian & Welsh onions, which I mostly use in salads - all easily grown in containers. Never been able to get spinach or chard to thrive, unfortunately.

Tatsoi is another great green for salads, btw. & I use the 'natural' snail pellets around all the mustard/cabbage family plants to control slugs & snails; they seem to love those, while ignoring the mature lettuces, arugula & chicories. I do sprinkle the pellets when sowing seeds to keep the seedlings from 'disappearing'.

You likely won't face a snail/slug problem, since it looks like your containers are on concrete..?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 11:11AM
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L_in_FL(8B/9A Border, NW FL)

I grow Pinetree's lettuce mix, other leaf lettuces (Merveille des Quatres Saisons is one of my favorites), and this year I will be trying bok choy and spinach.

I prefer mild salad greens, so I have not tried growing any of the bitter or peppery types.

Lettuces transplant easily, so if seeds or tiny seedlings disappearing is a problem, you can always start the seedlings in a sunny window and put them outside when they are a little bigger.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 11:53AM
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ka0ttic(CFL 9b)

I didn't have this info available when I posted originally but the older ones up top in the pic are a burpee mesclun "sweet salad mix" and according to the packet contain 20% each Bull's blood beet, bloomsdale long standing spinach (which so far seems mostly to be shaded out from the others), red salad bowl lettuce, black seeded simpson lettuce, and tendergreen mustard.

The younger mesclun mix at bottom are from a Seeds of Change packet just labeled 100% certified organic mesclun salad mix and unfortunately gives no clue as to what types the mix consists of...

No haven't had any slug probs but I've had a minor catepiller problem on those older greens. Fortunately thus far it hasn't been bad enough for me to really worry about em.

Unfortunat

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 2:20PM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

Looks like you are off to a good start. My first year I grew the same mesclun mix, and it was great. I now buy the types individually so I can grow more of my favorites. This year I'm planting my favorites from previous years
Bulls blood beet
Mustard mizuna
Mustard ruby streaks
Red sails lettuce
Salad bowl lettuce
Royal oak leaf lettuce
Butter crunch lettuce
Bok choi
Arugula

And I'm trying mustard spinach (brassica rapa) for the first time. I too have hit and miss luck with spinach. I have had it do great some years, but the last two, it failed miserably. I wonder if it needs more cold than we usually get? The year it did well was unusually cold. Anyone tried the mustard spinach? If so, how spinach like is it? Thought I'd give it a try since brassicas seem remarkably tolerant of our poor soil and nematodes.

And the biggest surprise of all was that sorrel did great! Not only did it do well in the cool weather, but it seems to be able to be perennial here and came through the summer fine!

As for timing, planting my winter greens garden by direct sowing in late October seems to work well.

Good luck! So fun to grow a salad in winter!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 3:05PM
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ka0ttic(CFL 9b)

What do you guys usually do as far as fertilizing? Thus far I've just been watering every other week with about a Tbsp of Alaskan brand fish emulsion per gallon of water.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 3:57PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

The cooler weather is great to grow any type of greens. I pick them young to avoid any bug problems. I grow them in raised beds and fertilize before planting.

Silvia

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 4:17PM
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ka0ttic(CFL 9b)

What do you guys usually do as far as fertilizing? Thus far I've just been watering every other week with about a Tbsp of Alaskan brand fish emulsion per gallon of water.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 8:42PM
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ka0ttic(CFL 9b)

Ugh sorry. Hit "back" button on my phone and reposted that.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 8:44PM
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