Growing cycles in intervals?

aswethinkFebruary 22, 2013

I have read a post which said that it is ideal to plant short, medium and long term crops for optimum gains. Supposing I'm to plant just one crop, such as lettuce and sell them to restaurants in my area. What happens after my first harvest/growing cycle, won't I have any lettuce to supply them with? I presume I wouldn't meet their daily needs if this is the case. Or should I grow in intervals, meaning by the time I'm harvesting one batch, another batch will have been about half of the way to maturity? I am new to this and would appreciate any advice. Thanks.

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grizzman

If it were me, I would stagger planting so as to have a continual supply of lettuce to provide to my customer. It make take a couple of cycles to figure out the stagger but lettuce is a very short cycle plant so it won't take too long.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 11:08AM
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aswethink

Thanks Grizzman. I was also wondering if anyone knew how commerical farms do it. I mean how come they, whether hydro farms or soil-based, have supplies extending year round. Does it only boil down to having a large area for planting?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 11:25AM
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grizzman

I saw a youtube video one of a commercial lettuce operation. basically, the sprouts and small plants don't need near the space as the full size plants. so you put them in a plug that can be moved from one raft to another.
Try searching around there and I think you'll find what you're after . try searching youtube for commercial lettuce hydroponics raft

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 11:47AM
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aswethink

Grizzman, thanks for your prompt reply. I tried watching some videos on youtube after reading your post above, and what I've seen thus far are setups in nft. Could I ask for the link that had a raft system?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 1:25PM
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sdgrower

One suggestion is to determine how long it takes to grow the crop(weeks) then divide your total plant capacity by the # of weeks it takes. The result is the # of plants to start each week. For example... If it takes 10 weeks for lettuce to grow and your system holds 80 plants, then you would want to start 8 new plants each week (and harvest 8 plants). It gets more complicated with other factors(e.g. Light, temp) but this could be a starting point.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 3:09PM
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aswethink

Sdgrower - Thank you so much for the detailed response. Such a big help!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 3:11AM
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