lettuce in greenhouse for cafe

pinettaSeptember 21, 2012

i'm going to grow leaf lettuce in my greenhouse for a local cafe. she needs 3-5 lbs a week.

i've never grown lettuce in the greenhouse. i know i can grow it in the ground, but frankly, bending over on top of my head every week is not appealing....so, that's the reasoning behind doing it in the greenhouse.

has anyone else done this?

my main questions are:

what did you use for soil? (soilless, potting soil, etc.)

what fertlizer did you use, what strength & how often?

what containers did you use? undivided trays? pots--what size?

i think that's it. any other info/tips is greatly appreciated.

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For whatever it's worth, I grew container gardens of lettuce as a farmer's market product in the spring. A simple soilless pro-mix and some osmocote worked just fine. But then everything changes for me when it gets hot; lettuce becomes a lot harder to grow. Container plants don't do well in heat, plus the bugs start eating everything.

Next spring, I am going to try growing the "mini" lettuce varieties in a hydroponic system, and then taking the entire plant to market, roots and all. Hopefully, keeping the plant alive will solve the problem of keeping the lettuce fresh and unwilted.

Good luck with your venture.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 4:31PM
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thx for your info. (love the user name, by the way!!)

re: containers---like a hanging basket type container? did you scatter the seeds in the container or plant them in a row?

no, we can't grow lettuce here later than spring unless you have an air conditioned greenhouse, and who can afford that? haha

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 5:12PM
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Thanks. It was a 6x12" container, with media about 4-5" deep. I scattered the seeds. "Green Ice" was my best variety. Black-Seeded Simpson grew well also.

Regarding fertilizer, Alaskan fish ferts will green up anything leafy. Next year, I am going to buy the "mini-prill" Osmocote, as I think smaller pellets will be absorbed better. My "Asian mix" tended to get yellow - I think the roots were thicker and blocked off the Osmocote's absorption.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 5:19PM
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My dil used the Osmocote pellets in a sprayer that had a chamber to add fertilizer. The pellets did dissolve after a couple of waterings.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 7:50PM
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That is a neat and creative idea. Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 8:07PM
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Is this for heads of lettuce or cut and come again?

For heads of lettuce I start them in soil blocks and than plant out at every 12" with 18" between rows in a bed

For cut and come again I would do 20' planted every 10 to 15 days, direct seeded in a 2" band. Use a high N fertilizer but know that aphids love greens that are pumped up on N. I am Organic so I fertilize about once a week with a foliar feed of liquid kelp.

Harvest early in the morning and hydrocool and into a fridge ASAP

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 5:09AM
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i'm doing cut & come again leaf lettuce.

re: hydrocool: does that mean wash?

thx for the info!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 1:49PM
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hydrocool means dunked in cold water and than dried (I use a big salad spinner) and into a fridge for at least 12 hours. this will insure the lettuce does not go bad at the restaurant (assuming it does not sit on a counter for hours in a 100+ degree kitchen-but that is not your fault)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 3:08PM
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