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How much lettuce?

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How much lettuce?

Post  Maya Papaya on 4/15/2010, 9:45 pm

Hello happy gardeners! I am a newbie SFGer and a Raw Vegan...which means I eat a lot of fruits & veggies! My question is this:

In planning my raised beds, I'm trying to figure out how many and what size? I don't have a very big yard, but I have enough room for two 4'x8' beds and one small area next to my porch that is 2'x20'. That's seems like more than enough grow room, however, if I could just get by with one 4'x8' (or two 4'x4's) with the 2'x20', that would be better - it is just myself.

But let me remind you. The volumes of veggies in the way of a HUGE salad for dinner at night is way more than the typical person. To be specific, I eat ONE FULL HEAD of lettuce for my salad EVERY NIGHT.

I haven't fully thought out everything I want to grow for my spring crop right now, but I will list my favorite things to eat everything in the way of veggies:

* One head of lettuce every night (spinach, various lettuces)
* either a bunch of romaine, celery or spinach in the daytime
* tomatoes, peppers, parsley, cucumbers, zucchini, cilantro;etc.

I haven't fully made a list of everything I want to plant yet because I'm still in the preparation stages but wanted to poll the community here from all you nice and friendly folks.

I live in Oakland, Ca. so it will never really be too hot here. I'm still not sure how much a SFG can produce, but I don't want to short change myself in the lettuce dept. since I really do eat a FULL head of lettuce every night if not almost two heads if I include greens in my fruit smoothie in the day time.

Thanks in advance.

Maya Papaya
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Re: How much lettuce?

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 4/15/2010, 10:17 pm

Hi,
I have grown lettuce for a couple of years. I grow leaf lettuce or harvest single leaves from a plant. You can grow the 4 lettuce plants per square foot or 9 spinach plants per square foot, however I think it will be a little difficult to pick a single head of lettuce every day on a rotating schedule. I know you can plant your seeds on a rotating schedule, I still had the plants come to fruit at the same time or bolt at the same time due to heat. On the other hand it should be easy for you to figure out how much you want to plant by counting the days. You might want to plant the fancier lettuce or other salad fixings in your garden and still purchase the bulk of your lettuce from the store. You might also want to track down heirloom veggies, as those crops come in over a season instead of bearing fruit in huge quantities for a week. Hope this helps some.

Patty from Yorktown
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Re: How much lettuce?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/15/2010, 10:22 pm

Well, phooie! I just crafted a lengthy reply and lost the connection. Mel recommends one 4x4 bed for salad fixings and one for "supper" veggies (I interpret that as cooked veggies) for most people. Since you eat that much salad, I would think you'd want to triple your salad beds.

This is not standard SFG planting instructions, but I've used this method for years with the "old" SFG gardening I've done. I thinly broadcast lettuce seed in a 2x2' area and thin gradually to the final spacing. Ditto for spinach and other greens. That way I harvest quicker than if I carefully spaced the seed in their final spacing. I then harvest the larger bunches by taking leaves from the outside or cutting leaving about 2" above ground to resprout. I fed myself all fall, winter and so far this spring from a 2x3' area of mixed lettuces, and have made salads for pot lucks several times from that one area. I have currently had 3 meals of spring planted spinach from a 2x2' area and still haven't gotten them to final spacing. I don't eat as much raw greens as you do, but this method does work well, and you get a harvest in about a month from planting.

Hope this helps.

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Re: How much lettuce?

Post  titans01 on 4/15/2010, 10:46 pm

Well I'm new to SFG too but I have done the raw vegan off and on the past 8 months in the form of 80/10/10. I would recommend going with the 2 - 4x8s and the 2x20. Like you said you eat a ton of greens. A lot of raw vegans eat a pound of greens for a salad at night. Add more to smoothies and if you juice and you're going to need a ton of greens. Also keep in mind that bush zucchini will take up 9 squares and your going to want cucumbers and tomatoes.

If you haven't checked out John on YouTube I highly suggest watching his videos. He goes under growingyourgreens and okraw. He is a raw vegan and grows in raised beds in his front yard.

http://www.youtube.com/user/growingyourgreens

http://www.youtube.com/user/okraw

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Succession planting lettuce?

Post  organicgardeningzen.com on 4/15/2010, 10:53 pm

Does anybody have tips for doing succession planting with lettuce? I.e. how far apart - weekly? and can you sew the new seed alongside the maturing one so that by the time you harvest it, the new one is already coming in behind it?
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Re: How Much Lettuce

Post  Maya Papaya on 4/15/2010, 11:53 pm

Yeah Titans01, thats exactly what I am doing 80/10/10. So I eat a pound of lettuce, or spinach, etc. for my dinner salad at night not to mention afternoon smoothies sometimes. However, I do not juice any greens so that helps cut down some. I will check out his vids! Thanks for the info.

I appreciate any and all replies.

Maya Papaya
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Re: How much lettuce?

Post  plb on 4/16/2010, 4:19 am

Another option you might want to keep in mind is to sow some lettuce indoors, where it will start growing without taking space in your raised bed, and then when you harvest one from the beds you can replace it with one already half grown from your indoors plants.
Remember however that lettuce will bolt in the heat, and will not do well if it gets very cold in winter; so consider using shade netting during the summer, or plant it where it will get shade from other taller plants, and invest in seeds of winter varieties (you'll probably need to cover the beds with some plastic cage to keep the plants from freezing).

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Re: How much lettuce?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/16/2010, 9:03 am

organicgardeningzen.com wrote:Does anybody have tips for doing succession planting with lettuce? I.e. how far apart - weekly? and can you sew the new seed alongside the maturing one so that by the time you harvest it, the new one is already coming in behind it?

Succession plant lettuce every two weeks. BUT with loose leaf varieties, don't pull the whole bunch up by it's root. Cut it about an inch or more above the soil surface and it will send up new plants. I have a few oak leaf lettuces that have been going since October by my harvesting the leaves or when they got really large by cutting the plant off and letting it resprout. They are all now bolting since I'm in Texas, but spring lettuce is on it's way.

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