Salad all summer.

Is it possible to have lettuce all summer. Not all at once like I got . Around may or June . until it bolted.
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Yes, stagger your planting times for the head and leaf lettuces. For the leaf lettuces one can tear off leaves as needed. Leaf lettuces can go from seed to plate in about 30 days and the leaf lettuces tend expire after 60 days.
Head lettuces take most of the summer to grow. For me when the leaf lettuces come to an end, the head lettuces start to come in for a change of taste at the end of summer and fall months. One can get two harvest from each plant. Do not harvest the whole plant, cut the head inside of the plant and on the small side instead of letting them get large and a new head will start to grow for a second harvest. (my preference, others here may have a different view).
--
Enjoy Life... Dan L (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)

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wrote:

There's my problem. I planted all leaf lettuce . It was awesome for about a month.
I knew I had lettuce all summer gardening before.
Thank YOU!!!!!!
I'm in Ohio, Great lakes . Suppose im 5 or 6.
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If you are a bit mechanical and on a budget try making one of these or something similar :
http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/11plan01.htm
what this doesn't show is you should use 12-16 oz plastic picnic cups to fit inside the pop bottles fill these with some washed gravel, hydroton ( expanded clay) or even glass marbles, aquarium gravel or pumice rock works as well, you just need something to support the plant as it grow and grow it will... so much so the roots will sometimes clog the drain lines. so watch for signs of wilt. use an soldiering iron the make the holes in the cups, better than a knife or punch. picture here:
http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/images/11.jpg
just germinate new starters in agri rock wool or rubber plugs on a 2-3 week schedule so when you harvest one you can drop another in its place for a continuous harvest. I am able to grow lettuces/mix for most months of the year, I tear it down and clean/flush it a couple times a year.
Leave some to develop full head, others for microgreens, throw some herbs chervil is good maybe even baby carrots for their tops in there as well.
For really cool periods in a Greenhouse use an aquarium heater and/or consider further insulation of your solution tank*. For really cold periods further make a bubble warp enclosure to protect and still allow light in
A cheap 10$ shop light will supply enough supplemental light to grow greens in most places if you use it inside or have such overcast sky as we do in the PNW.
*good insulated cooler ( with drain) works better than the Rubbermaid tubs, but they are ~>/= 35$ to the Rubber Maid's 5-7$. you can use building styrofoam insulation to surround the rubber maid bu tyour back around the cost of an cooler again.
a pretty cool vertical setup:
http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/images/Vertical%20Garden/6vertical_6_30.jpg
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I appreciate the ideas. I've got a room of hydroponics and aeroponic equipment in my basement. Its hard to justify $50 of electricity a month for $50 worth of salad. In 3 months. I've never got it where it breaks even. I got it once where I had a bunch of plants. And the electric was over $300 a month. I was glad to shut it down . When I got laid off. And put everything outside.
Even my Aero garden has 250 watt lights in it. Which is kind of a worthless unit. Which is about $20 a month.
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I have a hydroponic greenhouse and have just had my fall / winter crop of lettuces sprout. There are tons of tiny little plants, how much should I thin them out? I want as much lettuce as I can but there has to be balance.
MJ
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what kind of Hydro system are you running and to what end? microgreens, baby lettuces or head lettuces.
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That is some expensive lettuce...
--
Mathink


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Im not doubting your word but "$50 of electricity a month for $50 worth of salad"... ouch! As for $300.. double ouch..What is your kWh cost?
I can only think you have to be using some very high wattage lights for a energy bill that high. The hydraulics part of the system are not expensive to run. So I hope you dont think Hydroponics and grow- lights as a mutually inclusive entity. Take your crop outside with the rest of your veggies to take advantage of the sun. I agree the 250 w Aerogarden is proprietary crap. Like comparing a . 22 cal pellet rifle with a .22 mag rifle.
I understood you to ask about a continuous or sustainable lettuce crop cycle in your growing season. LIke you I want a system that avoids one big harvest. I want fresh greens as I go. My 11 plant system is that for me. I understand dirt will give similiar results for some. As for energy consumption my 11 plant system consumes ~31w when running ( a 400gph water pump @25w +an air pump @ 6 w) ). Cycle time is variable w/ plant requirements. Hotter climates you may have more cycle times. but say 5 -8 times @ 5 mins ea. a day here in my climate. so the daily on-time is < an hour. . 31w @ an hour a day
So using the cost calculator @ http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/howmuch.html Ill round up and use the 60w figure @ 1 hour a day for 30 days a month @ my cost of .06 cents/kWh (relatively inexpensive here). That is ~ 11 cents a mo. or $1.32 a year, so about 65 cents of electricity for a 6 month growing season outdoors? Even @ 15 cents a kWh its only ~ $3.24 a year. So for the ease I have of "pull one- plant one. Im willing to pay that and still believe the 11 plant system or similar such is a very flexible approach that might answer your needs. Its just a bit different way to staggering your plants. Each container is in various stages of growth. Early on we use micro greens, later, its baby, then perhaps leave a head to finish. its all use one plant one all in a 2 x 3 foot area. 11 plants staggered out over their 30-40 day growth cycle. We started in March and its still running, with ambient temps down to 38f in the AM this last week. The system plants didnt bolt like the ground crops did in our mini heat wave. This automates the process of watering/fertilizing w/ no weeding. As well my incident rate of pest/disease has greatly decreased, especially slugs. Again your results may vary.
I am also not of the opinion that lights are too expensive to run. Just pick the right engine for the vehicle, a 3x3 area of greens only needs 250W, 1000w will power ( and heat) a 8x8 room quite well. If I wanted to put this system under lighting indoors during the winter I would use either a T5HO tube setup( 180$) or a 250 w Metal Halide (approx the same$$) ( both are best for green leafy stuff that dont flower), and at my 6 cents it is 7.92 a month to run 16 hours a day . Lettuce/greens are running 1.50-1.70 a head, the triple washed boxes are 2.50-3.00 a box now. So its pretty much an equal wash for me and using the adage oft heard here; its always best if you control the grow.
I have read someone using the figure 100w=100$ a year , 200w=2004, etc for quick calculations. However use this for cost calculator from sunlight supply to plug your numbers in and get better cost figures,: http://www.n-g-w.com/ngw/literature/catalog_powercost.pdf
BTW what was your water bill for your garden this year?
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