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Old March 3, 2018   #1
FourOaks
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Default Growing Salad Mix, Radishes.. etc.

Ok, my fine compatriots, Im looking for ideas/advice.


Now that I have joined a Market that sales year round, Im thinking about growing a small quantity of Baby Salad Greens and possibly Radishes. Just something to help fill up the table space, to go along with the Plants and Seedlings. I plan my first day to be March 31 or April 7, so I do have a little time but not much.


I have never been terribly succesful with Lettuce. Ive tried in raised beds, bolted. Last year I built a Hydroponic Rail system, bolted. So Im thinking that by going with "Baby Greens" then I have possibly helped reduce the potential to bolt. Any opinions on this?


Yesterday I was at Southern States and looked at a pack of premade mix. It was 14 Grams of seed for $4.49. Right on the back of the pack was the contents. So I just picked up some of the varieties that they had in individual packs. My Salad Mix will contain, Salad Bowl, Paris Islands, Oak, and Mustard.


I decided to fill up a 1020 tray with soil and sprinkle on the mix. Im attempting to grow these the same way you would Microgreens. Just a couple extra weeks involved.


Im also thinking Radishes might do well this way as well.


Anyone have any thoughts on this? Also, where I might get the salad bags?
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Old March 3, 2018   #2
oakley
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Called 'bread bags'. The webstaurantstore, has them.
https://www.webstaurantstore.com/search/bread-bags.html

You might read through the 'art of growing micro greens' posting.
Curtis Stone on y-tube has 5 or so good videos just about growing
microgreens. Most valuable info I have found.

I grow all winter. Here is some radish mix in the middle, peas on the left.
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File Type: jpg radish micro.jpg (238.9 KB, 205 views)
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Old March 3, 2018   #3
oakley
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My radish mix, buckwheat/sunflower mix, 5 pea blend, are all fast growers. Radish
about 8-10 days to harvest, peas and sunflower 12-15. All depends on temp and light.

I grow under one single 4ft LED. I can speed up growth by running the light 24/7 for a day
or two. But I usually have more than we can consume.

Salads are all S L O W growing. Mustards a bit faster, 12-15 days.

Your issue might be temps. They all like it a bit cooler, 65-70. Shade cloth might help over
70º. Outside in the garden I can grow all summer season using dense planting and a shade
frame. Dense planting keeps the leaves and soil cooler. Greenhouse growing needs shade
and good fan airflow.

I can easily harvest a bag a day, (just for home/family use). And purchasing by the pound
is so much cheaper. I pay average 7$ per pound. Market growers typically buy 5-20lb bags
to make it profitable.

Typical harvest and last nights salad....I'm guessing 20cents in seed cost buying bulk.
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Old March 3, 2018   #4
Ann123
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That looks delicious and beautiful.
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Old March 3, 2018   #5
FourOaks
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Oakley thanks for the input. I like the idea that Salad Greens (in my opinion) would have a much broader customer base, as opposed to Micro Greens.

Also, at my new market, there is a vendor who does nothing but Micro Greens. I dont want to step on any toes, if you know what I mean. Salad Greens are sort of more generic, in a sense.
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Old March 3, 2018   #6
oakley
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Ignore my advice. I'm not a market grower...just a market consumer and see
all the mistakes. Good luck with what works for you. And I mean that sincerely.
I'll not continue....in any wasted time....

Last edited by oakley; March 4, 2018 at 03:58 AM.
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Old March 3, 2018   #7
FourOaks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakley View Post
Ignore my advice. I'm not a market grower...just a market consumer and see
all the mistakes. Good luck with what works for you. And I mean that sincerely.
I'll not continue....in any waisted time....
Well, I dont know how/why that went South. The info you posted was useful. And your view from being a paying customer, is invaluable.
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Old March 5, 2018   #8
GoDawgs
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In the fall I grew French Breakfast radishes and a Polish cousin (and pretty much look-alike) Opolanka. They're both about 2" long with a pretty 1/2" white tip. The FB's were started Oct 17, germinated in five days and the first ones were pulled 28 days after that, if that's any help with your timing. Good for succession planting to keep them coming.
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Old March 6, 2018   #9
FourOaks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoDawgs View Post
In the fall I grew French Breakfast radishes and a Polish cousin (and pretty much look-alike) Opolanka. They're both about 2" long with a pretty 1/2" white tip. The FB's were started Oct 17, germinated in five days and the first ones were pulled 28 days after that, if that's any help with your timing. Good for succession planting to keep them coming.
Im thinking about trying radishes in the 1801 Deep Inserts. Something just for fun. I have the seeds, I need to get them sewn. Today might be a good day.
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Old March 6, 2018   #10
FourOaks
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Something else I might try growing in 1020 flats, green onions. If the first batch shows promise, then I might keep sowing them. I dont beleive that true bunching onions have any chance of bolting. I think they will do fine just about all year.
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Old March 7, 2018   #11
BigVanVader
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French breakfast radish is the best to grow for sales. Quick turnaround and very uniform. Selling bagged lettuce is a huge undertaking if your going to do it for sales. I likely won't wash mine this year. Just not worth it. Mini heads sell really well. The ones from Johnnys are great. I'm moving to more heads and less mix. They get the same $ and wayyyyyy less work.
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Old March 7, 2018   #12
FourOaks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigVanVader View Post
French breakfast radish is the best to grow for sales. Quick turnaround and very uniform. Selling bagged lettuce is a huge undertaking if your going to do it for sales. I likely won't wash mine this year. Just not worth it. Mini heads sell really well. The ones from Johnnys are great. I'm moving to more heads and less mix. They get the same $ and wayyyyyy less work.
I have 3 or 4 different radishes to try. Speaking of, need to get the seed going.

Yeah, the whole lettuce thing is a real struggle for me. Heads vs. Cut.

I like the idea of cut, because lets be honest, customers are lazy. But it certainly does entail more work. On the other hand, if you do a cut and come again lettuce, then your at a minimum doubling your money. If not possibly tripling or quadrupling. Assuming all the stars align and it doesnt bolt.

Heads on the other hand are tempting because as you said, lot less work. Just pluck and sell. But what you see is what you get.

You mentioned Johnny's. Last year I tried the Rex Variety Lettuce in a homebrew hydroponic rail system.

I wasnt terribly impressed. Small heads, and although they are claimed to be perfect for hydro in a greenhouse, they bolted faster then a couple of other misc. varieties that I had.

Decisions decisions.
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Old March 7, 2018   #13
FourOaks
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Something that just came to mind. Im not opposed to the smaller lettuces, and maybe it would work out for the better.

The new market that I will be selling at this year, is in the city and has a "youthful, hipster, foodie" type of clientele. If you know what I am getting at. My previous market that I was at, the main customer base was older folks.

A huge difference in the clientele.

So perhaps the more "gourmet" it seems, the better.
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Old March 7, 2018   #14
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Too true it is a lot of work, but customers are lazy and love a clean looking product. The other market bonus is making it a gourmet mix. If you have baby kale or arugula or mizuna or mustard...radiccio, so many possibilities - many of which grow faster than lettuce if anything - they are buying it for the interesting "gourmet" taste blend. And you can tweak and tailor the mix to keep it interesting. And you should get a primo price for that "mix" vs a head of lettuce.

Even head lettuce gets a few minutes dunked in the washtub here to keep it fresh for the market - and will float away slugs or other bugs just by leaving it in water while you rinse out the tub. We wash everything (except tomatoes and peppers), it does wonders for appearance and most of all, shelf life for anything with greens. The farm is organic so we do expect to find a few critters in the lettuce and such.
Re: shade for lettuce, somewhere there's a thread where Oakley described how a shade garden was made to keep lettuce cool all summer - no idea where to find that now.
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Old March 7, 2018   #15
FourOaks
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Maybe the best option would be to offer both. Heads, and bagged. Charging more for bagged for the obvious labor.
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