Salad Boxes for Winter


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This topic contains 8 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  chris 1 day, 19 hours ago.

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  • #48689

    chris
    Participant

    Hey Charles- I was really inspired by the video on salad boxes you did last fall but didn’t get around to it last year. I got it together this year.

    I got these plastic boxes that bulbs come in to my Ma’s floral shop she works at for free. Lined with paper bags I filled them with my homemade compost & top them off with an organic compost 1”.

    I’m in New England (Cape Cod) zone 7 and will move these into a hoophouse come late November.

    I transplanted all but 6 (I bought an organic 6 pack of a Lola rossa type) of the lettuce heads which are from Wild Garden Seed – Frank Morton’s lettuce breeding project called “franks secret mix”. I’ve got a cut and come again bed going just for fall that I broadcast seed on.

    I want to try to update this post with my progress as I grow these boxes – thanks for the tip. I’ll use your meathod to pick and possibly weigh the harvest as well.

    Photos are attached of where they are at now. I’m going to add 3 more to those grow bags as well.

    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by  chris.
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    #48694

    chris
    Participant

    Photos of making the boxes. Homemade compost is added made of garden waste, chicken manure from our chickens, seaweed, & spent brewing grains from homebrew beer

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    #48700

    charles
    Moderator

    Hello Chris and well done on your boxes.
    I am interested to see how they grow because you have colder weather than us: my boxes have not been tested below 14F (in the greenhouse) which was in December 2010.
    Over they ears I find the most hardy lettuce is always Grenoble Red, and others less so. Again that will be interesting to see!
    Incidentally your compost looks excellent but probably has fewer nutrients than purchased composts for potting, which I use.
    For anyone curious to see the video it’s here.

    #48703

    chris
    Participant

    Thanks Charles, I’ll update here with the progress. Generally I can grow lettuce up until Christmas in the hoophouse, hope these extend it out.

    Next year I will certainly buy some Grenoble Red Lettuce, looks like a great variety.

    #48978

    chris
    Participant

    Here is an update from the first pick of these lettuces. The were broadcast seeded in a bed that had tomatoes in them previously on Aug 1st. I pricked out all of the lettuces except for the 6 Lolla Rosa types. Transplanted into the boxes on September 13th.

    Total weight of the first pick today Oct 4th was 490 grams or 1.08 lbs . Certainly enough lettuce for the week for both me and my wife. I’m using Charles’ method of picking the outer leaves and the scraps go to our 6 chickens (not included in final weigh in).

    We have been getting a good amount of rain which has been helping. These were only watered when I initially transplanted into the boxes.

    Photos below. I will continue to update the progress, but this is looking very promising for weekly harvests of salad greens for little to no effort.

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    #48987

    charles
    Moderator

    Lovely post Chris and great photos.
    I sow my winter lettuce later, 10th September and plant them by mid October, but we have milder winters than you.

    #49434

    chris
    Participant

    Another update October 19 2018

    We had a slight frost last night, but it didn’t seem to take hold on these lettuces (my basil and peppers were another story). I’m still holding out to bringing them into the Hoophouse as we have some warmer weather on the horizon.

    Total weight of the second pick today Oct 19th was 308 grams or 10.86 ounces

    This brings the total output for these boxes to date at – 798 grams or 1.75 lbs of lettuce leaves on two picks. That’s about $25 worth in a US Supermarket for less quality leaves, once again no effort, no watering, just picking so far.

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    #49443

    charles
    Moderator

    Nice result again Chris. Just coming into winter I would pick less hard, because plants now need more leaf to photosynthesise.
    I planted my boxes yesterday, now in the greenhouse.

    #49457

    chris
    Participant

    Thanks for the tip Charles, that’s really helpful.

    Good luck with your boxes this winter, nothing like fresh food when everything is being imported to your area.

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