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Just sowed a bunch of lettuce indoors under daylight flourescent tubes

 
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I sowed the lettuce indoors because I anticipate the lettuce bolting fairly soon here in Zone 7A as the days get warmer.  Question I have is, what do I do with it?  Should I wait like 45 days then transplant it outside in the blazing heat... water the heck out of it and shade cloth it and pray it won't bolt for a few harvests?  And perhaps do this in succession?  I really want lettuce in the summer!

I also have swiss chard and other heat tolerant greens growing as a backup just in case.  Swiss chard in a sandwich is pretty good as well as salad.
 
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I use my lights primarily for growing things as microgreens. I've done lettuces before, and they're great; just cut them and eat them when the leaves get to about three-four inches.

The trick is to succession plant. I use old plastic garden flats, and plant one third of each at a time. Then, two or three weeks later, I plant the next third, and so on. That way, there's always a supply of microgreens ready for a salad.

I do use mine more in the winter, though. Right now I only have four flats going, since there's so much yummy stuff coming in from the regular garden. I'm not sure if you'll get the kind of yields you'll want from microgreens, but they're great for growing things out of season (like lettuce in hot weather!) and for having a constant, reasonably secure supply of salad greens in a relatively controlled situation like your garage. Supposedly they're more nutritious than fully-grown greens, but I can't swear to that; I do know they're usually very tasty. Also, you can get greens from leftover seed that you wouldn't want as a large green, and make use of cheap bulk seed like mustard and pea. Even mustard greens are tasty when they're micro.
 
Jennifer Lowery
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L Allen, thank you for your reply!  I definitely want to get into microgreens.  I've been looking into it since last night.  Would you recommend I start with the peas and mustard seed?  I heard pea shoots are pretty easy and tasty.

Where do you buy your peas and mustard seed for these microgreens?  Always looking for a good deal
 
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I find that lettuce is so tolerant of low light that regular LED shoplights can be used.  No special plant spectrum bulbs necessary.  
 
Jennifer Lowery
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Do you think two 10" x 20" flats, under 6500K lights, using "cut and come again" with densley packed lettuce, would be enough for two adults to have a large salad every other day?  We could mix in some heat tolerant greens from the garden as well.
 
L Allen
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Jennifer Lowery wrote:L Allen, thank you for your reply!  I definitely want to get into microgreens.  I've been looking into it since last night.  Would you recommend I start with the peas and mustard seed?  I heard pea shoots are pretty easy and tasty.

Where do you buy your peas and mustard seed for these microgreens?  Always looking for a good deal



For pea shoots, I just use regular dried peas, the kind you eat. They may or may not do well to plant for garden peas, depending on their hybridization status, but every batch I've bought (this year, from the bulk bin at PCC!) has germinated well and made excellent shoots.

My micro-mustard discovery came about by accident and is now a family joke. One year I ordered what I thought was three ounces of mustard seed for pickling purposes; what I got was three pounds of mustard seed. If you've never seen three pounds of mustard seed, it's a lot. A LOT a lot. At some point I had the idea to try sprouting it, and that worked. Then I tried growing it as microgreens and that worked too. Again, it was culinary-use brown mustard seed, organic, and I got that batch from Frontier Co-Op, I think.

 
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