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Salad/Lettuce table

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Salad/Lettuce table

Postby Dumbo » Feb 22, 2012 5:20 pm

Has anyone here ever built and used a lettuce table?

Example shown here:
http://www.canadiangardening.com/how-to ... le/a/21980

Any issues with it? Did it work out well? Worth doing? Comments about it?
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Re: Salad/Lettuce table

Postby OGrubber » Feb 23, 2012 10:02 am

Not a table per se, but trays, yes. It's no different than container gardening in that respect. The trays are quite suited to growing cut and come - heads, not so much so.

"Is it worth it?" Depends on a lot of things, but especially useful if you eat a lot of salad and have limited garden space or you want to get started before your soil is "workable".

I just took a quick glance at the article... Not sure if they meant to imply that the seed types they list can be mixed together at seeding, but I would caution against that. Some have different germination and growth rates, some don't lend themselves to cut and come as readily, and some are most palatable at the cotledon/macro sprout stage. If, however, they meant to imply that all the varieties listed are suitable for salad and seeded separately in their own "sections" then I have no arguement with the list.
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Re: Salad/Lettuce table

Postby Dumbo » Feb 23, 2012 10:51 am

Is this what you mean by a tray (see pic)?
Tray.jpg
Tray type
Tray.jpg (36.06 KiB) Viewed 3585 times

In other words a tray similar to this that you can carry or place where you want it?

That's another idea I haven't thought of, or even seen till now. I see there are plans for this as well, similar to the table.

And yup, all leaf lettuce types. Not the head type.

OGrubber wrote:Not sure if they meant to imply that the seed types they list can be mixed together at seeding, but I would caution against that. Some have different germination and growth rates, some don't lend themselves to cut and come as readily, and some are most palatable at the cotledon/macro sprout stage.


Hmm.... I didn't give this any thought. It never dawned on me. Nope, I didn't look at the types listed in the article, only the table. My wife picked up a bunch of leaf types. Some mescaline mix, spinach, and some other leafs types that I don't recall.

I'll have to look into this and check out the germination and growth rates, and make sure they can all be cut multi-times. You raised some excellent points there.

Do you see any issue with spinach done in this way?

Maybe a few trays would also be less of a hassle instead of a big table? Hmm, something to think about.

Well, you certainly gave some great tips and well thought out advice, as usual.

From what I read, leaf type lettuce is generally good for 3 cuttings, and good for cold weather growing (ie started in early may since they handle frost). Around July it starts to bolt (unless you buy some slow bolt type). Then you replant it again for around the end of Aug.

I *think* the advantage of trays and tables is that you can pull them out of the hot July-Aug sun and place them in an shaded area thus slowing down the bolt phase of their life-cycle. At least, this is what I understood. Or I guess you can plant them between high growing plants like tomato's maybe?

And yup, I'm trying to create extra room in the garden by moving these out of it, if possible.
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Re: Salad/Lettuce table

Postby OGrubber » Feb 23, 2012 2:57 pm

My trays are, yes, very similar to the pic you've shown. The advantage of trays over a table [imo] is that once you've reached the final cut you can dump the soil and begin again instead of scratching out sections of soil to replace for replanting or waiting until the whole table is spent before starting over. Again though, it would depend on how much salad you go through. The table might suit your needs better, I don't know. Both are meant to be moveable into shadier locations once the heat arrives. For me, the trays are easier to move.

Early [spring] seeding of leaf lettuce should give three cuts, but plan on two, and successive seed accordingly. The third cut may be tough or bitter depending on temps and weather and how quick you are to get it into the shade.. Late summer sowings are more likely to give you your three cuts, per.

Unless your spinach variety is specifically bred for heat tolerance I would seed seperataly from the salad in a spring sowing - I've never had it not bolt before the second cut except in late summer sowings. Maybe you'll have better luck with it, if you try.

About seeding under toms or anything else with a canopy, you'll likely have variable results depending on how much actual "light" the lettuce/salad gets in any given location along the row. Keep in mind too that there will be competition for nutrients and water. Not saying it's a bad idea, just be prepared to harvest in patches along a row.
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Re: Salad/Lettuce table

Postby Dumbo » Feb 23, 2012 4:39 pm

Thanks again for the tips!

In the previous post I said my wife bought a mescaline mix. Oops, Typo. I meant Mesclun mix, not mescaline... I don't need the RCMP breaking down my door...

OGrubber wrote:The advantage of trays over a table [imo] is that once you've reached the final cut you can dump the soil and begin again instead of scratching out sections of soil to replace for replanting


BAM! That's one big advantage right there. Less work = More happy. I didn't think of that.

Yup, I plan on doing this. I'll probably make it out of pine. It's cheap. Nor does it need to be perfect. Imperfect wood for a little project like this is very cheap. Either way the spinach is going in. Be it tray or in the ground. Maybe I'll try both to compare.

Hey, thanks a lot for your input OGrubber, I really appreciate it. I'm sort of glad I can toss these questions out here and someone knowledgeable and with know-how, like you, can reply with something even better! :)

As for how much I need... That's hard to say. Never planted lettuce or spinach, but 4 lettuce eaters here, plus the in-laws always picked at our garden. So can't really say. So I was thinking maybe 3 or 4 trays. Will have to figure out the size or just copy plans off the net and make sure it isn't too heavy given the volume of wet soil.
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Re: Salad/Lettuce table

Postby OGrubber » Feb 23, 2012 5:47 pm

Glad to help.
One other thing; the bottom of the trays or table can be anything as long as it allows water to drain. Some of my trays have wood slat bottoms, some have pieces of the orange plastic frost fence while others have chicken wire. Whatever is the cheapest at the time is what I use. For the frost fence and chicken wire I just put a couple of layers of newsprint [not the coloured or glossy paper] in the bottom to hold the soil. It's not long until the roots of whatever is planted hold everything together anyway.
I'll see if I can dig up a photo of one of my trays - they're a bit larger in diameter than what is shown in your pic.
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Re: Salad/Lettuce table

Postby Dumbo » Feb 23, 2012 6:08 pm

I don't know if I will use chicken wire or something else like what you mentioned above. Will see what I have lying around. Pretty sure I have chicken wire some place, unless I gave it away. I have scraps of that black geotextile material I can use to line it though.

If you ever dig up one of your old trays mind if I ask you how high it is (depth)?

That Canadian Gardening article is using 2x4's, so 4-inches high. This seems low to me, but I don't know. I was thinking more along the lines of 6 inches high. But if 4 works, then 4 it is.

TY again!
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Re: Salad/Lettuce table

Postby OGrubber » Feb 23, 2012 6:12 pm

Found a couple of pics that my husband took last April.
These are roughly 20 x 36. I made them to fit my benches in the greenhouse. Large but still manageable.
tray.jpg
tray.jpg (24.4 KiB) Viewed 3550 times

tray_pac-choi.jpg
tray_pac-choi.jpg (22.4 KiB) Viewed 3550 times
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Re: Salad/Lettuce table

Postby OGrubber » Feb 23, 2012 6:21 pm

2x4's is what I used and there was adequate depth, but if you feel better about using 2x6's then why not. You're the person lifting them to move them, I take it?
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Re: Salad/Lettuce table

Postby Dumbo » Feb 23, 2012 6:57 pm

OGrubber wrote:2x4's is what I used and there was adequate depth


That's good enough for me. Was just curious about that.

It will either be me or my wife moving it. Likely me. So yeah, I guess I don't want it much deeper to make it heavier.

TY for the pic's.
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