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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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leaf lettuce Toplef10leaf lettuce 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

leaf lettuce I22gcj10leaf lettuce 14dhcg10

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Post  cabinfever 3/30/2011, 5:12 pm

How much lettuce do you plant in one square foot? Mel says 4, but when I planned out my 4x4 box here,

http://www.gardeners.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Gardeners-Site/default/Link-Page?id=kgp_home

it said to plant 16! That's a huge difference! What do you all say?
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 3/30/2011, 5:22 pm

There is a concept called "microgreens" that I haven't taken the time to understand yet. But, I see some ridiculous numbers of lettuces and spinaches planted in one square because the gardner intends to harvest while the plants are super small....therefore can really cram them in there.

Mel says 4/square, and I am following him. But, that's me. Actually, I've lied a little there. I have a few squares with 5 lettuce plants in them...like the "5" on a die you roll in Monopoly.

So, jump in and lynch me, people......I've violated the system.....lol.
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Post  madnicmom 3/30/2011, 5:31 pm

Lynch mob member here!
How dare you!!!!!!!
leaf lettuce 889526

I would do as BYBG and do 4-5 per square. That's what I plan on doing with my buttercrunch lettuce in my landscaping. LOL
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Post  westie42 3/30/2011, 5:37 pm

Most comments I have seen talk about harvesting larger heads so 4 would be ok there . Like backyardgardener just said if smaller size harvesting suits your desire then more is better. I like the 5 idea for a decent size and more for smaller ones. A crop or two will show you what works best in your SFG.
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Post  Furbalsmom 3/30/2011, 5:53 pm

I tend to plant leaf lettuces much closer, maybe 9 to 16 per square, partly because I use the cut and come again harvesting method. I clip the outer leaves one at a time, and to be honest, I am too impatient to wait for bigger leaves. By keeping the plants small, they take much less room. I know this is heresy, but I tried 4 per square and with the way I harvest, there was too much room between these plants.

Some other lettuces really do need to be four per square, Romaine, for example needs more room, even though I do harvest this leaf by leaf, I like a little larger leaves on the Romaine.
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Post  walshevak 3/30/2011, 6:07 pm

Another factor to consider is the time from planting to bolt. My friends in the Philippines only got 5 weeks and 1 harvest before the lettuce turned bitter. Had to rip all the plants out a few days ago. The next batch they plan to harvest smaller and use cut and come again. If you are planting in heat and know you will not have time for bigger plants, then double up.

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walshevak

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Post  cabinfever 3/30/2011, 7:14 pm

I'm in zone 3, so heat is not an issue! We might hit 40 tomorrow and we're all excited about that! Heat wave!!!!!!!!!!
Maybe I'll try one box with 5 and one box with 9 and see how it goes! I do plan on the cut and come again method. Thanx for the help!
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Post  dizzygardener 3/31/2011, 8:37 am

Yep, I'm real big on baby greens. When I buy lettuce from the store I most often get the tubs of baby greens. My leaf lettuce is planted real close. I plant them something like 12 per square. I do Bibb 4 per square though.
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Post  Squat_Johnson 3/31/2011, 8:50 am

There are two basic types of lettuce, head and leaf. I think Mel is referring to the heads 4 to a square.

I am growing about 6 different head lettuces this year... buttercrunch, bibb (which are very much alike), deer tongue, red deer tongue, cardinale batavian and red amish. I started these inside in trays, and I just finished phase 1 transplanting. These heads are 4 or 5 to a square.

Leaf lettuce - I plant these in directly - three little rows in a square, and I don't count. If I were to guess, it's like 30 to a square. The biggest leaves get picked first.

I have also started planting a "salad square". I am doing one each week. One mini row of leaf lettuce, one arugula and one radish.
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Post  Reverend Curlee 8/22/2011, 1:46 am

Love this thread! I am a SFG believer and Mel's Mix is awesome. To my mind it is the ultimate growing medium. That being said, I love to see how different people push the envelope on the method and achieve great results. I planted Swiss Chard this year (my first year) 4 per square. I love it. But after reading this thread I think I could go with the 5 per square die pattern. I just planted 12 seeds a few days ago in MM in small containers. They have already sprouted. I'll transplant in a few days.

RC
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 8/22/2011, 9:08 am

Chard gets a bit larger than lettuces from my experience. 4 was fine for me. However, my lettuces now go 9 per square. The only reason you would plant chard closer is because you harvest early and often. Hence, the reason I adjusted my lettuces.
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Post  littlesapphire 8/22/2011, 11:50 am

I've been thinking about this same thing lately. I have some leaf lettuce that gets very big and bushy and needs to be planted 4 per square, but the lettuce I have in the garden now is absolutely puny and could probably be put 9 per square easily. I think it all depends on the type of lettuce and how you plan on using it!
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 8/22/2011, 1:25 pm

littlesapphire wrote:I've been thinking about this same thing lately. I have some leaf lettuce that gets very big and bushy and needs to be planted 4 per square, but the lettuce I have in the garden now is absolutely puny and could probably be put 9 per square easily. I think it all depends on the type of lettuce and how you plan on using it!

A lot of spacing is trial and error. For most things, Mel's spacing doesn't need to even be given a 2nd thought. However, as you garden more, you will adjust things to your needs/habits. Mel's spacing should definitely be your default or starting point. But, as the years go, you will know what and when to change a thing or two around.
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Post  moswell 8/22/2011, 4:14 pm

BackyardBirdGardner wrote:
littlesapphire wrote:I've been thinking about this same thing lately. I have some leaf lettuce that gets very big and bushy and needs to be planted 4 per square, but the lettuce I have in the garden now is absolutely puny and could probably be put 9 per square easily. I think it all depends on the type of lettuce and how you plan on using it!

A lot of spacing is trial and error. For most things, Mel's spacing doesn't need to even be given a 2nd thought. However, as you garden more, you will adjust things to your needs/habits. Mel's spacing should definitely be your default or starting point. But, as the years go, you will know what and when to change a thing or two around.

lol, yep, I've already learned after one season. My lesson - plant less parsley (or rather, thin the seedlings better); plant more basil (I don't know what my issue is with basil - it never grows as well for me as it does for others); move herbs back into pots (probably in Mel's Mix) to make room for more veggies in the SFG.

I'm liking all this talk about lettuce since I'm going to try some out for the fall. I may take some of the suggestions in this thread into account and see what happens!
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