Some of you may recall my first mention of planting lettuce seedlings in windowboxes on 9/17/12 (click and scroll down) and followed the progresses through my various post’s updates.
Last week I had another good harvest, click here to see the salad I made with the harvest.
This may be the last harvest but I am hoping not. You see, Friday, 12/21/12, will be the shortest day of the year in my part of the world (the Northern Hemisphere). After Friday, the days will be getting longer, so if I can keep the plants alive, hopefully, they will start to grow at a faster rate as the days get longer and I will get a few more harvests (that’s my thinking). I also side dressed each plant with an organic granular fertilizer to give each a boost, not sure if this is a good idea at this time of the year though (should have done this a month or 2 earlier).
Currently, the windowboxes sit on the driveway in the sun during the day and comes into the garage at night to protect them from deer and cold nights. January and February are bitterly cold, day and night, in my part of the world, the plants may go dormant, in which case I will keep them in the unheated garage, day and night, until March. Will see how this works out. Any suggestions on this experiment is welcomed.
The lettuces in the windowboxes below are
Top to bottom: Forellenschluss, Cimmaron and Oak Leaf.
Conclusions to this experiment:
Of the 3 types of lettuces I am growing in the windowboxes, the oak leaf is the hardiest and grew at the fastest rate. The forellenschluss and cimmaron grew at a much slower rate once the weather got real cold, the tips of many of the leaves suffered cold damage. A few of the plants shrivelled and died.
Since I do not have a hoop frame or cold frame, growing my lettuces in windowboxes did extend my growing season, definitely repeating next year with a few more boxes.
I prefer the light weight plastic windowbox over other containers because of its size, design and ease of moving. Lines up in a neat row along my driveway and fits easily along the wall of my garage.
A windowbox is adequate for growing lettuce. Next fall I will also plant red rib dandelion and arugula as I think they too will do well in a windowbox. May try spinach also.
Planting mix should be enriched with good quality compost.
Because of the limited space in a windowbox which means limited amount of nutrients, more frequent fertilizing is needed to supply plants with needed nutrients, ¼ strength, 3 – 4 times a week. Less frequent watering is needed as the weather gets cold, so it would be a good idea to side dress the plants with a granular fertilizer, perhaps late October early November, to assure plants get adequate nutrients.
Do not crowd plants, give each adequate space, especially fall planting. Spring planting may be OK as plants grow at a much faster rate during the spring and the thinnings would be a good size (will try out this theory come spring).
Overall this was a good experiment, I enjoyed observing the plants grow and became more aware of weather conditions. Worth the effort even though the yield was not that great, the knowledge gained is invaluable.
… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …
Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.
Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6875497