This past week it sometimes feels like fall. Partly because I choose to wear shirts with actual sleeves, but mostly because I planted the first crop of spinach, lettuce and mizuna for the fall! In the coming months I will be doing three major projects to expand on the data I already have and to address some new questions.
First I'll be looking at growth rate of greens throughout the fall, early winter and early spring. This will be the same as the growth rate study I did during spring 2011, but instead of looking at the growth rate of ten varieties of greens I'll only be following three. (For more on good old spinach, lettuce and mizuna see here). I'll plant these three greens eight times in the next two months and take leaf length and harvest weight measurements throughout their lifespan.
Next, I'm going to try using different types of media to see how they affect yield. So far I've grown everything in super nice, but very expensive compost. What about less expensive compost? Or potting soil (which is what growers often have on hand)? Or potting soil with slow release fertilizer? Again I'll be using spinach, lettuce and mizuna and again I'll be measuring their growth rate using leaf length and harvest weight.
Last, (and most exciting!) I'm going to do a variety trial of 25 different greens that are cool weather tolerant. Some will be greens I grew last spring like tokyo bekana, tatsoi and outrageous lettuce. But there are going to be a lot of new varieties that I've never heard of before like tatsoi savoy, wasabina and white russian kale. And of course vitamin green, which seems to be what most people want to know about anyway.