How to Grow Mesclun Mix Lettuce In Paperpots (Paper Chain Pots)
Growing Mesclun Mix Lettuce in Paperpots
No hand transplanting!
Less transplant shock!
Growing mesclun mix in paper chain pots will save you a lot of time and labor transplanting the seedlings into the field.
Mesclun mix is a popular crop for most market gardeners.
Starting your mesclun mix in paper chain pots allows you to get great germination in the nursery at times of the year when direct seeding into the field is not possible.
28 days later you can use the Paperpot Transplanter to quickly and easily transplant the seedlings.
All without bending over and less transplant shock!
The Specifications for Paperpot Mesclun Mix Lettuce
|PAPER CHAIN POT||6"|
|ROWS PER 100’ X 30” BED||4|
|TRAYS PER 100’ X 30” BED||3|
|KWIK KLIK™ TOP PLATE||Plate: Paperpot (264 holes) / Thickness: 3mm / Hole Diameter: 5mm|
|SEEDS PER CELL||1|
|SEED PER 100’ X 30’ BED||760 seeds (+/-) *Always round up when placing seed orders to ensure having enough|
|RECOMMENDED CULTIVARS||Salanova, Easy Leaf|
|GERMINATION||48 hours at 68°F|
|DAYS TO TRANSPLANT||28 days (+/-) *time from seeding to transplanting in the field|
|DAYS TO MATURITY||60 days (+/-) *time from seeding to being ready for harvest|
|HARVEST WINDOW||27 days (+/-) *time crop is at ideal stage for harvest after reaching maturity|
|TOTAL DAYS IN FIELD||59 days (+/-) *DTM + harvest window - days to transplant|
|TARGET CROP YIELD||130 pounds|
|PRICE PER UNIT||$10 *depending on local market pricing|
|REVENUE PER BED||$1300 *depending on local market pricing|
|SEEDING||Kwik Klik™ Drop Seeder, Paperpot Germination Trays, Paper Chain Pots|
|TILTHING||Power Harrow or Precision Depth Roller (With no tractor: Tither)|
|AERATION||Meadow Creature Broadfork|
|SHAPING||Bed Preparation Rake|
|WEED CONTROL||Flame Weeder|
|CULTIVATION||Flex Tine Weeder or Collinear Hoe|
Suggested Tools for Paperpot Mesclun Mix Lettuce
Bed Preparation for Paperpot Transplanting
- Broadfork the bed to aerate and loosen the soil.
- Smooth and shape the bed with a bed preparation rake, removing any debris.
- If the previous crop was fertilized, mesclun mix will do fine without reapplication.
- If not, here are two options:
- 1) Layer on 1” of compost, enough to mostly cover the native soil.
- 2) Sprinkle on a combination of alfalfa meal and pelleted chicken manure.
- If layering compost, do not tilth in hopes of smothering any surface weed seed.
- If adding amendments, tilth the top 1-2” of soil to mix in amendments.
- Irrigate for 10-14 days*, allowing any weed seed in top layer of soil to germinate.
- Flame weed the bed when the cotyledons of the weed seeds have emerged.
Growing Mesclun Mix in Paperpots
Seeding Lettuce in Paperpots
Prepare trays with 6” paper chain pots, and fill with potting mix.
Install Paperpot bottom plate and specified top plate into Kwik Klik™ (KK) Drop Seeder.
Pour seed onto the top plate and rotate until one seed fills each hole.
Position the KK Drop Seeder over the tray, ensuring the holes are lined up with the cells, and click to drop the seeds.
Water the trays, then place in germination chamber for 48 hours at 68°.
Transfer the trays to greenhouse tables after germination.
Thoroughly water trays before heading to the field for transplanting.
Using the Paperpot Transplanter, plant the four rows of mesclun mix.
There should be 7.5” between rows, and 3.75” from the outer rows to the edge of the bed.
Reference https://paperpot.co/learn/ for instructional videos if needed.
Transplanting Mesclun Mix Lettuce with the Paperpot Transplanter
Water the beds thoroughly with overhead irrigation or four rows of drip.
Frequent and consistent watering will promote succulent growth and avoid bitterness.
10-12 days after transplanting, cultivate using the Flex Tine Weeder (repeat again after 7 days).
A collinear hoe is also an effective cultivator for lettuce.
Harvesting Mesclun Mix Lettuce
Mesclun mix is ready for harvest when the heads are approximately 6” in diameter.
Harvest just above the growing tip (about 1’’ from the soil) with a sharpened harvest knife.
The leaves should be about 2-4” (+/-). If the lettuce leaves are too big, cut higher on the plant.
Cut away any leftover leaves after your initial cut, making sure the core is clean for regrowth and the next harvest. (Take note to remove insects, rotten leaves, or debris while in the field.)
Agitate the lettuce by hand (or use a bubbler) for no more than 4 minutes in the wash tube, while scanning for debris, bugs, or damaged greens.
Adding a sanitizer like Sanidate 5.0 sanitizer to the water will kill any possible pathogens, and will also help improve the shelf life of the mesclun.
After drying and bagging (usually in 1/2lb or 1lb bags), store the greens at 35°.
Attempt to sell mesclun mix within 3 days of harvest for highest quality.
Washing and Packing Mesclun Mix Lettuce
Overall Paper Chain Pots make mesclun mix lettuce a much more farmer-friendly crop.
Time savings, ease of transplanting, and high germination rates are some of the reasons why mesclun mix lettuce is one of the most popular market garden crops grown in paperpots.
Get started growing lettuce on your farm using a Paperpot Transplanter and download the Growers Notes below.