Growing Onions & Lettuce From Grocery Store Veggie Ends - How Long? Fertilizer?

Nifty

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In this thread I mentioned the green onions I have growing in water. It's been STUPID easy to grow these... they just keep producing!

Now I'm wondering a few things:
  1. How far / long can I keep doing this with these specific plants? Assuming I could maintain a "perfect" environment (temp, light, etc.), how long until they either stop producing, die, etc?
  2. What can I do to optimize the growth and longevity? Should I add a tiny bit of fertilizer?
  3. I'm going to try this next with romaine lettuce and see if it goes anywhere near as well as the green onions. Any other suggestions on other items I should try?


IMG_20200116_165723.jpg
 

YourRabbitGirl

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Most gardeners should use a complete fertilizer with twice as much phosphorus as nitrogen or potassium. An example would be 10-20-10 or 12-24-12. These fertilizers usually are easy to find. Some soils contain enough potassium for good plant growth and don't need more.
 

flowerbug

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after a while you'll find the container looking pretty grungy. i'd just use pots about the same size with some potting soil in them. by the time the greens have gotten too leggy or played out i'd be feeding them to the worms. for the longer term potted plants need to have the soil replaced in part or in whole. i only use a bit of plant food for them if the plants look like they're not doing well enough.
 

Nifty

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I'm also wondering if (for the onions and spinach) I should lop-off all the leaves and let the roots go from there, or leave some of the leaves to take in light, etc?

So, either:

  1. Take one leaf from each of the growing sets, and keep rotating through, leaving most of the leaves, or
  2. Take all the leaves from one plant, and let it all grow back.
 

flowerbug

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I just went to the local produce market and saw spinach in a way I've never seen... with roots. Curious if this will work:

View attachment 34101
those bits of root will help keep the leaves longer, but in the greater scheme of things keeping the leaves dry and cool will be the best approach to keeping them longest. i'm not sure those will actually get enough roots on them fast enough to make a difference. we'll see. :)

i enjoy this gardening vicariously thing going on here in the middle of winter... :)

note we eat leafy greens pretty quick here - they don't usually have much time to spoil. the exception is the romaine lettuce hearts we keep in the fridge. they'll store there for several weeks without too much of a problem as long as the heads weren't treated poorly in harvest or transit. sometimes we do have some loss from crushed ribs of the leaves but we can usually cut around that.
 

flowerbug

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I'm also wondering if (for the onions and spinach) I should lop-off all the leaves and let the roots go from there, or leave some of the leaves to take in light, etc?

So, either:

  1. Take one leaf from each of the growing sets, and keep rotating through, leaving most of the leaves, or
  2. Take all the leaves from one plant, and let it all grow back.
a general rule of thumb for plants has been to balance the top growth with the amount of root system. so from what i'm looking at i would eat all but two of the leaves of some and see how those go, but since this is a quest to answer questions you could also scale the experiment by leaving more leaves on some and even more on others and see what happens...

on the bulb plants like the onions the lower part is storing some energy. you can cut leaves and they will regrow from that energy store, but if you keep cutting a lot eventually the bottom will run out of energy (or spoil). if it has any green or live roots though there's no problem with putting those out in a garden come spring and they'll likley perk back up.
 

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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Thank you, @digitS' . Here's a more up to date picture of her. Her name is Morgan and she's one of my 6 best buddies (5 kids + wife).
OI000009.JPG

As for the original question I think @flowerbug answered the propagation question well regarding clipping the leaves.

You can keep it going forever :). Celery works this way as well, but I find it to not be specially worth it to grow. Pineapples (the only bromeliad we eat the fruit of) can be grown like this too.

The flood table is a hydroponic setup. You flood the baskets from an intake from one end, let it sit for whatever timeframe before draining it out the other end. I just like it as a catch-all giant elevated tray for my soil plants. It was $120 though :/ but damn was it worth it.
 

flowerbug

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Thank you, @digitS' . Here's a more up to date picture of her. Her name is Morgan and she's one of my 6 best buddies (5 kids + wife).
View attachment 34113

As for the original question I think @flowerbug answered the propagation question well regarding clipping the leaves.

You can keep it going forever :). Celery works this way as well, but I find it to not be specially worth it to grow. Pineapples (the only bromeliad we eat the fruit of) can be grown like this too.

The flood table is a hydroponic setup. You flood the baskets from an intake from one end, let it sit for whatever timeframe before draining it out the other end. I just like it as a catch-all giant elevated tray for my soil plants. It was $120 though :/ but damn was it worth it.
lucky man and well blessed! :)
 

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