Mache – Big Seeded

macheMache, also known as Corn Salad or Lamb’s Lettuce, is a slow-growing, small plant with tender leaves that can be added to salads.

Jan 29, 2016 = Day 0.  Plants started from seed (Botanical Interests).  Seeds sowed in 1.5-inch rockwool cube in 2-inch net-pot.  Moistened with dilute fertilizer solution: 1.2 mL (1/4 tsp) Dyna-Gro Liquid Grow, 0.8 mL pH Down per gallon of tap water. Nutrient concentrations (in ppm):  N 22, P 29, K 16, Ca 6, Mg 1.6, S 0.2, Fe 0.3, Mn 0.2, B 0.1, Zn 0.2, Cu 0.2, Mo 0.003, Ni 0.0003, Co 0.005.  pH = 6.0.

Feb 4 = Day 6.  Plants germinated, placed directly under a fluorescent light (2 ft. T8 bulb, 17W, 6500k) for 16 hours per day.  Seeds germinated at 60% efficiency.

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Feb 11 = Day 13

Feb 14 = Day 16.  Installed plant into 0.5-gallon glass jar.  Hydroponic solution composed of 0.5 gal tap water, 3 mL Dyna-Gro Liquid Grow.  Nutrient concentrations (in ppm): N 111, P 143, K 79, Ca 32, Mg 8, S 0.8, Fe 1.6, Mn 0.8, B 0.3, Zn 0.8, Cu 0.8, Mo 0.01, Ni 0.002, Co 0.024.  pH = 6.0.  No pH adjustment required.

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Feb 20 = Day 22

Mar 1 = Day 30.  Based on information obtained in this post and this post, it seems that the pH of the Liquid Grow-based hydroponic solution tends to drop below 4.0 by the end of the growing period, which is not ideal for nutrient uptake.  Therefore, I have switched to a Masterblend-based solution.  Nutrient concentrations (in ppm):  N 103, P 95, K 202, Ca 100, Mg 29, S 34, Fe 2.1, Mn 1.1, B 1.1, Zn 0.3, Cu 0.3, Mo 0.05, Si 4.  pH = 6.0.

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Mar 9 = Day 38.  Thinned to 1 plant.
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Mar 22 = Day 51

Mar 22 = Day 51.  Entire plant was harvested.  Plant only used about 1 cup (0.24 L) of fluid.  Final pH of fluid = 5.0.

At this point, the plant was not growing too much.  I have read that when the plant gets 8-10 leaves, it is time to harvest.  The plant leaves were mixed along with lettuce in a salad.  As you can see, you don’t get a lot of food from just one mache plant.  It is kind of like spinach, where you need many plants just to make one meal.  If I grow this one in the future, I will definitely grow more than just one plant.

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