Why Does the Click and Grow 25 Use a 5-week Cycle to Grow Greens?
If you’ve recently bought a Click and Grow 25, congratulations! Get ready to enjoy a continuous cycle of delicious, fresh, vitamin-rich greens.
By planting a new tray of plants every week in your Click and Grow 25, you'll have a constant supply of salad greens for every meal. Plants grow in a 5-week cycle before they’re ready to be harvested. Why 5 weeks? Let’s explain.
For optimal taste and nutrition
The sweet spot for harvesting leafy greens is when they’re around 5 weeks of age. At this point, the leaves are between baby leaf size and full size and have their optimal taste and nutritional value. Smaller leaves are more nutrient-dense than full-size lettuce heads available in grocery stores. Also, when harvesting from garden to plate, you’re always enjoying the freshest produce possible.
At 5 weeks you’ll notice the leaves are tender but not too soft; flavorful, but not bitter. You can keep your harvest for another week in a separate tray holder.
It’ll remain fresh for the duration of the week so you don’t have to cut your greens in one go. Be sure to use them all up as there’ll be a new tray of greens ready to be picked next week!
A 5 week cycle may feel relatively short, but it’s carefully optimized for fast growing greens, taking into account seeding patterns and the number of plants growing in one pod. This is also why we don’t encourage thinning seedlings for greens. Having multiple plants growing in one pod allows you to harvest in just 5 weeks.
Also, while growing in a 5 week cycle, the plant pod only produces edible yield and nothing goes to waste. It’s good to know that everything you grow is edible! Grocery store produce may give the impression of being abundant (think full heads of lettuce), however up to 60% of these whole heads/plants are wasted and thrown away.
Your plants can continue to grow in size but their taste and nutritional value will start to decrease as the plant pods reach their maturity in 5 to 6 weeks.
To avoid bolting
If lettuce plants are left unharvested and grow beyond their prime, they’ll begin to form a seed stalk. This process is called bolting. When salad greens are left unharvested for too long, bitter compounds called glucosinolates build up in their tissues, giving them a tougher texture and a more bitter taste.
When bolting, the plant focuses on growing a flower stalk and stops growing leaves, so the produce may remain small. Also, room temperature should be taken into account as higher temperatures promote bolting.
This is also where the 5 week growth cycle comes handy. If the temperature is slightly higher than recommended, plants tend to progress faster and that can lead to early bolting. In many cases, the 5 week cycle allows you to harvest salad greens just in time when they’re in their prime.
Be sure to register your garden and plants in the Click and Grow mobile app to receive reminders of when it’s time to harvest. Check out our usage tutorial for a visual reference on growing plants in a 5-week cycle:
For more helpful info about your Click and Grow 25, check out our dedicated support pages.