How To Grow Lettuce With Hydroponics How To Grow Lettuce With Hydroponics
Probably the easiest of all leafy plants to grow lettuce is a great introduction to hydroponics.
Put a single seed in the hollow of each growing cube. Place the cubes in a shallow tray with water. Allow the seeds two weeks to germinate. Don’t let the cubes dry out in this time.
Prepare the Growing Container
Allow for Lettuce Growth
Lettuce grows into quite a bulky plant so you want enough space between them to accommodate this. A large flat container will give you the surface area you need. Make sure that the container is scrubbed out and sterilized.
Use a sharp craft knife to cut 12 holes in the container lid small enough to support a growing cube. Arrange the holes so that they have as much space between them as possible.
When the Seedlings are Ready
When the seedlings are ready you can mix the initial feed solution. Use 2 tsp of hydroponic fertilizer, 2 tsp calcium nitrate and 1 tsp of Epsom salts for every 5 gallons of water the container will hold when full. If possible use filtered water. Make the mixture in a cup or similar container and stir until the granules have been dissolved.
Position the Container
The container should be placed in the position it will occupy. This should be an area protected from rain and receiving as much natural daylight as possible. Lettuce likes a lot of light so it would help if you could position a fluorescent light tube above them.
Fill the container
Preferably using filtered water fill the container with water. Add the feed mix (which will be calculated for the amount of water in the container) and stir carefully.
Place the Growing Cubes
Put the lid firmly on the container and settle a growing cube and seedling in each of the holes you have cut into it. If you have made the holes the right size they will sit quite safely in the holes. If the holes are too large you will need to wrap something around them. A strip of newspaper will do.
Wait for the Lettuce to Grow
Lettuce loves water so it is ideally suited for hydroponic culture. Since the growing container is fairly well sealed you won’t have to worry too much about watering the plants. If you do have to top up the container with water you can cut a hole in the top for a funnel and add extra water that way. Remember to add the feed mix to any new water to keep the levels in the container up.
Realistically you can expect your lettuce to be ready to harvest in a month. The first immediate difference you will notice will be that the lettuce is clean. If you plan the germination of new lettuce seedlings carefully your container could provide a running supply.