Squatting Lettuce Plants
(Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
My team and I are growing romaine lettuces in a highly controlled grow room setting. We are using an aeroponic setup where plants are fed water and nutrients through spay nozzles situated below shallow "rafts" where plants sit in net pots with 6" spacing. We are using T5 HO fixtures for light, located about 8" above the plants.
The system is capable of growing some really impressive plants, however, we have noticed a common characteristic amongst most Romaine plants: they grow very squat and compact. The plants seem to hug the ground (see pictures) as opposed to growing up towards the lights.
We have been told that this is due to leaf temperatures; that the T5s may be getting leaf temps too high. Our air temps tend to hover around the 60F - 70F zone, and our humidity fluctuates between 60% - 85%.
Has anyone had this sort of experience with squatting lettuce plants? Are the T5's too "hot" as it were? Should we consider T8's or playing with the distance of the lights to the plants? Is it due to air movement?
Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
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