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GROWING HYDROPONIC LETTUCE
Lettuce is my favorite hydroponic garden
crop. It is fun and easy to grow in the simple lettuce rafts, produces
tons of groceries in short order, and is a great confidence builder for
beginning hydroponics enthusiasts.
Lettuce grows like weeds especially in
the lettuce raft hydro setups, and yields more edible produce per inch of plot
than any other veggie.
One advantage to growing hydroponic lettuce is you do not need expensive, hot HID lamps. Simple fluorescent lighting or specialized T5 fluorescent lamps are sufficient for growing any lettuces or greens. Avoid the expense and added heat.
There are many varieties of lettuce you can try,
with a wide range of tastes and textures. We are Romaine lettuce freaks, as we love Caesar Salad, but we also grow looseleaf strains for variety.
Head lettuce: Boston, New York, Iceberg, Romaine
Looseleaf Lettuce: Waldman's Dark Green, Simpson, Buttercrunch Bibb
Bibb is a favorite. A great combo for your raft would be Buttercrunch Bibb and Romaine.
You can buy seed packs with a mixture of salad greens, and there are heat-resistant varieties as well.
Talk about fun! Why not try your hand at Hydroponic Microgreens?
Hydroponic Lettuce Growing Tips
- Stagger your plantings for a continuous
supply of crisp lettuce greens; Sow a new batch of seeds every 2-3 weeks
in gro-cubes for a constant supply of salad greens.
- Lettuce will bolt
(flower and go to seed) with insufficient light or high temps. It
requires well-drained, well-aerated medium (if you don't use a raft).
- If your lettuce raft is outdoors, it must be kept under a cover so rain doesn't reach it. Added rainwater would dilute the nutrient
solution, starving your plants of food.
- Check the
pH of your raft solution daily! This is particularly important for a lettuce raft, as the roots sit in the solution 24-7.
- Don't forget! Insects love any plants, whether soil-grown or hydroponic. Examine your plants closely every day, and remove any pests before they can gain a foothold.
- Lettuce is a very important hydroponic
vegetable. It prefers temps on the cooler side, (optimum is 55-75
degrees), but it can be cultivated year-round in your hydro unit with
the proper climate.
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