Let's talk about growing lettuce.
There is a method of growing vegetables in water called Hydroponic. We will be discussing this method today.
Put on your thinking cap, where did the word hydroponic originate?
* Small bin with a top or a LARGE plastic container (gallon ice cream, cottage cheese, sour cream)
* Hydro growing balls OR pea gravel OR coarse Perlite these are called growing medium.
* Liquid Fertilizer or compost tea
* Lettuce starts
* Sharp knife or hole drill to drill LARGE holes in your bin top
* Hydroponic grow cups or yogurt cup with holes in the bottom for roots to emerge into the water
Wash your hydro balls, perlite or gravel. Soak in water while you prepare your bin.
Why can't we just grow lettuce in water? Why does it need a growing medium?
Using your hole drill make holes in the top of your container. Basically 1 hole per every 4 inches. Make sure the cup that will hold your lettuce starts fits in the hole. Be sure to have an adult help you!
Add Water to your container, you want to water to touch the bottom of the cup that will hold your lettuce starts.
Add liquid fertilizer to your water in the container/bin. Follow the directions on the label for the proper amount.
What happens if we don't add Fertilizer? or add too much?
Fill your cups with a bit of growing medium (hydro balls, perlite or gravel). You should be able to see the water at the bottom of the cup.
Gently remove your lettuce start from it's growing container. Hold the lettuce in your hand and dip it in and out of water to wash off the majority of the soil. If you leave some it's OK. Your lettuce should look like this.
Place your lettuce in the grow cup. Gently add growing medium around the lettuce roots up to the intersection where the lettuce leafs start to emerge.
Lettuce all tucked in ready to grow
Place your bin in a protected area with sunlight. These are inside Sheldon's greenhouse. We have to put them on a table because Sheldon will eat all our lettuce! He LOVES lettuce. Midnight decided to get in the photo shoot too!
Here is the lettuce after 2 weeks growing! Check out those roots!
Hypothesize different experiments on growing lettuce. Comment below what your findings are.
You're all set to grow some AWESOME fresh lettuce. Lettuce generally takes 45 days to grow. This type of lettuce is leaf. That means you can cut leaves off the plant and it will continue to grow. Pretty amazing....Right?
Happy Gardening. Feel free to post comments or questions below.