Remove any infected plants immediately. Some people choose the Tom Thumb variety of lettuce because it grows in small, loose heads that are easy to handle and don’t require a lot of room to grow. Choose an open leaf lettuce variety instead of the type that produces heads. One shop light will provide enough light for 45 cm (18”) by 120 cm (48”) area, or about 6 – 8 hydroponic lettuce plants. When harvesting leaf lettuce, pick the outer leaves of the plants and let the inner leaves continue to grow. The ideal level for a hydroponics system is 5.5-6.5 (5.8-6.0 is even better). The 1L/min  flow rate was achieved by installing pressure compensated button-type emitters in the spaghetti tubes that supplied each grow channel. One important factor in choosing which crop to grow is the climate where you live. If alkalinity is consistently high, “nutrient lockout” can occur. If you are using a plastic tub with a lid, cut a round hole in the top of the lid that is slightly smaller than the width of the expanded peat pellet. Hydroponic lettuce can be grown easily on a sunny windowsill in most parts of Canada even in winter. Many growers are still using PPM (Parts Per Million) as a measurement of nutrients to water. The University of Saskatchewan has evaluated the performance of 26 different cultivars of buttercrunch type lettuce in hydroponic production. Some formulations also contain some beneficial elements such as Nickel (Ni), Cobalt (Co), Silica (Si) or Selenium (Se) to supplement the essential elements. These need larger containers, more water, more nutrients and a lot more light. These examples below can be used to grow your hydroponic crops, including lettuce. Again, follow the nutrient kit directions exactly for best results. Leaf lettuce (lactuca sativa) is the most common type of lettuce grown hydroponically, but similar plants like spinach, arugula, and kale are also easy to grow under the same conditions. This indoor method works best for smaller leafy greens which have low light needs compared to vegetables like tomatoes, peppers or cucumbers. Old fertilizer solution can be used to water houseplants. Since environmental factors affect the ability of plants to absorb nutrients, it is vital that the EC is measured, monitored, and adjusted on a regular basis. This pH level is acid enough to kill algae and alkaline enough to allow plants to use nutrients efficiently. Other good prospects are mizuna, a Japanese herb and shiso, also known as perilla. Mix 2 teaspoons of 8-15- 36* fertilizer like. This means that the plants are not absorbing enough nutrients to stay healthy. ✓ Chlorine (Cl). Use “pH up” and “pH down” products to keep pH balanced. Leafy greens have fairly low light requirements compared with other vegetables. This measurement is taken with a TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) meter. ✓ Potassium (K) Some lettuce types are more sensitive to nitrogen than others, so make sure that the nutrients you buy are the right kind for the crop you are growing. Recommended Nutrient Concentration (in parts per million). Whether you make your own nutrient solution or buy commercial hydroponic lettuce nutrients, problems can arise with deficiencies. This is why you do not need a pump to circulate the water. Roots need oxygen as well as water to be healthy. ✓ Zinc (Zn) When the EC is too high, plants will soon show evidence of nutrient deficiency. Buttercrunch (aka Boston bibb or semi-head lettuce) type lettuce is particularly well-suited to indoor production as it produces compact high-quality plants that can be harvested one leaf at a time or as an entire mature head. Spacing plants about 20 cm apart allows enough space for the lettuce to reach full size without wasting space. Lettuce has excellent potential as a year-round indoor crop. As different nutrient solutions have different PPM values, using one conversion figure can be extremely inaccurate. Kratky of the University of Hawaii. Lettuce was ready to harvest 4-6 weeks after being transplanted into the hydroponic system – with the rate of growth and size of plants harvested being highly dependent on cultivar grown and the amount of light provided to the crop. It only takes 6 – 8 weeks to harvest leafy greens. Mix 1 teaspoon of magnesium sulfate into a small cup of warm water until dissolved. Unlike soil with is dependent on soil composition, weather, and other factors, hydroponics allows the grower to give plants exactly what they want when they want it. Phosphorus run-off is an environmental hazard, so use it responsibly.

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