Growing Hydroponic Lettuce
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Growing lettuce in a hydroponic garden is a great way to have year round, convenient access to fresh greens. We are currently expanding our basement DIY hydroponic garden from lettuce/greens to other things like tomatoes and cucumbers, but lettuce is a great way to figure out how everything works. Here is how we’ve used our DIY hydroponic garden to grow lettuce.
Items required to grow hydroponic lettuce:
- Your DIY hydroponic system set up
- your started lettuce seeds
- 2″ net pots
- clay pebbles
- hydroponic fertilizer
Fertilizer is essential to hydroponic gardening. You can make your own “mix” or purchase premade stuff. We use a set from General Hydroponics. (Notice the super helpful dog photo bomb.)
How to grow lettuce hydroponically
Prepare your totes/growing containers for transplants. Mix fertilizer and water in proper amounts. For our system and type of fertilizer, it is approximately 1/4 cup each (of General Hydroponics’ Micro, Grow, and Bloom) to about 7 gallons water. We mix everything in a larger bucket and then pour it into the tote.
It takes about 7 gallons of water to fill each of our totes, which keeps our lettuce going for quite awhile!
You can test if you have the right amount of water in the tote by putting an empty net pot in the hole (like it would be if it was planted) and adding water to the tote until about 1/8″ of water covers the bottom of the empty net pot.
Now you’re ready to transplant your started seeds (here’s how to start seeds for your hydroponic system!) Separate the squares of planted rockwool. Place one square of planted rockwool into an empty net pot.
Stuff clay pebbles around the rockwool to keep it situated in the pot. Add enough clay pebbles that no light will get through to the water/roots. Notice the light through the net pot holes in the above picture? Cover those up so you can’t see them anymore, like in the next picture.
Place net pots in holes cut into the tops of your totes of fertilizer/water.
Turn on your grow lights and wait for the magic of hydroponic growth to happen!
One of the benefits of hydroponic gardening is that things grow faster than they do in a traditional dirt garden. Two weeks later, the above seedlings looked like this:
In no time at all, you will have fabulous lettuce to make your belly (and wallet) happy. Get started now!
Adding a DIY hydroponic garden system to our home has been a game changer for us and we’re so excited to see how we can expand it in the future. Stay tuned for more adventures in hydroponics, and don’t forget to check out my other posts on hydroponic gardening.
- 5 Lessons Learned My First Year of Hydroponic Gardening
- Benefits of Hydroponics
- Our DIY Hydroponic Garden Set Up
- Starting Seeds for Your Hydroponic Garden