Trying My Luck at Lettuce again.

Discussion in 'Fruit and Veg Gardening' started by KK Ng, Jun 14, 2022.

  1. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    The last time I planted lettuce was in 2010 ( Romancing the Romaine!! (gardenstew.com) and the result is not encouraging at all. Recently we are getting locally produced lettuce in the supermarkets and I was wandering weather it would work for me. These lettuce are products of Urban Farming and is basically hydroponics. CityFarm is one of those farm here in this country that practices hydroponics with environmental control.

    For me I do not have the luxury of controlling the environment so I just have to work with mother nature. I had been doing some research before deciding to give it ago, yes my fingers, toes and eyes are crossed hoping to get a little more success than the last time.

    Yesterday I started on this new project.
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    These are the hardware I needed for the time being. The net cups are from the lettuce we bought from the supermarket. Stones from my garden, a ice cream box and some tissue paper.

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    I am not going to do transplant so I'll germinate the seeds directly in the net cup on the tissue.
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    The tissue extent out of the bottom of the net cup acting as a wick.

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    The seeds are from local supplier which they claim is suitable for our climate. On the left is romaine and and right is just lettuce. Both the seed supplier claim that maturity is about 60 days.

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    The seeds are sown, 2 seeds in each net cup. The 2 net cups on the left are romaine and the center and right cups are lettuce. About a centimeter of water is added into the container.

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    Finally it is covered to keep the moisture in.

    I am now looking for suitable containers to be used as growing vessel.
     
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  3. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    KK, another wonderful experiment you are doing here. Thanks for including us on this journey.
    I can still remember you last hydroponic adventure, that was super interesting to me. This latest trial promises to be just as interesting. Do you remember Hummerbun? She was very successful with her home hydroponics until she bought her own house and moved. If you would send her a PM, she may also have some more tips for you.

    Well mate, I wish you every success and look forward to seeing our follow-up postings on how the project is going. Bonne chance.
     
  4. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    Thank you Sjoerd.
    Sorry, the last time was not hydroponic, it was aquaponic. I would have continued with it if I have the space here :)
    Hummerbum, yes I remember her and I'll pm her. Thanks for the thought.

    I have some idea from Youtube on making the growing vessel and my nutrients mix. I have ordered the nutrients online earlier and should be arriving soon.

    Merci beaucoup :)
     
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  5. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Oh yes, that is right —aquaponics. My mistake.
    You had such good success, what a shame you do not have room now.
     



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  6. Odif

    Odif Young Pine

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    @KK Ng I guess your climate is more suitable for fruits
     
  7. Droopy

    Droopy Slug Slaughterer Plants Contributor

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    Best of luck with your project! Fingers crossed for you, the lettuce, and the co-operation of the weather.
     
  8. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    No Odif, we can grow veggies here too, only the tropical kind. I was thinking that with the advancement of agrotech, maybe some one could have come out with a heat resistance hybrid lettuce which is why I am using local seeds from local supplier.

    Thank you Droopy.
     
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  9. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. Young Pine

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    This is very exciting. I really look forward to seeing how it goes KK.
     
  10. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    Thanks Melody, I am happy to share this.

    Today I am greeted with happiness when I checked on them.
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    The romaine had sprouted.

    Yesterday I was working on the grow vessel and I made use of 3 soft drink bottles and a cooking oil bottle. The soft drink bottle is 1.5 litre and the cooking oil bottle is 3 litres.
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    There is only 2 bottles shown here. The third one is still soaking to be cleaned. The tops were being cut off to fit the net cups and from my research 1 litre of nutrients is enough for the lettuce to grow to maturity.

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    This cooking oil bottle is enough for 2 plants since it is 3 litre.
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    The holes are made with a circular wire which you can see in between the 2 holes. The wire is heated and pressed into the bottle. The diameter of the wire is made to fit the net cups.

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    I using my sprayer box to contain and shield the soft drink bottles from the sun to prevent algae from growing. The cover is made from a used milk carton.

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    The 3 soft drink bottles fitted just nice into the sprayer box.

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    Finally with the cover on.

    For the oil bottle, I am thinking I'll just use a black plastic bag ... hmm where to get one???
     
  11. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    The chemicals for making the nutrient solution arrived yesterday and I already made a batch.
    I have got NPK 20,20,20 soluble fertiliser with micro nutrients, Epsom salt and Calcium Nitrate.
    I bought them online and they are repacked into 1 kg packs and the seller claims that they are suitable for hydroponics.
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    I am using a ratio to mix the nutrients which I got from YouTube.
    Solution A - 1 Tablespoon of NPK plus 1/2 Tablespoon of Epsom Salt in 100ml of water.
    Solution B - I Tablespoon of Calcium Nitrate in 100ml of water.

    The Calcium Nitrate is not mixed into solution A because of possible precipitation.
    The solutions are concentrated 1ml of solution A plus 1ml of solution B makes 250ml of the final solution.

    When the seedlings have 2 true leaves I'll transfer them to a nutrient solution mix of 1/2 strength. Sad to say there is no life yet from the usual lettuce. Hmm ... maybe I should add in more seeds.
     
  12. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Quite interesting, this thread of yours, KK.
     
  13. Clay_22

    Clay_22 In Flower

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    If you have a hotter climate I would suggest slow bolt varieties of lettuce.
     
  14. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    Thanks Sjoerd, it is also interesting for me too! I am a little disappointed with lettuce though. Anyway I added 3 more seeds to each of the net cup.

    Yes Clay, I believe they are the slow bolt or heat resistance kind but then again ... :)
     
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  15. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    Today one of the lettuce seed germinated. Looks like it takes a while for them to germinate. There are 4 more seeds in there and 3 of them was added in yesterday.
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    Decided to sit the romaine in half strength nutrient solution even though there is still no real leaves yet. They look hungry. :)
     
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  16. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Aside from your gardening foto’s, the foto’s you present of food are also impressive and very tasty-looking.
     
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