lettuce in 21 days

mangojon(Philippines)February 5, 2003

Is it possible to harvest marketable leafy lettuce in 21 days? Would there be a nutrient mix that will make this possible?

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adrianag(AL z7)

No, lettuce takes a bit longer. Even if you want to cut it and sell the leaves as part of a baby lettuce mix you will need at least 30-35 days. Sorry...There are some other greens which you can get to marketable size in 21 days or less. These would be mizuna and proabalby arugula in your climate.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2003 at 3:26AM
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Thanks. Although I am still interested in pursuing that information. I will let you know if it can be done. My hydro "yoda" is insisting he can really do it.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2003 at 10:48AM
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adrianag(AL z7)

Well please be sure to share your "yoda's" methods. The only way you can harvest after 21 ones days is if you start the seedlings in a nursery flat (280 cell count is ok) and then transplant after 10 days to the hydro system. THEN you can count 21 days to harvest, but only for some varieties.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2003 at 6:47PM
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adrianag(AL z7)

Mangojon did you ever get more information on that 21 day lettucw? I sure would like to know how it's done...

    Bookmark   February 28, 2003 at 10:33PM
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Not yet. The friend I'm talking about left for a vacation. I will let you know. He is saying that there is a lot to do with nutrient formulation. I have been reading a lot about formulation and I still have not seen anything that would prove him right. Anyway, if its not true we'll just properly schedule our planting cycle. Thanks

    Bookmark   March 1, 2003 at 1:37PM
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adrianag(AL z7)

What kind of a friend is that who would leave town with such a nugget of information dangling?...

    Bookmark   March 1, 2003 at 5:45PM
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He is quite old and just leaves when he wants. He is helping me set up my greenhouse and its coming out a lot cheaper than any builder I have talked with. We are still waiting for the clips that will hold the covers together, its not expected to arrive until next week. So lets let him have his fun.

Adriana, What do you grow?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2003 at 11:13AM
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adrianag(AL z7)

I grow primarily basil and specialty greens like arugula, mizuna, tatsoi, red giant mustard etc that go into salad mixes.

If he is quite old we need to get his formulas in writing...if I was nearby I would contribute a bottle of rum or whatever was his pleasure to this effort.

Are you building a commercial scale greenhouse?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2003 at 3:38PM
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I don't know how big is commercial scale. The one I am building is 100 square meters. The plan would be to use nft gully and nft grow beds. I think Im over flowing with fear and excitement. LOL. Planning to grow leafy lettuce, tomatoes, sweet basil ans sweet pepper. Heres hoping to make an extra source of income.

As a profession I am a mango ang citrus farmer. I have been doing hydroponics for almost a year but only within the compounds of my home. Right now I am trying to learn mixing nutrient solutions.

I'll let you know about the lettuce once my friend arrives.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2003 at 3:20AM
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adrianag(AL z7)

Mango, you will love having a greenhouse! A commerciall greenhouse operation typically starts with a single 30' x 100' house and 60 x 100 is better, but you could take on a restaurant or two with premier lettuce and herbs out of 100 sq meters. Now...if you really do find a way to produce lettuce in 21 days this greenhouse will yield the equivalent of one 2 or 3 times larger.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2003 at 6:31AM
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Thanks. I was in the farm the past few days. I'll send you an e-mail if I get the info we are waiting for.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2003 at 12:42PM
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cassatcassat(z6 KY)

The most remarkable hydroponic lettuce garden I've ever seen was at Disney's Epcot. The whole thing was a drip fed garden that utilized a vertical hanging system and allowed for and incredible number of plants. Each plant fed the plant below in a chain-like fashion. I would love to attempt such a feat, but have no experience in hydroponics. What they were achieving looked unbelievable to me. I have no idea what the growth period was, but they might be a resource for you if you could get to them. I didn't take the "behind the scenes" tour, but wish I had.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2003 at 10:07AM
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yup, mee too. I did'nt join the tour. I was ay Epcot last year and I completely forgot about it.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2003 at 4:12AM
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Hi mangojon
I am also in the philippines and like to meet people here with similar interests

    Bookmark   April 19, 2003 at 9:53AM
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i'm in cavite,where are you located and can you assist me with hydro suppliers in the philippines
all the best

    Bookmark   April 20, 2003 at 2:45AM
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Lucky you will be to have knowledge of a method to produce 21 day lettuce. I would entertain an offer to obtain the sole legal rights to this information. But then I would be standing in a long line with others once you indicated you indeed had this information.

Good luck in you greenhouse enterprize and allow yourself plenty of time for research.

Jim Curts

    Bookmark   April 20, 2003 at 7:53PM
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I'll probably be on that line too. If ever there will be a line.

I'll be in the U.S. next week. I hope to be able to visit Epcot's garden this time.

See you all in a month.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 2:48PM
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i think what is meant by 21 days is from the time the seedling is put into the system and the type of lettuce is leaf variety not head lettuce, as i visited a farm yesterday where they make the same claim

    Bookmark   April 22, 2003 at 9:19PM
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I am trying to build my own hydroponic garden. anybody willing to help me how to start?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2003 at 1:17AM
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whoever your consultant is, he did not explain to you throrougly what he meant by 21 days lettuce. You see leafy lettuce such as lollo bionda, grand rapids, batavia and some fast growing lollo rossa can really be grown in 21 days under the Philippine tropical condition. But here is the catch, those are transplanted lettuce seedlings. They transplant it in the NFT gutter 10 - 14 days after sowing.

These are the actual performance of these varieties in different growing areas such as Tagaytay, Silang, Manila, lowland Cebu, Batangas, laguna and Pangasinan. In Baguio and Bukidnon area such as Lantapan and Manolo Fortich, you add 7 more days for the same variety till maturity.

It is true you can grow it in 21 days, but you add 14 days to that. However, the weight of the green leafy lettuce harvested this young will be very light (70 to maybe 80 grams only and 40 - 60 grams for the triple red lollo rossa). You wait one more week and it will be about 100 - 120 grams per plant depending on the variety.

If you are growing in the hot lowland area in the Philippines and using those 2.5 x 4" rectangular PVC pipes, good luck. Your plants will surely die during the summer months. Have you asked around about it before you constructed your NFT system?

The nutrient solutions does play a very important role in the growth of the lettuce plants in the Philippines, However, I have seen all these lettuce being grown by several growers using their own secret formulation growing in different hydrdoponic system but the average growth rate is almost the same.


The number of grower in your area are growing at a very fast rate. With regards to the materials (cheaper one) that you may need, it is all available in Manila. I am normally in Tagaytay every Saturday and Sunday, I have a few friends there who doing commercial hydroponics. I am also assisting a few commercial farms in your area on their production. Let me know when you will be there, maybe we can meet and take a look at your farm.


what else do you need to know about hydroponics in the Philippines? What system are you planning to use? where are you planning to grow? keep me posted.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2003 at 10:35AM
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asianhydro, are you planting commercially?

I kinda figured that out already. About the 21 days.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2003 at 11:48AM
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Hi mango,

My production is with the customer i deal with. I did construct a few system though. One for the an Agricultural University in Bulacan, 2 others are private owned.

I am a horticulturist and hydroponics is one of my specialty. Where is your production anyway?


    Bookmark   June 19, 2003 at 4:54AM
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i think i've talked to you over the phone and i've met rowena. i bought a set of nutrients from your place in cubao. my question about it is regarding the peters hydrosol. there is another website saying that the peters mix is mainly for soil based plants.

the greenhouse is not yet ready. my wife and i are doing the work by ourselves, except for the framework of the greenhouse. that is why its taking longer than it should be. it is an experimental greenhouse. we'll find out thru our initial production if we will build a bigger one.

ill invite you to see it when it is ready.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2003 at 6:39AM
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it is true that Peters Water Soluble Fertilizer has about 40 formulation catering to specific crop needs or crop variety. It depends on what formulation the other website is referring to.

Peters Hydrosol is using purely nitrate nitrogen and does not contain any urea N that is why it is suited for Hydroponics. All the elements are properly balanced and chelated.

The other Peters formulations contains a portion of urea and are being suggested for fertigation in soil grown crops. Some formulation are used as foliar spray.

If you plan to grow commercially, you better pick up the phase. The number of growers around the country are growing every month. I'd be glad to visit you when your system is ready.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2003 at 9:37PM
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I am a beginner also and I am constantly in search of new ideas. My experience so far has been a struggle for information on Hydroponics in the Philippines.

I am a friend of Mike Caballes (asianhydro) of Allied Botanical and he has been very helpful.

I have prepared a modest website that anyone of you might want to visit. It is basically directed to the beginners in the Philippines where equipment are hard to find. So, my ideas is ... DIY (do-it-yourself). That is exactly what my site is all about.

I've undergone training in AANI-TESDA and NEGOESKWELA. While the information is good, starting an actual setup can be a big task. Hopefully, what I have, will make things easier for those in a similar situation as mine.

I am rather disappointed that even UP College of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture, etc. have only trickles of information. There are a lot in the internet but not specifically for the Philippine situation.

Drop by my site when you can.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hydroponic Ideas

    Bookmark   October 13, 2003 at 6:35PM
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ejb190(z5/6 IN)

I have seen lettuce grown seed to harvest in 21 days. The system was controlled atmosphere (CO2 and O2), temperature, very intense lighting, and highly managed nutirents. This was part of a NASA study. The problem was the growth was so fast that the plants developed black leaf tips. This was due to the inability of the plants to move calcium to the leaves fast enough. When they backed the light and temperature off to slow the growth down the problem disappeared.

And I was an Intern at EPCOT's The Land. Those systems really are not that complicated once you look at them! I am planning on going to Flordia in December for the first time in 8 years. It will be neat to see what has changed and how big those citrus trees I helped plant have gotten!!!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2003 at 5:05PM
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I think lettuce in 21 days doesn't include at least 10 days for some operation not explained.

Check this website:


If Cornell can't grow marketable lettuce in 21 days under perfect control conditions, no one else is likely to.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2003 at 10:16AM
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I've finally finished building the greenhouse. Ill try to post pictures. Its still very dity inside but everything is in place except for computers. I have germinated my first batch of seeds.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2003 at 11:43AM
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21 days for lettuce? that will really be spectacular. i read that university of california can do it from seeds to harvest in 36 days. but thats with carbon dioxide emitters and all the fancy stuff. if your yoda can really do it in 21, pls share the knowledge to us kabayan.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2004 at 7:38AM
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Forget that yoda. Sira, yun. Almost went crazy myself wanting to prove that it was possible. Btw, yes it can be profitable.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2004 at 12:04PM
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hi calmar

is there by any chance the yoda is a certain guy from Laguna by the name of COLLINS ? An ex-instructor in BOY GUIVARRA's place.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2004 at 7:43PM
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Does Boy Guevarra have a website? I'm interested, I'd like to see it, if he has. He was also my mentor.

In case you'd like to see my website, you are welcome. I am no expert, but I compile simple hydroponics ideas for the beginners.


Here is a link that might be useful: Hydroponics Ideas

    Bookmark   March 19, 2004 at 5:43PM
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can anyone share the formula of a simple hydroponics nutrient specially for lettuce???please!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2004 at 5:37AM
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where could i buy submersible pumps and how much does it costs? Can anybody share with me nutrient solutions formula? Thanks

    Bookmark   June 11, 2004 at 4:18AM
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jkirk3279(Z5 SW MI)

Rocket, AKA Arugula, AKA Roquette, is the fastest growing green I've ever seen.

Unfortunately I hate the peppery taste, but I swear you could cut it every two to three days. I considered growing it this year just for the boost in self-esteem I got from the remarkable vigor it has.

My favorite lettuce is Marveille de Four Seasons.

I have an ultrasonics cloner setup, maybe in the winter when I can't grow anything outside I'll take a shot at Aeroponics Lettuce.

Has anyone done this? How do you go from planting in cornstarch or Agar, and thence to Aeroponics?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2004 at 12:56AM
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For: joebaddy and Aprilmid

Try my website (link below). I have there easy to make low cost systems and the Allan Cooper formula. The information is free. My site is non-profit.


Here is a link that might be useful: Hydro Ideas

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 7:23AM
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stephentjjr(lag phil)

anyone want to share info on where i can buy vegetable farming equipment here in manila? most of the places i have checked are not really for the heavy gradening type... all i need is trowels, rakes, spades, shovels, etc... all info would be greatly appreciated. thanks!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 12:59AM
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For: stephentjjr
About where to get garden tools ... "Handyman" in Robinson's, "Ace Hardware" in the SM Shopping Malls, and "TrueValue" in Shangrila Mall and Glorietta in Makati. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 6:31AM
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Jkirk3279, I think you are referring to using cornstarch is a media used for tissue culture cloning. Home made media (s) can be made of cornstarch or a gelatin mixture. Some people make their own agar from seaweed if they have access to it. You will also need to have or learn something about sterile technique & design a laminar flow device to prevent contamination. There are instructions to make these devices online, although I do not know how well they work.
This technique is used for propagating orchid from small pieces or seeds, & if you look up "flasking orchids" as a key word you will find more information. It is also used for African Violets. Some researchers use it to propagate medicinals.
If you do clone by tissue culture you will have to place the material into another media & get some growth on it before putting in an aeroponics system. Lettuce is easy to grow hydroponically, & another media such as starting in Perlite might be easier.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 9:53AM
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Hey folks, Im from QC Phils. and would like to know about hydroponics. Though my family is in landscaping trade, Im a complete idiot on the the subject.. Can anyone help me?
Do i need to attend seminars? are there available in my area. Where do I start?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2004 at 6:56PM
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Hi edhann,

there are probably a couple of seminars that you can attend. but the best way to go about it is thru the web. read on this forum and other internet sites. if your family is in landscaping and you understand the use of fertilizers that will help you a lot. kahit iba ang application makakatulong pa rin kung naintidihan yun.

send me your cell number thru email. i might be able to point you to the right direction regarding the seminars.

are you plannning to do this as a hobby?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2004 at 6:31AM
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hi edhann,

im a friend of mangojon as well as edurink. If you need help on starting up. you can contact me at my mobile phone 0919-2651433.


mike caballes

    Bookmark   October 24, 2004 at 8:16AM
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rvavelasco(QC, Philippines)

Hi asianhydro,

I am thinking of going into hydroponics on a 70 sq m lot in Quezon City. I would like to do this in order to have extra income and eventually quit my job if the income from it is sufficient.

My concern right now is what crop can give me the biggest revenue and profit per square meter and at the same time be simple enough for a non-agriculturist and hydroponics newcomer to manage? In order to decide this, I need access to information on farmgate prices and wholesale prices of vegetables at different times of the year but I don't know where to get these. I also need technical information like planting densities, cultural practices, etc. Can you help me find the information I need? Or if you already have suggestions on which crop is best for me, I would appreciate it very much if you can help.

Thank you and Mabuhay po!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 3:02AM
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stefoodie(Z6 OH)

hi, i'm not particularly fond of lettuce, just wanted to say HI to all the pinoys here! great to see you here on gardenweb!

stef, a pinay in Northeast US

    Bookmark   November 9, 2004 at 5:47AM
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Hi there!

Im trying to get the contact number of Boy Guevarra. We meet in boracay last month and discussed about hydrophonics way of planting,unfortunately, i mis placed his contact number, and i really need to contact him desperately since i'm also interested in hydrophonics and i understand that Mr Boy Guevarra can help me with this. I really need your help. Waiting for your positive response.
Thank you very much.

John Cann/Tonglen

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 4:50AM
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You can reach Boy Guevarra at any of the following numbers (632)433-0621; (632)426-7490; (632)924-5111. That's his office at:

(across Veterans Memorial Hospital)
Diliman, Quezon City

If he is not there you can ask the person where he can be reached.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 8:00AM
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Hi folks,
Your forum on hydroponics interested me so much that I want to try it at home and eventually to our farm in the province. Where could I get a seminar?
Am at UP Diliman, QC. Where can a I see the nearest hydroponic projects here?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 8:42AM
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Well by that logic you can also have lettuce in 21 days by waiting 20 days, buying it at the supermarket, and then putting it in your fridge. One day later, you'll have lettuce.

It's not really "done in 21 days" if you start counting in the middle - like buying plants someone else started.

There's just no way you're getting a mature plant in 21 days from seed. I've seen some pretty big plants at 35-40 days, but they were still probably a week from really being "mature". Worth harvesting then, sure. But another week would pay off dividends.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 1:23AM
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snibb(Salt Lake City)

I've been able to grow baby leaf lettuce heads in 28 days and have done it for years, it's a little trickier in the warmer months but 4 tips have really helped me, I have never been able to do it in 21 days. And folks are willing to pay a premium price for these as well, you can visit me at: thewealthyearth,com to see more, maybe it will give you a few ideas

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 9:42AM
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It cant be done in 21 days from seed. Im very experienced in aeroponics, hydroponics, soiless media, growing under various types of lights, etc. the problem is getting enough leaf area for fast growth at an early stage. There is no known variety of lettuce that can absorb a daily light integral high enough to support growing so much leafy matter so quickly. Itll be edible at 21 days, but you wont make a penny off of it.

Using 3 week old seedings with strong root systems will cut down on time a lot, but its extra investment, space and labor. I found through tests that its more efficient to direct seed using higher seed density. For leaf lettuce that is. It yields more weight faster because the entire space is filled with canopy quicker.

Cannabis growers call this the "sea of green" method :-p. lots of small plants in a given space growing for a short time yield more weight than fewer plants grown in the same space for longer. In the case of greens, people prefer them young anyway. I harvest 5 times from the same space every season, after 31 days of growth on average, and I get about 10 pounds of lettuce per 10 foot row out. Plant thick!

Use vertically stacked growing system close together so they partially shade one another and you can grow greens summer long!


    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 7:08AM
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Not sure if I am out of my league here but I know we were eating lettuce with in 30 days but I would say that is after starting my seeds in grodan cubes. However I am all about a challenge. My kids and I are up for the challenge and will try and video log it starting this weekend. I am new to hydroponics and have 95 plants in a NFT system mostly lettuce. Some of my plants however are Amit 3 feet tall. Each leaf is as good as the first. I think I am 10 weeks into my garden and the older plants are about to flower. Will start seed this weekend.

My normal ph was about 6.5 with a ppm of 850 using Home & Garden A&B flakes and a few additives.

Like I said very new and really enjoy seeing my kids eat right off the plants.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 7:36PM
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Actually, you CAN get harvesting-worth lettuce in 21 days from seed.

I have done this myself numerous times with a variety of strains that normally take anywhere from 35-55 days.

What you need - the most crucial factor - is supplemental CO2. You must increase the normal concentration of 340ppm to 1200ppm for the first 5 days, 1900ppm for Day 6 - Day 15, and 1300ppm from Day 16 onwards. I normally harvested on the 22nd day.

CO2 supplementation can be done very easily and cheaply but a few things you must note. Firstly, the growing area must be airtight and contained so that CO2 cannot escape (and other gases cannot enter). Secondly, CO2 has a very high specific heat capacity, meaning it can trap a lot of heat (read: global warming).

Two cheap sources for CO2: 1) dry ice for hot regions; 2) fossil feul or wood burners for cold regions. Dry ice here costs $1/lbs and will last a few days in external temperatures of 45C and will also bring down internal temperatures by 15-20C if your greenhouse is 25sq.ft. and will also keep the CO2 concentration around 1200ppm for the few days. Gas or wood burners produce aloooot of heat and are only suitable for freezing temperatures. They will also produce notable amounts of CO2 and some water vapor. The exact amounts produced depends on the fuel or type of wood burned but in either case it should not cost more than $5/week for a 25sqft greenhouse.

Both sources are cheap but you will NEED a CO2 meter to monitor the concentrations and adjust accordingly using some mathematics. A decent one costs around US$140, a less decent less accurate one costs around $70, and the most accurate ones cost anywhere from $300 - $3,000.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:55PM
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Hey guys,

I'd like to reignite this thread for the reason that I am now venturing off into this dilemma and have been for the past couple months. The KEY to this 21 day lettuce seems to be cutting off the time it takes for germination and getting the lettuce into "heavy vegetative mode". Revamping things such as light source, variety of nutrition available and qualities of air are what need to be focused on.

Let's start with light. Who is aware of how certain wave lengths affect plants? ...(the non visible ones aswell ;))



    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 3:53PM
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