growing without netpots

carbMarch 12, 2013

Hello,

For raft culture, I was wondering if it is a good idea to grow lettuce on rockwool only without net pots.

I'm thinking of cutting a little below 1x1 inch square shaped hole in the styrofoam. I will then insert my 1x1x1 rockwool cube with my lettuce seedling in it. Will the grip of the rockwool on the hole be enough to support the plant once it grows big?

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grizzman

you might have a problem with your crowns or stem rotting. rockwool holds a lot of moisture and you'd be providing it with a constant source to wick it up.
As to your actual question; how well it grips will probably depend on what you're growing. young plants and light plants I don't see being a problem, but something with some weight might be a horse of a different color.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 8:16AM
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carb

On your first sentence, do you mean that it is generally not a good idea to use rockwool in raft culture? If so, what would be a good alternative?

As for my original question, I actually based it on this video on youtube.
link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m45vMicFtuE

They use NFT there, so I'm wondering if anyone has experience doing this in raft :)

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:56PM
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grizzman

Don't get me wrong. I don't use Rockwool, but a lot of people have problems with stem rot because rockwool holds so much water.
In a raft system, the rockwool will stay in contact with the water thereby always staying saturated.
with NFT, it depends on whether the rockwool contacts the flow or not. if it does, I would suspect he same problems, if not, then it probably wouldn't. I use net pot in nft and they don't touch the flow and the top hydroton never looks wet.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 8:26PM
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carb

i see, do you think this also holds true with coco coir?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 1:47AM
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grizzman

I imagine you would have the same problem. I've only used coir in an EnF though so don't know specifically about a raft. In the raft I made, I used hydroton.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 8:05AM
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