Lettuce Raft System

wordwizJune 10, 2011

I wanted to try this after seeing pictures of a few systems (medium to large size) that looked enticing, not to mention inexpensive to build and relatively easy to maintain.

Found a cheap source for Styrofoam (a Drywall company), had a 24x30" box and some 4-mill plastic to line it with. I also have several shop lights, a good size air pump and lots of soaker hose, plus a few left over horticubes, net pots, lava rocks, nutrients and seeds. Basically, it was only going to cost to run the 4 40-watt bulbs.

Mixed up some nuits (Garden-Tone dissolved in water) and adjusted the tub of water to about 800 ppm and the pH to 6.0.

As I am apt to do, I screwed up by trying to use some Fish Emulsion to boost the N level. Resulted in a lot of foam and slimey gunk on the roots. Emptied the water, washed off the roots and restarted. The plants were slow to respond at first but maybe a week ago showed signs of survival. I checked them this morning and they are 4x the size they were a week ago.

I have room for three 12' long trays of plants (at the spacing I'm using that would mean 216 plants. I would love to get the grow cycle down to six weeks.

Next - to learn how to grow enough tomatoes to go with the lettuce! Then tackle cucumbers. And, can one grow carrots hydroponically?

Mike

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ethnobotany

That is a ton of plants Mike! Do you do hydroponic gardening for a living, or are you just a vegetable donating philanthropist?

I have never grow via a raft system, but I have been interested in the concept. Would be cool to maybe see some pics of what the system looks like!

P.S. As for the carrots, I hear those work well with perlite as a medium because it provides the right kind of thickness for the carrots to spread through.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 12:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joe.jr317

I used cocoa coir for a medium for carrots. It worked well. I used a drip system to do it by planting several in a 14 gallon rubbermaid tub and running a drip line over the top. They took a long time and the carrots were HUGE. They were also very misshapen. But, they tasted great and were perfect for grilling.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 8:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wordwiz

ethno,

I don't have enough plants in it to post a good picture of the system, plus it is just an experimental ghetto box now. But is a picture of some of the lettuce and a general look at the raft.

I don't know how long the plants have been in the system, but two weeks ago the plants in the corner were about the size of the one on the right.

Not sure if it is good or bad, but the same type plants in my backyard garden has their leaves all pointing up. Plus, even though the latter plants are a bit taller, their bottom leaves are not quite as large.

Mike

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 8:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joe.jr317

Hey Mike. Judging by the lengths between nodes, you don't have enough light. I would say it's also why it's limp. I would venture to say the leaves aren't as thick as those in the backyard garden. If you pick a leaf, you will probably find it to be a flimsy, less crunchy texture. I speak from experience.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 8:00AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Started the hydro garden
I watched Bobby grow long enough and got busy. I bought...
radrob
What can I do to learn more about planting or farming????
Hi all! I'm a beginner at hydroponics gardening......
skttls
Does Algae Grow Under Artificial Light
Hi there. We all know that algae grow under sunlight....
brianivander
organic hydroponic ferilizer
I am looking for a good source for organic hydroponic...
little sur farm
coco peat as a medium
I have been using cocopeat for a very short while,...
theflgardener
Sponsored Products
Hang Pot - White - Wallter
$125.00 | HORNE
Hang Pot - Yellow - Wallter
$125.00 | HORNE
Set of Four Kim Seybert Sea Odyssey Napkins
$128.00 | FRONTGATE
Runner Rug: Somerset Bay Lettuce Leaf 2' 6" x 8'
Home Depot
Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Surya Rugs Somerset Bay Lettuce Leaf 5
Home Depot
Area Rug: Somerset Bay Lettuce Leaf 5' x 8'
Home Depot
Accent Rug: Somerset Bay Lettuce Leaf 2' x 3'
Home Depot
Escape Lettuce Leaf Rectangular: 5 Ft. x 8 Ft. Rug
$766.80 | Bellacor
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™