School Hydroponic Project

soiled(ZONE 8)December 4, 2008

I go to Alpharetta Highschool, and we have a really big engineering program. We have master projects where we have created things like a steam powered catapolt, a hover craft, and a drawbridge. Currently, we have been assigned to grow lettace with a hydroponic system. we have a growing medium, and we are not sure how long we should leave the light on and how long we should let the watering system work (it's a flood/drain system)

If there is any helpful hints or concepts that we could use, I would appretiate the advice.


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I would think 4 flood cycles a day should be sufficient, but that really depends on how much and what kind of medium you're using.
I've never known a plant that didn't thrive in a 16/8 light cycle. well maybe peace lilies, but never a vegetable.
With lettuce you need to be aware of temperature. too high and you're plants will bolt.
good luck.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 1:05PM
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greendude(Arctic Wisconsin)

Also I would posit that the type of lettuce you are growing makes a difference because of temperature tolerance (as mentioned above, but they vary) and the amount of time for maturity. How long do you have for this project? Do you just have to demonstrate that you were able to get something green to grow, or are you judged on how large/well it grows?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 2:52PM
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soiled(ZONE 8)

we shall adjust the light to 16/8 and also the flood to 4 a day.

We have another 2 weeks before this is due, and it is just to see if we can get something to grow.

We are using a Stone Wool growing medium. But, honestly we have no idea what that actually means. The medium is completly soaked so we set the heat lamp on longer a day so that the seeds won't drown.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 10:59AM
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A heat lamp won't do you any good.

I've grown hydroponic lettuce (it's arguably the easiest thing to grow in hydroponics) and you don't need a large amount of light but you do need a certain amount. If you want to save money, get several (like 4) 100w equivalent CFL bulbs. That should cover about 2 square feet of growing area pretty well.

Get the daylight kind, those are best for leafy plants like lettuce.

Your rockwool shouldn't be soaking wet, either.

It's probably too late now, but you might check out DWC or "raft" type hydroponic systems instead of Ebb & Flow. Lettuce grows unbelievably fast in DWC.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 8:47PM
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