The Lettuce Raft Lives!

Yes, it is true. The lettuce in the raft has transformed from seeds into small plants. I haven't managed to kill them yet. It's a relatively simple setup. I went to the large box hardware store and over to the insulation area. That's where you'll find sheets of the 1-1/2 inch styrofoam. Cut that a size that will allow free floating inside a nice tote tub. Then it was off to the hydroponics store to find net cups. (I've since discovered that just taking a knife to a regular little pot will transform it into something that will hold rockwool and let the roots out to the nutrient fluid.) The pet store yielded an inexpensive pump, air stone (for making bubbles) and some air hose. Quick inexpensive little hydro or aeroponics set up. Right now I dont' care about the terms. I have plants growing on my front porch!

The lettuce is up and growing. It might be planted a little close together but I moved some over into the cantaloupe pot. The cantaloupe didn't seem to be sprouting so I figured at least give some of the lettuce a chance in that pot. The peas are looking very good. I haven't killed off the tomato either. In fact, I see that it has a bloom on it.

So I started another raft system. I managed to score a pot of burpless cucumbers that had three plants in the pot for $3. That's $1 per plant and gives me a head start which I really need here in the cooler climate. It's 54 here today, cloudy and rainy...the plants don't seem to be growing much. I did shock the plants a bit when I added them to the second tub. It was nice and warm when I filled the tub...of course the water was cold. So I removed the plants from their dirt and packed them into pots with rockwool and stuck them in their raft. A few hours later they were looking wilted. OOOPS! So I pulled the pots and sat them on the raft out of the water. Back in and wilt, back on the raft for recovery. After a few trips they seem to have figured out that they are going to have to adjust to the new temperature.

I started some New Zealand spinach in the dirt starter disks. They've been sitting outside with their little plastic cover held in place by rubberbands. They were used to the weather. They didn't go into shock when I placed them in the raft. So it looks like I'm going to have some success growing food in tubs of water and nutrients. I'm hoping to move everything inside for the winter.

1 Comment:

  1. hydroponic said...
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