Lettuce in hydroponics
Lettuce in hydroponics, how well does it grow? Very well, in fact, lettuce is probably the best vegetable for growing in a hydroponics or aquaponics system. Lettuce does not grow very high and also has a short but relatively dense root system. Both of these traits are ideal for hydroponics. Lettuce does not need to be tied off or staked. Plants can grow naturally in hydroponics with little maintenance besides providing proper water, ph levels, and plant nutrients.
Many varieties of loose-leaf and head lettuce thrive in hydroponics, including Bibb, Romain, Iceburg, and Boston. Lettuce can be grown seasonally in greenhouses, or in indoor temperature controlled environments throughout the year. Light and temperature requirements for lettuce are also extremely difficult to maintain. The first edible leaves of hydroponically grown lettuce can be harvested in as little as three weeks. Full heads of lettuce can be ready to harvest in about one and a half to two and a half months, depending on growing conditions.
No wonder so many small hydroponic growers choose lettuce as one of their main crops. Lettuce is in demand, both by consumers and restaurants. Lettuce contains a number of vital nutrients like Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K Manganese, Folate, and Iron. For restaurants, lettuce is almost a necessity and is needed in salads, burgers, and wraps of all kinds. Today, many restaurants order the freshest lettuce and other vegetables from local hydroponic growers.
Other leafy hydroponic vegetables
Lettuce is not the only leafy vegetable that does well in hydroponics. Other similar vegetables also do well for many of the same reasons. Spinach, kale, arugula, watercress, microgreens and herbs are also among the prime vegetable choices for hydroponic growing. Growing microgreens hydroponically is a recent trend. Microgreens are young shoots, sprouts and tendrils of plants like beans, peas, herbs and corn that are delicious, highly nutritious, and in demand at many upscale restaurants.
Hydroponically and aquaponically grown lettuce and other suitable vegetables can be seen as a revolution in farming technology. Hydroponic methods enable small businesses and even individuals to grow vegetables for sale or personal consumption without the need large tracts of land or expensive farming equipment.
Growing hydroponic lettuce quickly in a home environment with the Kratky Method: