If you’re thinking about growing hydroponic lettuce then you’ve chosen probably the easiest vegetable to grow hydroponically! Lettuce is extremely low maintenance, requiring little or no work after the initial effort has been put in. If you plant your crop at weekly intervals for 4 weeks, then you will have a permanent lettuce yield year round.
Have you ever eaten lettuce and noticed that it tastes of soil? Well, of course, you didn’t wash it properly, but this seems to happen with most lettuce that I eat, in fact, you have to wash it very carefully to completely vanquish that soil taste. Growing Hydroponic Lettuce completely eliminates this problem as obviously you’re not growing them in the soil.
Also Read: Home Hydroponic Vegetables
Growing hydroponic lettuce will also give you larger yields as the roots have better access to the nutrients. There will be no need to use pesticides and no soil-borne diseases will be passed on. Also, have you noticed that slugs and other garden pests seem drawn to lettuce more than anything else? Well, this problem is also completely eliminated!
About the only realistic problem with growing hydroponic lettuce is the size! Lettuce can grow quite large, in fact, they will grow around 40% larger hydroponically as opposed to traditional soil planting methods. So you will need to take this into account and give extra room between each lettuce seed in your growing trays. Because of the size, you will need to make sure you use a high-intensity metal halide light so that nothing is kept in the shadow. Alternatively, you can use a fluorescent light and as lettuce is a long day plant, I recommend you give them 18 hours of light a day!
Lettuce is one of the thirstiest vegetables around, I suggest you use an ebb and flow or NFT water culture system.
Your hydroponic lettuce should realistically be ready for picking at around the four-week mark and as long as your initial crop was planted at 1-week intervals for a period of 4 weeks, you should have a steady supply of delicious lettuce around the year!