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Lettuce grow


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  #1  
Old 03-13-2010, 09:25 PM
stuartambient stuartambient is offline
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Default Lettuce grow

I posted earlier on in this forum that we were about to start a 9 pot lettuce raft system. Since that time we have made some progress and hope to have a harvest soon. I need some help though. It seems books can only take you so far One of the seeds just seemed to take off way out in front of the others. Now it is encompassing most of the entire system, covering up leaves from some of the other plants. Another issue I ran into was with some seeds not germinating. I decided at that point to first germinate (not in book) then transplant to system. Wound up replacing a few of the pots that had no growth with well germinated seedlings. Also a few of the late bloomers have begun to come around.

I do not remember the exact genus. I want to say Letuca Sativa or Garden Salad. The bag says 40-50 days for harvest. I'm not exactly sure what harvest time should look like either. Imagine it's something similar to what is shown on the bag.

This is day 25 , 8 days ago. I should probably post a more recent picture but you can get an idea from these:

IMGP0466.JPG (image)

IMGP0459.JPG (image)

Any ideas or suggestions for this one monster in the midst ? I have thought about perhaps roping it up , but not sure if that was a good idea.

It is fun so far and pretty happy with this first time experiment. Keeping the Ph adjusted, temps and nutes have been easy.

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  #2  
Old 03-18-2010, 12:05 PM
stuartambient stuartambient is offline
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Bump please, thank you . Wonder if anyone has feedback for me on the original post.
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2010, 05:51 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Now it is encompassing most of the entire system, covering up leaves from some of the other plants.
Plants are quite adaptive and try to continue to grow in the conditions given. Unfortunately though, if the plants are taking over and covering up others so they cant get enough light, there's only one answer, they are to close together. From the pictures, some of them look like they are no more than 2 or 3 inches apart. I don't know how big the variety/s you are growing get, but I would suggest placing them 8 to 12 inches apart. That gives them 4 to 6 inches to grow on either side. Also I can't tell from the picture, but the lighting might be a little one sided. You may want to check to make sure the plants are all getting as much even lighting as possible.
Quote:
Another issue I ran into was with some seeds not germinating. I decided at that point to first germinate (not in book) then transplant to system.
Yes, you definitely want to get the seeds going first, before placing them in the system. You will ensure the plant (seed) will grow, and you will use less resources in the process. In the case of turn around harvesting, you will have plants (seeds) ready right away to replace the ones you harvested. Shortening the time needed in the system, before the next harvest. To germinate the seeds I just use a small Tupperware container (with lid), place a wet towel on the bottom. Place the seeds on the wet towel, and place the Tupperware container in a warm place untel they sprout. Then I place the sprouted seeds in 1 inch rockwool cubes, moisten the cubes, place them in another Tupperware container and again in a warm place.

I don't have a cloner, but you can place the 1 inch cubes in a cloner like one of these: Hydroponic Plant Cloners - Hydroponics Equipment don't be scared by the price, the prices are ridiculous and the cloners are easy to make yourself. It's nothing more than a light proof box (with lid), pump, tubing with misters, timer and a see through top to hold humidity and let light in. If you want to get fancy, you can add a small humidifier/fogger (for the top of the plants). You could even replace the pump, tubing, misters and timer with a fogger in the root zone (base). There is a thread about foggers in this forum here: http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/for...2-foggers.html You would just cut holes in the lid just big enough to fit the 1 inch rockwool cubes into, or you can even use round foam plugs (picture attached), just cut holes accordingly.

You can simply place your cloner near the main system to get light, or you can build a small cfl (compact florescent light) lighting system for it. Using simply a metal reflective shroud, cheaply made from household metal ducting. Then place a couple of light bulb sockets in it, wired in series and attach a plug. Insert the CFL bulbs (picture of cfl attached), and hang the lights above your cloner.
Quote:
I do not remember the exact genus. I want to say Letuca Sativa or Garden Salad. The bag says 40-50 days for harvest. I'm not exactly sure what harvest time should look like either. Imagine it's something similar to what is shown on the bag.
Probably. Although, what I would do is do a search on the internet for the exact variety of lettuce plants you have (from the name on the package), looking for pictures of the full grown plant, or of the harvested plant (like what you get in the grocery store). I might even use the VIDEO option in the search engines to look for the plant, or even using youtube. A video can show you much more than a still picture can.
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  #4  
Old 03-19-2010, 05:00 PM
stuartambient stuartambient is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post
I don't have a cloner, but you can place the 1 inch cubes in a cloner like one of these: Hydroponic Plant Cloners - Hydroponics Equipment don't be scared by the price, the prices are ridiculous and the cloners are easy to make yourself. It's nothing more than a light proof box (with lid), pump, tubing with misters, timer and a see through top to hold humidity and let light in. If you want to get fancy, you can add a small humidifier/fogger (for the top of the plants). You could even replace the pump, tubing, misters and timer with a fogger in the root zone (base). There is a thread about foggers in this forum here: http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/for...2-foggers.html You would just cut holes in the lid just big enough to fit the 1 inch rockwool cubes into, or you can even use round foam plugs (picture attached), just cut holes accordingly.
.
How long should the plants sit in the cloner ? Or, at what stage do they go into the main system The fogger system looks very cool. My sights were set towards a cloner and for now
I just set up a small enclosure, put some Hydroton, PH'd treated water and some nutes. I think the old term is a Luwasa system. I have 200watts of CFL (that's the equivalent of 200w). No lid though on it.

Thank you
Stuart
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  #5  
Old 03-19-2010, 06:26 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
How long should the plants sit in the cloner ? Or, at what stage do they go into the main system
Typically in a cloner the plants are only about 1 inch apart. They can remain in the cloner until they start to get to big enough that they start overtaking the other plants. You can place them farther apart , or even only use every other space if you wish, that way the plants will have more elbow room. The idea is to save the space in the main system for the more established plants, saving resources and making it more efficient. Different plants grow at different rates, so a time-line is hard to say, but the more you use it the more you will know exactly how long you will want them in the cloner before transplanting them into the system.

Then you will know exactly when to start the new plants, so that they are ready to place in the system at the same time you harvest the other ones. That way you don't have any unused spots in the main system (not efficient), and once you have cleaned the system (or portion of a large system) between harvests if you want to, you have established plants to immediately place in it, taking weeks off the time needed to mature in the main system.

The big issue with how long it can be in a cloning system other than space is your lighting. When using cloners it is typical to use clf's for lighting. That is OK for seedlings, and if the lighting is strong enough small plants. But to grow healthy mature plants you will probably need the metal halide or high pressure sodium type lighting. In other words using cfl's for the cloner (small plants) will be OK but the bigger the plants get they will probably need better lighting. Although plants like lettuce are from what I understand low light (requiring) plants, and will probably do good with good florescent lighting only (maybe even better from what I've read).
Quote:
I just set up a small enclosure, put some Hydroton, PH'd treated water and some nutes. I think the old term is a Luwasa system. I have 200watts of CFL (that's the equivalent of 200w). No lid though on it.
I hadn't heard of the "Luwasa system" so I did a quick search for it. If what I found is correct it looks much like a pot with plants growing in it, if so you wouldn't want to let them grow so long in it that the roots all intertwine, and you cant separate them without damaging them. But just like soil plants they would be able to take some damage. The see through lid is just to hold moisture in so they don't dry out much, also to help keep them warm depending on the air temp but let light in.

I went real high tech with my new cloner. I was going to post these pictures later when the plants got a little bigger, the plants have only been in it for 2 days. But I have attached some pictures of the small cloner that I just made. It's about as simple as it gets with no moving parts, and for lighting I just stick it outside in the sun during the daytime. The water is only about 2 inches at the bottom. To make sure the rockwool cubes don't dry out, I just shake the container a couple of times a day. They hang above the water level, so they don't water-log the cubes. But when I gently shake the container, the bottom of the cubes get watered. So far so good.

P.S. I haven't light proofed it yet, though the bottom portion is doubled (one inside another) so it's pretty dark I hope.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 03-19-2010 at 06:28 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-24-2010, 01:56 AM
Hawaiianhydro Hawaiianhydro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post

I went real high tech with my new cloner.
LOL...sometimes things can be so simple. I'm new to this forum and have been browsing around and gathering very helpful information. Just wanted to say "Thank You" for the great help. I'm going to use this idea.

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