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Hydropon Daily hydroponic lettuce for a family.
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  1. #1

    Daily hydroponic lettuce for a family.

    The first type of Hydroponic system we will discuss is non-circulting fixed position tank culture as demonstrated by Dr Kratky of Hilo, Hawaii. Professor of Horticulture University Hawaii. You can find several of his personal videos on youtube. You can also find a lot of poorly designed "kratky" systems done by folks that don't understand the method. I will provide a link to his video. This simple setup will allow you to grow 6 lettuce plants in a sunny window in about 6 weeks. It would be helpful to have a small grow light but it's not absolutely necessary. Cost of production per plant will be less than 10 cents each. I will provide a compete list of materials and links to where to purchase the items needed. Almost no tools are required but a drill with a hole saw would be helpful.

    Materials needed


    This tote. Its the right size for 6 plants and food safe. The only issue is it's clear. We will paint it to keep light out.

    Net cups. Spend the extra to get a bunch... You will do more.

    Postal/food scale. That reads in grams. Needs to be fairly accurate.

    This is all the "equipment" that is needed.

    Cost 25 dollars

    Light for year round growing, or for growing away from a window. While not cheap. It can be used for up to 4 tanks providing daily lettuce or greens for a family. cost is about 80 bucks. Stay away from the cheap lights. They are cheap for a reason.


    Nutrient, media and seed.

    Fertilizer This is top shelf professional fertilizer. While expensive it will produce hundreds of lettuce heads.

    Calcium You will need 2.

    Epson Salts. Get it at your local store.

    Jiffy pots, you can get them local or here. Local they will be cheaper, but only available in season.

    seed, these are very tolerant. But you can use any lettuce you like.

    To create,

    Use 2" hole saw to saw 6 holes in the lid make them as far apart as possible. Pretty simple.
    Paint tote with two coats of paint on the outside. Let dry. If you don't have a hole saw you can cut the holes with a razor knife. Just take it slow.

    To plant.

    Fill tote nearly full with water. Put lid in place with a net cup. Check the water level. You want it about 1/4" above the bottom of the net cup. add or remove water if needed.

    Add nutrient. Do not do this in one step. It will cause nutrients to precipitate out and fail to work.

    Place cup or bowl. zero scale.

    Step one
    to bowl add
    15 grams of fertilizer
    8 grams of Epson salts.
    Add this to the water and gently mix till disolved.
    step two
    then to bowl add 15 grams of calcium. mix tank till dissolved

    Place net-cups in hole.
    Place peat pellets in net cups.
    Place seed in hole in peat pellet.
    Set light about 2' from the lid.
    Set light timer of 18 hours a day.
    Your seeds should be up in a week.
    The lettuce will be ready in 5-6 weeks.

    With this system you harvest the whole plant a one time. With 4 tanks you would get 24 heads of lettuce every 5 weeks. Plenty for most.

    Here is a link to Dr kratky's lecture.

  2. #2
    here is a series of pictures.. Total time was 6 weeks start to finish. I grew these During February under a light.

  3. #3
    Using nearly the same process with a slightly larger tanks you can grow greens as well.

    use this tote. It holds more water and nutrients. You can fit 4 large plants.

    You will cut the holes and start the planting process the same as above.
    You will be adding different amounts of nutrients. Greens require a bit more.

    For this tote with greens
    step one.
    40 grams of fertilizer
    25 grams of Magnesium

    Step 2

    40 grams of Calcium Nitrate.

    What types of greens to grow?

    Chinese Greens grow so well that you really must try it.
    Bok Choy and Tatsoi

    Mustard greens
    Swiss Chard

    These will be the best tasting greens you have ever eaten. Plus, no dirt or bugs!
    Last edited by Stanb999; 08-07-2017 at 12:29 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Central Texas
    When doing this indoors, do you do anything to regulate the temp or humidity?
    Please PM me if interested in a Mutual-Assistance Group in Central Texas

  5. #5
    The conditions in your house are more than good enough. Excepting some strange situation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    This looks really interesting!
    I could make it cheaper!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    SW Louisiana
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm actually on vacation and can't wait to get home to do this.
    My posts are simply my opinion, understanding and perceptions. Nothing more, nothing less so please don't get offended if mine sometimes differs from yours. It's what makes us unique and all valuable as a group.


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