Ask a Question forum: hydroponic lettuce and herbs

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Newport News VA
yosal
Nov 19, 2017 6:57 AM CST
I bought a starter kit for indoor hydroponics made specifically for lettuce and herbs. I'm unclear about inserting seedlings: do you rinse off the roots first? I have some seedlings started in peat pellets. Can I just insert those in the cups or will the roots suffocate from being in too much water - but isn't that the point of hydroponics? Complete insertion in water? Also, I bought living lettuces at the grocery store, cut the leaves off for a salad, and then put the roots in the cups. They all rotted. Why didn't they grow? What is the purpose of the wrappers?
Name: Liz Shaw
Gilbert, AZ (Sunset Zone 13) (Zone 9a)
Arizona Gardener
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Southwest Gardening Region: Arizona Ponds Aquaponics Hydroponics
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LizDTM
Nov 19, 2017 11:16 AM CST
If you buy plants at the garden center, rinse off as much of the dirt as you can before putting them into the system. Same thing with the peat pots. Personally, I start mine from seed and get a good germination rate.

I'm not sure about the living lettuces. I haven't tried it. It may be that the roots were dead before you bought them? Or maybe you need to include some of the lettuce above the roots?
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anaïs Nin
Newport News VA
yosal
Nov 20, 2017 2:17 PM CST
The roots seem viable and I'm trying again with more leaves left. I also ordered some rock wool cubes. Have you used those? Is that what you start your seed in? I have celery growing beautifully, and i started that with the stump that was left after i used all the stalks. One more question - do you use grow lights? I have mine in a sunny window.
Name: Liz Shaw
Gilbert, AZ (Sunset Zone 13) (Zone 9a)
Arizona Gardener
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Southwest Gardening Region: Arizona Ponds Aquaponics Hydroponics
Herbs Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Gardens in Buckets Cactus and Succulents Miniature Gardening
Image
LizDTM
Nov 20, 2017 8:13 PM CST
I use a shop light and it works great. I have used the rock wool, but I have just as much success just tossing the seed onto the hydroton. I mist it a couple times a day until it comes up.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anaïs Nin
Newport News VA
yosal
Nov 21, 2017 7:12 AM CST
So let me see if i got this right: You put hydroton in the cups and put seed on top of that, mist till they sprout, and have the light on them. I'm getting an air rock and pump, which defeats the purpose of "passive care", but i am learning so much. Have you been doing hydroponics long?
Name: Liz Shaw
Gilbert, AZ (Sunset Zone 13) (Zone 9a)
Arizona Gardener
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Southwest Gardening Region: Arizona Ponds Aquaponics Hydroponics
Herbs Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Gardens in Buckets Cactus and Succulents Miniature Gardening
Image
LizDTM
Nov 21, 2017 8:51 PM CST
I have net cups on top of an aquaponic set up. There is always water circulating to the bottom of the cups. I probably don't need to mist them, but I feel like I get better germination when I do.

I've been doing hydroponics and aquaponics for about 8 months. I've had a lot of success with lettuce, pak choi, and tomatoes inside. Some success with basil inside, but it gets too big. Everything else, I'm still in the learning curve on.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anaïs Nin

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