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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday Garden Party - Experimental Lettuce

I've heard about growing things in water.  Hydroponics, from the Greek hydro (water) and ponos (labor) is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water, without soil.

Records show that ancient Egyptians were probably the first hydroponic farmers, and some suppose that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon may have used hydroponic technology.  Though the Romans used hydroponics to grow out of season plants, there is little evidence of the technology until the 1600s, where European farmers began to grow plants and vegetables in greenhouses using hydroponic methods.

The growth rate on a hydroponic plant is 30-50 percent faster than a soil plant grown under the same conditions!  The yield of the plant is also greater.  And hydroponic gardening uses considerably less water than soil gardening, uses fewer pesticides and requires about 1/5th the space of a soil garden.

That's the hype anyway.  I thought we would try it and purchased a Hydro-Dome kit to grow lettuce.  And this is what I got:

Here's the results so far:

After two days -

After 7 days -

Not too bad for a week (especially considering my tomatoes took 2 months to grow that much... though under admittedly different conditions...).

I'm kind of excited to see how this experiment comes along! Check back next week to see what another week in the garden brings - in the meantime, check out An Oregon Cottage for her weekly Garden Party.

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  1. What a cool thing to try--I've been reading up on this subject, too, thinking I'd like to give it a go.

  2. Very interesting--I am looking forward to seeing how they grow and the time frame from start to finished lettuce. I was curious--what sort of growing medium are you using?