This page documents the growth of 6 organic green leaf lettuce plants I placed into one of my hydroponic containers. The dates and times are listed above each picture. I started 7 seeds just in-case one of the seeds did not germinate. I ended up with 7 total healthy plants, for a 100% success rate!
January 11, 2019: 12:00PM
After seedlings emerged
January 14, 2019: 6:18PM
Plants were moved into net cups and placed in large container
January 16, 2019: 9:13AM
January 20, 2019: 2:09PM
January 24, 2019: 9:03PM
January 30, 2019: 8:55PM
February 2, 2019: 8:10AM
February 6, 2019: 8:49AM
February 9, 2019: 9:15AM
February 12, 2019: 8:55AM
February 17, 2019: 1:00PM
February 20, 2019: 4:35PM
A Peek Underneath: Healthy White Roots (Stained a little by the brown color of the nutrient solution)
March 12, 2019: 10:00AM
As you can see, the six lettuce plants have been growing like crazy! I haven’t harvested any lettuce from this batch so I could show you how amazingly fast it grows. Once the plants get big enough, you can harvest the larger lettuce leafs throughout the plant’s growth cycle. My wife likes to snap off pieces to make lettuce wraps. This ultra fresh lettuce also works great for making tasty salads too.
What is that hydroponic container?
I found this Sterilite 28-quart underbed storage container at Walmart and decided it would be a good size for hydroponically growing 6 heads of lettuce. The top is mostly smooth which will allow the net cups to sit flush. I used a 3″ hole saw to drill 6 holes into the lid of the container. The net cups fit perfectly and the container can be filled with enough nutrient solution to last 2-3 weeks between refills. To my surprise, this container ended up being a little too small once all 6 lettuce heads became fully grown. A container this size would be better suited for growing 4 hydroponic lettuce plants.
If you decide to buy a large container to grow multiple plants, it needs to be tall enough to hold the net cups while leaving enough room underneath the net cups to store a sizable amount of the hydroponic nutrient solution.
Make sure you use food grade containers
It is important that you make sure your container is safe for use in food-grade applications. These containers usually have a recycling number on the bottom of the container. If that number is 1, 2, 4 or 5, the container should be safe to use for growing hydroponically.