Growing Aquaponic Lettuce? Read This First
Growing aquaponic lettuce is gaining popularity and attention in little kitchen gardens. In the Aquaponics system, there is a mutual benefit between the fish and the plant since the plant’s nutrients come from the fish’s waste.
Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow in an aquaponics system. However, you can still use the traditional growing method to enjoy your lettuce, but it takes longer and might have limited space. Instead, you can grow your lettuce all year round and enjoy organic vegetables in the comfort of your kitchen.
Lettuce requires minimal maintenance and effort, making it an excellent option for people with busy schedules. In addition, you don’t have to worry about what type of lettuce to grow because all kinds of lettuce grow well in aquaponics.
How Do You Start Lettuce Seeds for Aquaponics?
Planting lettuce seeds is straightforward. First, you need a starter medium like a peat pellet where you place 3 to 5 seeds. Next, stick your selected growing medium into a growing tray, water them, and put the container in the dark.
Every once per week, spray the seeds with water for two weeks. After 10 to 15 days, the aquaponics seeds are ready for transferring into your growing aquaponics system. After transplanting, ensure that the aquaponics lettuce is well maintained in the aquaponics system.
Maintaining aquaponics lettuce is easy but ensure that you check the pH every week. The ideal pH for growing aquaponics lettuce is 6.8. Therefore if it exceeds seven, you must regulate the pH with the appropriate liquid solution.
Is Lettuce Good For Aquaponics?
It requires less maintenance, effort, and space to grow in your system. Besides, most of the available lettuce varieties are cut-and-come-again types like romaine, loose-leaf, and butterhead.
You can plant lettuce in the standard aquaponic systems such as nutrient film techniques, deep water culture, and grow beds. It can adapt to room temperature and requires no extra care during the growing stages.
After 40 days, you can start harvesting your vegetable and plant new crops to replace the ones you’ve enjoyed. For example, you can enjoy your lettuce several times a year since it takes a little over a month to maturity. However, you can decide to plant with weeks’ spacing if you have enough room to make sure all your vegetables don’t mature simultaneously.
How Long Does Your Lettuce Take To Grow In Aquaponics?
Aquaponics lettuce grows the fastest among the other types of vegetables. Therefore the aquaponics lettuce growing time is short, approximately 40 days.
Depending on your aquaponics setup, the aquaponics lettuce can produce two to three times faster than traditional soil grown lettuce. Since the aquaponics lettuce grows quickly, you can harvest them when you feel they have reached the desired size.
Lettuce in aquaponics can grow as fast as two weeks. However, you should take note of the type of lettuce you grow since some varieties may take a more extended period of up to 8 weeks to mature. Most leafy lettuce takes the shortest time possible to develop.
Best Conditions for Lettuce Aquaponics Growth
Even though growing lettuce in an aquaponics system is easy, lettuce still requires the proper conditions to grow and thrive. You must understand the conducive temperature, pH, and required nutrients. Failure to observe the requirements may contribute to stunted growth or ultimate slow death. The following are the factors you need to consider if you want to grow aquaponics lettuce successfully.
Water and Air
Aquaponics lettuce grows well in water temperatures ranging from 21 to 23C. Water is essential in your aquaponics since it is the medium in which your lettuce and fish will receive nutrients. In addition, the flow of air in the grow room is vital in increasing the plant’s transpiration and nutrient uptake.
The perfect pH range for aquaponics lettuce is between 5.8 and 6.2. Lettuce can adapt to pH above the recommended level. Even if the lettuce is flexible, the correct pH will guarantee large leaves and great taste. Aquaponic lettuce benefits a lot from high calcium levels in the water.
If you want the best yield from aquaponics lettuce, you must provide it with the best spacing. The ideal spacing for growing lettuce in aquaponics is at least 7 inches apart. This spacing will help prevent overcrowding, promote maximum growth and ensure that each plant receives the correct light. In addition, with proper spacing, the lettuce will have good air aeration, which is essential for its growth.
Growing aquaponics lettuce is the best venture you can engage in when it comes to aquaponics. Deciding on the best vegetable to grow could be challenging for you, but do not worry since lettuce is an exciting option.
Aquaponics lettuce grows so fast that you can harvest them weekly or biweekly if you observe the right growing conditions. Even if you are a beginner in aquaponics, lettuce will still be the best plan option since it is easier and requires less maintenance.
You need space and an aquaponic system ready to plant your lettuce. You won’t have problems with your crop. Enjoy fresh, fresh, fresh, and versatile salad leaves for weeks.