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Discussion Starter #1
Last Spring I planted lettuce in this hydroponic system and everything started great, but the plants just didn’t grow. I bought actual plants and washed off most of the dirt, planting the roots in the porous rock material provided and added food to the circulating water. I didn’t test the pH and I used catch water in the tank. I left the unit near the sunroom windows but they just never thrived. Any idea what went wrong? Does it have to go outside? I want to try again.
thanks in advance!
 

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My wife has the bigger version of that tower, but without the recirculating water option. We used the porous rock, but then added peet moss, and processed dirt to it, and watered daily, adding in the drippings from the catchment tray. It worked wonderfully, and produced plenty.

Maybe you need to add some dirt/peet to get the roots something to be based in ?
 

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Many sources for error in a small system: water evaporates, so concentration of nutrients increases over the course of a day, maybe burning roots, or initial formula used wasn't right....Lettuce is a "cold weather plant" growing well in temps 50s & 60s, but in the ground, the roots stay much warmer-- if your air temp is too cold, water will remain that cold too....Water needs to be aerated, moving & not stagnant for best results.

I grow lettuce indoors now in well aged horse manure in 9x13 disposable aluminum cooking pans (2 for a buck at Dollar Store) and use a $12 LED shop lite mounted 8 in or so above them. Water as needed and veggie MircleGrow type fert once a week...Harvest as much lettuce as I need daily. I keep it in the garage/utility room, temp ~62* (Soil temp near 70 from the lite.)...Really easy.
 

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Well you answered part of your question yourself---not checking ph etc. What did you add to the water for nutrients/fertilizer? Plants have to have "feed" and GOOD light to grow so if you are planning to do indoor you need some grow lights set-up. Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. I didn’t have anything to test the pH so I’ll have to find test strips. The water was circulating with a small pump, and I followed the feeding directions from the food provided with the kit. I thought it could be lack of proper light, maybe I’ll move it outside this year and add peat most and some soil. thanks for the replies.

As my grandma used to say, “live And learn, die and forget it all!”
 

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Thanks. I didn’t have anything to test the pH so I’ll have to find test strips. The water was circulating with a small pump, and I followed the feeding directions from the food provided with the kit. I thought it could be lack of proper light, maybe I’ll move it outside this year and add peat most and some soil. thanks for the replies.

As my grandma used to say, “live And learn, die and forget it all!”

Remember, if you do multiple things, and it works, you won't know how you corrected the issue. Just sayin'
 

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Lettuce has been a delicate crop for me: if everything is not right then the lettuce just kind of sulks

I have found bok choi to be more forgiving
 
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