Lettuce Try Hydroponics
By Anastasia Adamchuk
Intermediate Category (Grades 9-10)
Innovation | Agriculture, Biology
I made an automated hydroponic mechanism out of recycled material because I wanted to find an affordable way to grow plants hydroponically from home. The mechanism consisted of a pipe with six holes in it, which I placed the Rockwool cubes into. Both ends of the pipe were connected to simple regulators and a small flexible tube that led into a big plastic bottle (with the hydroponic solution in it). One end of the tube was connected to a water pump. For the first two weeks, I let the hydroponic seeds germinate in a “greenhouse” I created using a plastic box. After I saw the roots poking out from the Rockwool cubes, I placed the plants in the hydroponic mechanism I made. Simultaneously I grew lettuce plants in normal soil in order to contrast which growing system the plants thrived in most. During the growing period, I placed a grow light over both the hydroponic and normal plants (the setting of the grow light was on red-blue). At the end of the three weeks, I have concluded that the hydroponic plants were overall healthier than the normal plants. Although the hydroponic plants were on average slightly shorter than the normal plants, they had thicker stems with more support, and also more leaves that had a greater surface area. The hydroponic plants were also greener than the regular plants.