Monday, March 9, 2009

Grow Lettuce on your Roof top using Simplified Hydroponics

Grow Lettuce On Your Rooftop Using Simplified Hydroponics by Pritham 'metal farmer' D'Souza

following are some very simple steps i took in creating my very own floating bed where i used it to grow lettuce.

the above pic shows lettuce seedlings germinated in seedling tray. i had to wait for a few days till they were a few inches tall before i could transplant them in my floating bed

i took a normal dishwashing sponge as seen above and cut it into square blocks measuring about 1 inch as seen below.

on each sponge block obtained i made a deep incision as seen above, at the middle

i took a normal thermacol sheet & made holes in them using a bottle cap.

since my carpentary skills are not as good as my guitar playing skills, i decided to use one of my normal grow bed tubs & convert the same into a floating bed (sorry peggy)
i covered the base, and the sides using black polythene sheet & taped the sides as seen above. then i filled it with already prepared nutrient water

i wet the seedling tray, and slowly picked up the lettuce seedlings as seen above & placed them gently in between the cut i had made on the sponge piece as seen below

notice the good root development above n the enlarged image below

another side view of the seedling placed in between the cut on the sponge block

notice the pic above has very small roots. i was not careful while removing the seedlings from the germinating tray, and as a result a lot of the roots here snapped. but i transplanted it anyways to see if it will survive

i plugged all the 12 holes with the seedlings & if you notice, at the bottom left, i transplanted a tomato seedling just for kicks!
the above photos were taken on march 5, 2009

just a day later, on march 6, 2009, i noticed, the roots slowly begining to look a lot healthier & the plants looking a lot stronger

i aerate the water everyday , twice with my hands & the bubbles thus formed help the roots get oxygen. it also eliminates mosquitoes from breeding as they prefer stagnant water, not daily aerated water.
the above pic was clicked on march 5, 2009, just 2 days after i transplanted. if one compares the photos, it is very clear, there has been rapid increase in length of the leaves and the plants look a lot greener.
i will post newer photos after a few weeks & see the development of my lettuce floating bed

all photos n data by Pritham dsouza


  1. Hi Mr. Preetham, I am regular reader of your blog. All Your articles are very usefull for normal man, even who dont have any basic agri knowledge can clearly understands Your pictorial explanations. Hats of 2 U. Keep it up. Can I visit your greenhouse in Bangalore once ?
    - Vishy

  2. thanks vishy for the kind words.... but i do not live in Bangalore... i live in mangalore.... and u are always welcome to visit

  3. Hi, I am reading 6 posts.... which You posted yesterday. By the way... can I have your email id and cell number please.

  4. my email id is

    my mobile.... is a waste..... will give it to u when i get it... from repairs...

  5. Hey,This is Auntie Greta from USA.Thanks for sharing your agriculture knowledge tot he you-Auntie

  6. can you please post on the nutrients you use.

  7. Hello,

    Could you please share how you prepare the nutrient water? Sorry if you have covered it elsewhere - I did search.

    Many thanks

  8. aha!!! the nutrient water used here is strictly for hydroponic purpose. and i am duty bound not to share its secret unless u do the course... sorry. this is also coz u need to learn about nutrients, which is required for what , what the deficiency symptoms are, etc etc. coz even if u make a slight mistake in giving nutrients, it can be detrimental for the growth of the plant.

    but u dont have to follow any formula here. all organic sprays, organic manures u have, or use, if u let me know what u are using, i will work out a formula for u, which u can use.

  9. Hi there,

    Ok, I understand.

    Here's what I use: water that remains after washing rice (red, sona masoori)& pulses (urad, toor, chana mainly); crushed egg shells. I initially put used tea leaves in the soil but stopped doing as fungus grew in the soil because the leaves were soaked with milk.
    In addition, water removed from the fish tank while cleaning is added to the plants (once a week).

    Any tips will be gratefully received.

    Take care

  10. now those were things i didnt know!!! eliminate the fungus, all u need to do it just rinse the tea dust twice with running water, then add to the plants.. its excellent source of nutrients..
    even water got after preparing curds, whey, is superb for the soil as it contains bacteria...