Tuesday, April 16, 2013


A few months ago my dad told me about his new method for growing lettuce in his garden & greenhouse. He said that he wasn't using soil to grow the plants but water! This method, called Hydroponics is a popular way to grow crops and I had no idea! Plants absorb nutrients from water and really don't need soil to grow at all, if done properly.

Being in Arizona, I have always wanted a garden but I am the last person to know how to keep my vegetables alive, let alone even get it started. I had no idea that in just 4 short weeks, I'd be picking kale daily for my juicing and smoothies.

My dad came to visit last month and brought all of the supplies that I would need to start a few plants growing. He even brought the starter plants!

He basically just used one of those plant starter kits that you can purchase at any local hardware store, such as Home Depot, Lowes or Ace Hardware. He planted the seeds and in just a couple of weeks they had sprouted and were ready for their transplant into their new hydro-home. 

He had already purchased the paint buckets and lids from Ace Hardware and drilled the small holes in the tops so that the baskets would fit perfectly. 

He wasn't sure which plants would survive or which ones I'd eat the most, so he brought me Spinach, Butter-crunch Lettuce and Kale. He pulled each of the plants out of their soil and washed them off so that we could then place them in the small baskets (which were purchased at a hydroponics store and can also be purchased online). The clay rocks help to protect the delicate roots from the sun and help to stabilize the plant. 

[Butter-crunch Lettuce]



Once the plants were delicately placed in the little baskets we added water to the buckets and enriched it with "MaxiGro-Plant Food for Vigorous Growth" which we purchased at a local Hydroponics store but can be found HERE on Amazon. 

We bought two cement blocks and a piece of wood to place the buckets on to keep them off of the ground. We placed them in my backyard in a spot that receives a lot of morning sun and shade in the afternoon. I live in Arizona and we didn't want the water in the buckets to get too hot. Normally, they would do fine in a very sunny area. 

After just 1 week in their new hydro-home, look how much they have grown! 

And after 4 weeks....

I've just been harvesting the plants as I need them, which is daily. I use the Kale and Spinach for juicing, smoothies and salads and have used the Butter-crunch for ground turkey breast lettuce wraps and egg salad wraps. There is nothing more delicious than to be able to have fresh lettuce right from your backyard! It tastes wonderful and it's so fresh. I am going to be adding more buckets of Kale once I see how it does during our hot summer months. 

**Items you will need to get started:

Seeds of whatever leafy greens you want to grow
Seed Starter Kit
Paint Buckets & Lids, 2 Gallon size is what I used
MaxiGro (Plant Food)
Round Net Pots
Clay Pebbles 

Please share with your friends and leave comments or questions! 

1 comment:

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