□ Root Cubes
□ Dark-colored 5 gallon bucket/container with water
□ Lettuce seeds
□ Plywood/Foam board
□ Plastic Planting Cones
□ 2 slightly rounded teaspoons of Water Soluble Hydroponic fertilizer 8-15-36 □ 1 slightly rounded teaspoon of Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) □ 2 slightly rounded teaspoons of Calcium Nitrate
□ Duct Tape
1. Preparing the Starter Plants
Two weeks before planting, you will need to prepare the seedlings for the hydroponic garden. In the root cubes, place one lettuce seed and leave them in a dish of water for two weeks. In that time, the seeds should sprout into little seedlings. Be sure to always have the cubes in a dish of water. Don't let them go dry.
2. Choosing and Preparing the Container for Planting
The best containers to use for hydroponic gardening are dark colored plastics. The darkness will keep algae from growing in the water. You will want to keep the algae away because an overgrowth of algae will take all the nutrients away from the plants. If you need to use a clear container, it is advisable to cover it with a dark plastic or tin foil. In selecting a container to do your hydroponics, you need to consider what type of plants you are planning to grow. Containers holding bigger volumes are good for long lasting plants or for plants which flower or fruit for a longer period of time. Wider containers provide more surface area to grow more plants or bigger plants. A dark colored five gallon bucket is ideal for growing a variety of plants because of its volume and surface area. For our first experience in hydroponic gardening, let us all use a five gallon bucket or something comparable in volume and surface area. You will need to have a cover for your container. The cover will suspend the plastic planting cones which your plants will be growing in. The cover of your hydroponic system needs to completely cover the surface area. If a cover is...