Salad Bowl is a type of green loose-leaf lettuce having deeply lobed leaves. The last time I grew this variety, it was years ago when I had a raised-bed garden. Let’s see how it does in the Bucket Hydroponics system.
I will also be comparing 2 different types of fertilizer blends:
1) Masterblend 4-18-38 + calcium nitrate + magnesium sulfate
2) Jungle Juice 3-part liquid fertilizer (Grow 2-1-6, Bloom 0-5-4, Micro 5-0-1) + calcium nitrate
Mar 29, 2016 = Day 0. Plants started from seed (Bountiful Gardens). Seeds sowed in 1.5-inch rockwool cube in 2-inch net-pot. Moistened with Seedling Blend, a dilute blend of fertilizers. N-P-K (in ppm): 22-29-16.
Mar 31 = Day 2. Plants germinated, placed directly under a fluorescent light (2 ft. T8 bulb, 17W, 6500k) for 16 hours per day.
Apr 7 = Day 9. Thinned to 2 seedlings per net-pot. Installed plants into 11 cup plastic containers with the 2 different types of hydroponic solution:
1) Masterblend-based Regular-Strength Blend. N-P-K (in ppm): 103-95-202.
2) Jungle Juice Blend. N-P-K (in ppm): 113-79-147.
May 9 = Day 41. Containers are almost empty, and lower leaves are starting to turn yellow, so all the leaves were harvested. Comparing the 2 types of fertilizers, there was no clear winner here; the plant leaves and root systems both looked great. Interestingly, the final pH levels of the solutions were quite different, but the plants did well in both cases, indicating that these Salad Bowl lettuce plants are resilient.
Masterblend: Fluid used = 9.75 cups (0.61 gal). Final pH of fluid = 8.0.
Jungle Juice: Fluid used = 9.25 cups (0.58 gal). Final pH of fluid = 5.0.