The most modern and innovative method of growing lettuce is on water! Growing the lettuce plants in open ground is no longer necessary. The lettuce also receives all the right nutrients through the water. How? We will explain that cultivation process to you in detail.
The cultivation process of lettuce on water in 10 steps
- The lettuce seeds are planted in a cup with super clean soil that is full of correct nutrients and without fungi or organisms.
- Each cup receives a seed to germinate and to grow the roots of the plant.
- Each plant is given a code, so traceability on any moment is always possible. Also in later stage the origin of the seed and species can be determined exactly.
- The box with all seeds goes into the cultivation room, and will stay there for about four weeks to cultivate.
- In the cultivation room, the containers with the plants drift along a route, which is fully automated. The day and night rhythm is simulated LED lighting, only the colours that the plants need to grow are used:
- The red LED colour controls the height of the plants.
- The blue LED colour controls the width of the plants.
- Playing with the colour combination affects the vegetation, so actually the shape of the plants is determined.
- After four weeks in the cultivation room, the plants are large and strong enough to go to the greenhouse for the last part of the cultivation process.
- The plants are transferred to floating trays, where the lettuce has enough space to continue growing.
- A new journey through the greenhouse has started. The quality of the water is extremely important. Rainwater is used, to which various nutrients are added. The quality of the water is monitored continuously. This way of growing has got one big advantage, because it is water-saving, as the water is dedicated to the breeding. For the regular crops about half of the water benefits the growth of the plants, the other half simply disappears into the soil. Also in terms of nutrients, it is easier to fine-tune and customize to the plant’s needs and this prevents waste.
- After four weeks, the lettuce plants are ready to be eaten!
- All plant leftovers from the lettuce heads are used in a biogas installation. This installation is used to heat the greenhouse, which also prevents waste in this part of the cultivation process.
These are the benefits of growing lettuce on water
- Because the lettuce is grown inside the greenhouse, the influence of the weather is minimal.
- No pesticides are needed, because no fungi or bugs can harm the lettuce, in contrast to growing lettuce outside into the soil.
- When growing on water, the plant gets exactly the right nutrients that the plant needs.
- To grow from seed to head takes only 8 weeks in the greenhouse, outside into the soil takes about 11 weeks for a head of lettuce.
This lettuce is now available at BE Fresh! Ask one of our contact persons.