hydrolifeCA
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Where are my first true leaves.

I planted my lettuce 2 weeks ago. It's now under a light 14-16 hours a day. It is very healthy but I am not getting any true leaves.

I have the seedling leaves. It is growing a little taller (not leggy now).... but I am not getting any true leaves.

How long does lettuce normally take indoors with lights to get true leaves? Temps are 70-80's.

Thank you...

DoubleDogFarm
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hydrolifeCA,

Your project is a puzzling one. :? You would think more people would be trying to help you. :?

2 weeks is more then enough time for true leaves. Can I make a suggestion? Start your seeds in a seed starting mix and grow out for a while longer. Then pull from the soil, wash the roots off and place into the rockwool.

Need more help from the Hydroponic members.

Eric

hydrolifeCA
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Eric thank you. My situation is so very puzzling. I know I have had a million topics.

I finally fixed my setup, got a controlled clean room, got grow lights, etc.

My plants look so very healthy, not leggy etc. They just aren't doing true leaves. One is now sprouting a true leave but its been for days.

They popped up and grew so fast and now they just seem to have SLOWED!

Also: I have never worked with soil. I tried putting them in small pots with soil and they never germinated!!!! In rockwool they germinate for me but ... they just don't do what they need.

Eric when I tried transplanting, they all wilted. That's why I am starting directly in rockwool. (Grodan).

DoubleDogFarm
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Are you covering the roots with the rockwool when transplanting. I'm thinking if the roots are just sitting down in a hole, they maybe drying out between watering. You roots maybe air pruning? :?

How about placing a seed down in the rockwool and cover them with vermiculite. Just some suggestions.

Eric

hydrolifeCA
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Eric I have a new issue now,

My two bigger plants, (getting their third leaves now at 12 days) ... are now having an issue.

When I turn on my grow lights they plop over like they are wilted.

If I turn off my grow lights, they sprout back up nice and strong and healthy. They seem to not like the light! The little new sproutlings love it.

What is going on!!! Is my lettuce getting too much light?

The light is a 45Watt, 6500k CFL about 2 inches from the plants.

I would say they are not getting enough light BUT they pop back up when its off. It's like they don't like the light?

hydrolifeCA
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One of the plants that appeared to be dying aka wilting, well I decided as a last ditch effort to transplant it into my drip system pre-maturely.

In just a couple hours it recouperated and sprouted a third leaf.

I don't get it. Maybe it just needed nutrients or oxygen from the water?

hydroguy
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hydrolifeCA wrote:One of the plants that appeared to be dying aka wilting, well I decided as a last ditch effort to transplant it into my drip system pre-maturely.

In just a couple hours it recouperated and sprouted a third leaf.

I don't get it. Maybe it just needed nutrients or oxygen from the water?


Looks like you solved your own problem hydrolife. I'm a picture kinda guy and it would be much easier to help with your issues if I could possibly see what your dealing with. The slow grow sounds alot like lack of moisture, the wilting sounds alot like excessive heat from the light. Post up a pic if you can my friend. If your still growing the Simpson you should be harvesting some greens by the 21st day, if not there's something missing to your system.

hydroguy

hydrolifeCA
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hydroguy exactly why I am worried, I am on day 12 and there is no way they will be harevestable in 12 more days. I think my system is somehow flawed. I would really appreciate the advice of another experienced hydro grower. This is a new hobby to me and its something I need a little help on!

Here is my system so far.

1. Soak rockwool (grodan) in pH 5.5 water.
2. Plant 2 seeds into each cube. One on surface, one very lightly burried. (All simpson lettuce)
3. Place in humidity dome
4. Place in area with lots of light (I use natural light for germination, it works good so far)
5. Once sprouted, remove dome, place under CFL's for 15-16 hours a day.
6. Once big enough to put in hydro system, plug small grodan cubes into bigger ones.
7. Water twice daily for 4 minutes during the light part of the cycle. Low EC to account for young age. Adjust to more frequent watering if and as necessary.

The problem is, as you see, my planys germinate, sprout and grow 2 leaves FINE. But they don't do much more than that. Obviously they are missing something, it's not light........

Here are pics:

1. Humidity Dome
[img]https://img714.imageshack.us/img714/3208/dsc00549u.jpg[/img]

2. Where they go after they sprout (under CFL light, no dome)
[img]https://img156.imageshack.us/img156/2806/dsc00552to.jpg[/img]

3. Distance from light to stage 2 area (after they sprout). I moved it up because when it was lower it caused plants to wilt. They seem to do fine now under it.
[img]https://img508.imageshack.us/img508/88/dsc00554em.jpg[/img]

4. The plant that is 15 days old almost and WAS wilting but now in hydro system appears to be doing okay. However, it looks VERY wimpy for 15 days. Right?
[img]https://img402.imageshack.us/img402/8470/dsc00551b.jpg[/img]

Any suggestion, tips, input or feedback. Maybe some hints to what I am dying wrong and how does my Simpson lettuce look? Horrible right? The two new sproutlings in the green pot only have about 5 days. The taller one is about 12 days old. The one in the hydro system 15 days.

Any ideas? Please. Hydroguy........... anyone else?

hydroguy
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Thanks for the pics buddy, this will probably get moved over to the hydro section but here's some observations I've made. Others may see things completely different.

1. pretreating rockwool is not necessary. I did it but haven't in a really LONG time. Just one more way for the hydro store to sell you some stuff IMHO.

2. Rockwool's selling point is the ability to get moisture and oxygen to the roots of your plants. I don't really know how to say this but you have some how abused the rockwool to the point its pretty much useless. Looks like it was squeezed to get the pre-treatment out or something. Once rockwool is squeezed it will not revert back to its original form like a sponge does. The rockwool your useing does not have the abilitity to exchange oxygen with expelled gases.

Rockwool is sold in many forms, little bitty pieces up to large slabs. The starter plugs designed to fit into the larger blocks are a tight fit, no air gaps like yours have where the roots would die when exposed to prolonged light. It's an awesome product but it is a fragile one aswell. Treat it gently and it will reward you greatly.

There's other things I see but I've probably been to critical as it is. Hope your not offended.

hydroguy

hydrolifeCA
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Hydroguy no way about offending me, I asked for your feedback! This is my first time using rockwool. I have to say, I don't like it so far.

I did not squeeze it, I did however bring it to CA from the USA in a suit case and it got squashed. I figured the structure was bad.

I have two other options available to me here. I can get a hold of Coco Coir specifically made for hydroponics.

Or........ I can get gravel. I have seen both used. Which do you recommend to me in the place of rockwool.

Also I am not offended, you have not been critical, etc. Can you point out what else you notice to be an issue. I really need the help to get this fixed so any help at all would be incredibly useful. ANYTHING you notice, please hydroguy ... you won't offend me.

P.S. I want to continue to use my exisiting structure for my recirculating drip system.

I am thinking, gravel or coco coir both will work well in the drip system provided I leave them out constantly so the roots do not dry.... is this not correct? Will lettuce grow fine in gravel? I like gravel as a medium....

DoubleDogFarm
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Looking at your latest pictures, your basically are still working on the first leaf, not third. The first two leaves are seed leaves, (cotyledon). I can see the true leaves are just starting.

They seem slow to me, I would up the nutrient levels, but I don't grow hydroponically.

Growing leafy vegetables in soil can handle a little more nitrogen. Nitrogen gives you a flush of growth, good for greens, maybe not so good for fruit production.

Eric

hydrolifeCA
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Thank you Eric. I think overall the problem may be substrate which is rockwool.

Another issue may be the lack of nutrients.

I think I may do this....

Change substrate to Coco Peat/Coir. LEAVE THE SYSTEM AS A TOP DRIP....

and then once the sproutlings get to about 7 days I will start them on light nutrients instead of waiting for 2 weeks. Obviously they are not getting correct nutes hence stunted growth, and poor roots.

Maybe I should even give them low dose nutrients earlier?

Maybe hydroguy can comment when he starts nutrients on his plants?

Thank you...

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Halfway
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Mine don't get nutes for almost 2 weeks after sprouting. And that is 1/2 strength in the hydro system.

I don't put them on heat pads for germinating and I hold the light until they are about 3/4 inch tall. Never had a problem, but I do notice 55 degree airtemp will slow them once germinated compared to 62 degree air temp.

What kind of lettuce? I apologize if I missed it.
Zone 4a.

hydrolifeCA
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Halfway it's Simpson lettuce.

I live in a warm climate (which may cause them to bolt fast if I can ever get them to grow).

It says 70-85 here always.

Thanks for your info .... I am thinking rockwool is my big reason they won't survive but .... I can fix that with a different substrate.

But still, for the first 2 weeks they should grow pretty decent. I just saw some pics of 2 week old lettuce, it looks decent. MINE at two weeks is crap.

It has light. It has water.

Could it be the lack of a good grow medium? Could rockwool stunt the growth maybe because the roots can't pentrate in (because my rockwool is damaged). Is that possible?

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Halfway
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For hydro starts, I have switched entirely to rockwool. Works great and much cheaper than root riot plugs.

I have another 6 rockwool cubes which have just germinated some Simpson in 2 days at 58 degrees and no light. They will go under the light in a few more days.
Zone 4a.

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[url=https://img688.imageshack.us/i/31mar112.jpg/][img]https://img688.imageshack.us/img688/508/31mar112.jpg[/img][/url]

Here are the starts (Simpson Elite) that were placed a couple days ago. They germinated within the last 48 hours. Air temp is between 58-62 over a 24 hour period.

I am sold on the rockwool as medium for lettuce in my systems. I had great luck with root riot, but the difference in results were not worth the additional cost.

These sprouts will go under the lights in the next few days.
Zone 4a.

hydroguy
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hydrolifeCA wrote:
Could it be the lack of a good grow medium? Could rockwool stunt the growth maybe because the roots can't pentrate in (because my rockwool is damaged). Is that possible?
There's nothing at all wrong with rockwool, it's some good stuff no doubt. I highly recommend it as a growth medium. The rockwool you have is damamged and the roots can't penetrate it, very similar to growing in hard clay soil.

Rocks and coir would both be good to grow in but they require completely different management techniques. You still need something to germinate a seed in as neither coir or rocks would serve that purpose very well. If it were mine I'd toss the starts you have, take a knife and cut one of the blocks into chunks, say 2" x 2", and start over being careful not to smash the rockwool. Keep it moist during germination.

Nutrients aren't necessary for germination and can actually do more harm than good until you see the first set of true leaves forming. I've got 150 or so lettuce seedlings going now and they haven't received anything but tap water. I'll add the first nutrients tomorrow (day 6). Can't say if it's half strength or what as I use a ppm tester and mix a ratio of 1 part Boost 2 parts Grow until I reach the desired ppm level.

hydroguy

hydrolifeCA
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hydroguy thank you. I got a good mix as a growing medium, it may end up being more comfortable for me. I transplanted the few plants I had, they had so-so root systems, I won't expect them to survive to be honest.

The rockwool -- I have a few big cubes that are unopened. I flip one over, planted some seeds in it and stuck it in the humidity dome. I moistened it with tap water.

It has not been crushed, smooshed or damaged in any way so it should be good for germination. I think after then germinate I will move them into the coir. Any idea how soon I would move them? (Since I don't want to wait til they get too rooted into the rockwool).

Here are some updated pics: Any feedback (even harsh). I just want to get a stable system. I really appreciate your time and Erics too... and everyone else.

[img]https://img827.imageshack.us/img827/7531/dsc00556r.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img827.imageshack.us/img827/7531/dsc00556r.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img845.imageshack.us/img845/823/dsc00558r.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img101.imageshack.us/img101/5339/dsc00559u.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img101.imageshack.us/img101/5339/dsc00559u.jpg[/img]

The substrate pictured is actually called Hidro-Max. It's marketed here in Central America and used frequently in NFC systems. It is made up of mixed corn husks and pumice rock. It's pre-washed, processed and pH neutral. It is suppose to work really good.

DoubleDogFarm
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I have started thousands of seedlings in a 50 / 50 peat and perlite mix. This year, I have switched to 50 / 50 Coir and perlite. I changed mainly because coir is renewable.
I've seen no differences in these two mixes.

When is a system no longer Hydroponics?

HydrolifeCA, Your system, to me, now looks like regular greenhouse growing with drip irrigation.

Eric

hydrolifeCA
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Eric, the line is veryyyyyyyyyy blurred. The only advantage mine has is it may be part DWC (Deep Water Culture) because those are net pots and the roots can grow down into the nutirent solution when the plants are big?!?!

It's a hybrid... the question will be, DOES IT FUNCTION?! :-)

hydroguy
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Interesting mix for a grow medium you've got. I was wondering if your system was a DWC hybrid or not, now I know. Cool. You plan on running the drip system throughout the grow?

hydroguy

hydrolifeCA
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hydroguy I sure do! The substrate (medium) is corn husk & pumice rock and it's pH neutralized. It works pretty good in the system.

It was designed to be used in a NFT system actually but in the country I am in at the moment, growing mediums are HARD to come buy. There are also no liquid nutrients, thankfully a lady started her own hydroponic thing here and fabricates them. She has a HUGE lettuce and grass hydroponic garden. It's quite cool.

Anyway yes mine is recirculating drip/DWC hybrid.

The black hose over the top, actually reconnects back on the other side and allows the excess water to fall back into the reservoir and in the process it aerates it, all the drip lines/stakes are in net pots w/ substrate. The excess runs back into the reservoir.

All the net pots are right above nutrient solution and the lettuce roots should grow straight into it like a DWC.

I am hoping it will work. Out of the two plants I transplanted into the new substrate (they were both nearly dead) one is taking off. It grew its first true leaf today and in a mere 24 hours.

I started 10 seeds in the new sub and out of the 10, 5 have germinated and strong. They will sit a week and get transplanted.

I will keep you all updated and thank you -so much- for all your help!

DoubleDogFarm
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So, I guess my bottom watering shelf is a hybrid also. :lol:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=181314&highlight=bottom+water+shelf#181314

****I fixed all the broken photo links.****


Eric
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

hydrolifeCA
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Eric yea... by all standards that would be hydroponics kinda... it's not DWC but it is ... almost an Ebb & Flow (Drain and flood).........

Anyway as an experiment I threw some seeds directly IN my empty chambers in my hybrid system and guess what?

48 hours later, 100% have germinated. AND THEY ALL LOOK HEALTHY and are growing fast. I am freaking out ..........

I am pretty excited.

DoubleDogFarm
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AND THEY ALL LOOK HEALTHY and are growing fast
We'll be the judge of that. :P :lol:

More pictures.

Eric

hydrolifeCA
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Good point: My judging may not be the most accurate.

All these new sproutlings are 24-48 hours old. I run the system 12 hours a day w/ lights and pump on. I also started a few in a new rockwool cube to see.

Looks good to me all across the board. Not all of these are simpson lettuce. a few look like grass - what could those be? and the others are some type or bassica....

[img]https://img850.imageshack.us/img850/4281/dsc00608w.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img830.imageshack.us/img830/739/dsc00610hs.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img64.imageshack.us/img64/2007/dsc00611t.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img39.imageshack.us/img39/3397/dsc00612yk.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img845.imageshack.us/img845/4023/dsc00613k.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img18.imageshack.us/img18/3170/dsc00607nf.jpg[/img]

DoubleDogFarm
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Well done, blue ribbon! :D

See how much greener and bigger the cotyledon leaves are. They are just a little stretched, but mine get that way at times.

A true leaf in the last picture. Great! Where is the blue cheese?


Eric

hydrolifeCA
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Hehe Eric! Thank you!!!!!!!!!

It would NOT have been possible without you and hydroguys help! You both have been great!

I am making the dressing now (haha).

They are a bit stretched. I believe it's because my light is a good 5 feet but I have it that way because of heat (it doesnt produce much CFL but I am in a hot climate).

I *think* they should be okay though!

Thanks so much Eric! I will keep posting updates also my pH keeps spiking and commercial pH down is not available here. We only have a pool store and regular garden supplies.

So I am working on finding what I can use....

I made a different thread for that!

hydroguy
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looking good HCA! Rockwool can be your best friend so don't give up on it. If that light is 5 ft away you need to get a fan, blow some air and get that light lowered. Remember that the limiting factor for any indoor grow is the light. Maximize the light you've got.

hydroguy

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rainbowgardener
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The ones that look like grass most likely are. It's amazing how grass seed gets itself everywhere. I had little bits of grass pop up with several of my seedlings this year. Mine most likely was in my potting soil. Yours might have been mixed in with your seeds.
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hydrolifeCA

Now I'm just showing off. :P
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Greenhouse%20Photos/DSC03297.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Greenhouse%20Photos/DSC03292.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Greenhouse%20Photos/DSC03293.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Greenhouse%20Photos/DSC03294.jpg[/img]

See, in the first picture, how big the cotyledon can get.

Eric

hydrolifeCA
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Eric you evil evil man. They look beautiful though. Very impressive and very encouraging.

Here is progress on mine ......... they are now a week old. Obviously I am on a MUCH smaller scale than you.

Here is a mess of plants that started (an experiment, they will get thinned and moved over the next week, they are all 6 days old)

[img]https://img19.imageshack.us/img19/8103/dsc00614pl.jpg[/img]

Here you can see three leaves on 2 lettuces, is this good for 6 days? Looking good to me.

[img]https://img808.imageshack.us/img808/6342/dsc00615p.jpg[/img]


All these are very close to the light:

[img]https://img856.imageshack.us/img856/4782/dsc00616pg.jpg[/img]

Are these looking ok? They look a little eh to me for 6 days?

[img]https://img508.imageshack.us/img508/8053/dsc00617i.jpg[/img]

These two are much farther from the light? Are they not growing fast enough?

[img]https://img14.imageshack.us/img14/6194/dsc00618jm.jpg[/img]


[img]https://img577.imageshack.us/i/dsc00620xg.jpg/[/img][/list]

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Hydroponics
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I have to chime in and say you just need to retry with the rockwool and listen to everything hydro said about it on the first page.

HydroGuy follows the same exact procedure I do it sounds like, and I get the same results: Perfect.

For the rockwool you had you could have used a starter plug to make it more efficient and work out. Another thing to do is just start with small rockwool squares if you are going to germinate your seeds in the rock wool itself.

I personally germinate seeds in a wet paper towel, then when the root sprouts, I plant them into rockwool in a homemade aero cloner(bubbleponics) or I use the float and grow. Honestly, I'll probably never even go back to the float and grow and will continue using the Bubbleponic system because it works so well with rockwool.

Another problem I think you are having is way over watering. The sprouts look like they may be getting so much water that root growth is stunted because the plant is never forced to look for water on its own, it is just being delivered to it in copious amounts which can be a real problem in rockwool because it holds water so well.

The system you have going now, the hybrid system will work if you do it right. I already know it will. I've seen 3 or 4 different hybrid systems that all worked beautifully.

Its all about knowledge and practice. The more systems you try the more you will learn about each component, what works and what doesnt work for each system. I can tell this is one of your first experiences with hydroponics because most people do have the same problems, so defnitely don't feel bad about it, you did the right thing coming here and seeking help, and trying new things.

I'm looking forward to your next grow because I think you will do much better. You will be amazed at how much more you will know next year.
My Hydroponics Blog: Hydroponic Economics

hydrolifeCA
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Hydroponics thank you for the lovely reply. I also observed what you mentioned. If you look at my last set of pictures, the seperate container where i germinated is going well.

At 7 days I have true leaves and VERY green, roots are WONDERFUL and developed. I watered less.

I had no luck with rockwool though. I LIKE ROCKWOOL and I know it was user error. How do these new lettuces look to you for seven days? Do they look okay? I will transplant these in about another week if they are okay. I will try one in Rockwool too.

Please let me know if these look okay to you ...

Here is a 3 leafer at 7 days, how is she?
[img]https://img856.imageshack.us/img856/7666/dsc00621e.jpg[/img]

Here are some weird plants, I don't know what these are? The seeds got mixed in, they were marked gourmet lettuce but um... I am not sure?

[img]https://img846.imageshack.us/img846/4249/dsc00622b.jpg[/img]

Here is another three leafer (1 real leaf, 2 baby leaves)

[img]https://img849.imageshack.us/img849/2594/dsc00624v.jpg[/img]

Do these look okay?

[img]https://img685.imageshack.us/img685/3949/dsc00625cy.jpg[/img]

And these ?

[img]https://img824.imageshack.us/img824/8072/dsc00626dn.jpg[/img][/list]

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Hydroponics
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They look okay to me. They could be better, but they are doing okay. The medium does look really wet to me. You might be over caring for them. Now that they are sprouted, move the light a little closer if you can, let them dry out for at least 24 hours if not longer.

Then on the next watering, instead of just watering, add nutrients, and do it in the morning. So they will get water and nutrients after a dry day of root growth as the roots search for more water and nutrients.

You will get more compact root balls this way. If the roots are always damp they will not grow for numerous reasons. One is over watering causes the roots to drown or suffocate. They can't perform the proper gas exchange when they are always submerged. I know the roots probably aren't water logged, but I think if the medium stays that damp for the duration of your grow, you will be fighting mold/mildew issues at the end.
My Hydroponics Blog: Hydroponic Economics

hydrolifeCA
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Hydrponics okay thank you! Okay is better than my last 2 attempts. I think I may get some viable lettuce from this round.

I will follow your instructions. No water for the next day. After it dries, i will give them LIGHT nutrients.

At about 2 weeks I guess I transplant them?

They will go into the same medium but ... just in the system.

The light is almost touching them at this point........

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rainbowgardener
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Your second picture from the top in the recent set, looks like some other seeds got mixed in. The three on the right aren't lettuce. Looks like probably basil, though a little early to be sure.
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:05 pm
Location: Central America

Rainbow gardener hehe yep, I was asking what maybe they were. I am in Central America and stuff is done wacky here, the lady who sells me the seeds runs the only hydroponic and seed export. I guess they got mixed but I am not worried.

If it's BASIL that would be awesome. Wish I could find some parsely.

My other half (who is native to C.A.) says that the long grass like plant is RICE?! If thats the case, it won't be growing in my hydroponics system haha. I am just happy to have some successful (so far) lettuce's going.

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