Hydroponic lettuce is gaining popularity among both home and commercial growers. By using a soilless environment in indoor production, this offers numerous advantages for the plants, such as faster growth, higher yields, and the ability to grow year-round.
In every hydroponic production, continuous supplies of fertilizers are needed to maintain an optimum range of nutrient concentration and an electrical conductivity (EC) level that can support the growth of plants. However, the excessive use of fertilizers can increase expenses, plant toxicity, and environmental pollution. Additionally, lettuce plants tend to accumulate nitrates (NO3) in their leaves, particularly if a high EC level is used. Excessive nitrate in lettuce will reduce quality and nutritional value. It may make them less marketable. On the other hand, less fertilizers may result in nutrient deficiency, which will impede lettuce growth and quality as well. It is important to use a balanced plant nutrient to grow lettuce and to explore innovative ways to reduce the use of fertilizers in production. Our goals are to elevate hydroponic lettuce production by increasing fertilizer efficiency, lettuce quality and yield, and providing a sustainable and easy-to-use approach with our plant probiotics (Envioitics).
In this field trial, we showed that our plant probiotics, Enviotics, can be beneficial in hydroponic lettuce because we were able to mitigate adverse effects of using limited nutrients (30-40% lower EC value than the standard grower) and still get better yield and quality of lettuce. By using Enviotics, we can ensure a bountiful harvest of nutritious lettuce.
Enviotics Trials in Hydroponic Lettuce at the Pinnacle Food Inc facility
1. Growth media: Rockwool.
2. Growth conditions: Temperature: 23oC, Lighting regime: 10/14h photoperiod/darkness, and pH: 5.5 to 6.5.
3. Plant nutrients with or without plant probiotics (Enviotics):
3a. Control (full strength of synthetic fertilizers): Canna Aqua Vega with an EC of 0.99 mS/cm.
3b. Treatment (reduced synthetic fertilizers plus Enviotics): Canna Aqua Vega with an EC of 0.54 mS/cm + 45 mg/L of Enviotics.
EC values were adjusted at the beginning of the trial and constantly monitored. In the following weeks (weeks 1 to 3), we observed that both control and treatment increased their EC values to (1.3-1.5) for the control and (0.8-1) for the treatment. At week 3, pH dropped to 3.8. pH then was adjusted to 6.3 after adding plant nutrients. Aqua Vega (100 mL) was added to the 150 liters of water reservoir to support the lettuce vegetative stage (fast growth). After additional nutrients, the EC value of the control was 1.9 mS/cm, and the EC value of the treatment was 1.2 mS/cm. Enviotics were given weekly (weeks 0,1, 2, and 3). Lettuces were harvested on week 5.
Yield Increase in the presence of Enviotics: 35%
By incorporating Enviotics into your hydroponic system, we clearly noticed improvement in plant growth and yield. Average plant weight at the harvest was 132.9 grams/plant in the control (full strength of synthetic fertilizers) and 179 grams/plant in the treatment (reduced synthetic fertilizers plus Enviotics). This trial showed that we could reduce our reliance on synthetic fertilizers (up to 40%) by adding Enviotics and still get better yields. We observed a 35% increase in yield with Enviotics.
Larger plant size
To observe the improvement of hydroponic lettuce in the presence of plant probiotics, Enviotics, we measured plant height, root length, number of leaves, largest leaf length, and largest leaf width at harvest time. The percent increase in lettuce plant size was as follows:
- Plant height: 20-30%
- Root length: 31-80%
- Number of leaves: 22-28%
- Largest leaf length: 11-44%
The types of lettuces affected the outcome: below data showed the results for romaine and butter crunch lettuces.
1. Butter Crunch Lettuces
Why are plant probiotics great to grow hydroponic lettuce?
From our trials, it showed that our plant probiotics (Enviotics) play a role in maintaining a healthy and thriving crop. Plant probiotics work by establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with the plant's roots. By creating a balanced and diverse microbial community, plant probiotics help maintain a healthy hydroponic system. Here are some key benefits:
- Enhanced nutrient absorption: Essential nutrients are readily absorbed by the lettuce roots in the presence of plant probiotics. This leads to improved nutrient uptake and overall plant health.
- Improved root development: The presence of plant probiotics stimulates root growth and development in hydroponic lettuce. This results in a stronger root system, which in turn leads to better nutrient absorption and overall plant vigor.
- Increased tolerance to environmental stress: Hydroponic lettuce can be exposed to various environmental stressors such as pH fluctuations, and nutrient imbalances. Plant probiotics help the plants cope with these stressors by improving their resilience and adaptability.
- Enhanced plant health: With a healthier ecosystem, lettuce plants will grow stronger, produce vibrant leaves and improve their immune system against diseases.
- Avoid excessive nitrate in lettuces: Studies have shown that reducing the use of inorganic fertilizers can improve the quality of lettuces by reducing their nitrate content (less than 5000 mg/kg). Nitrate is naturally present in plants. Nitrates are harmless. At high concentrations and certain conditions, they can be converted into nitrites, and then react with amines to produce nitrosamines. Nitrosamines have been linked to an increased risk of certain diseases such as: cancer.
Are you ready to embark on a new adventure by using Enviotics? By strategically combining synthetic fertilizers and Enviotics, you can create a harmonious ecosystem that naturally regulates nutrient levels to promote plant growth and health. This potentially gives a positive economic impacts for your lettuce production.
Interested in using our Enviotics, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org