Growing Tips

Nerd Out, Plant People

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We are legion, we are strong, we are green. If you’re not a plant person already, we promise to entice you to join our ranks! It all started with wanting to find the best food to eat, but along the way, we fell head over heels in love with the plants that feed us. Resilient, efficient, and complex, plants are some of the most beautiful and impressive organisms on the planet. Here’s a taste of what you’ll learn with a closer relationship to them as a Lettuce Grower.


Hydroponics

We talk a lot more about the way it works

here

, but here’s the elevator pitch: hydroponics is a system that uses water instead of soil for growing plants, saving massive amounts of water and protecting other natural resources in the process. Water brings nutrients to the plant’s roots, so no soil is needed and food can be grown wherever you are.


What’s pH Got to Do With It?

If the pH of the water is too high or too low, it will be more of a challenge for your plants to take up the nutrients that you’re adding to their water - that’s why we provide the tools you need to test and keep it in the right range. pH is simply shorthand for measuring the acidity or alkalinity of a substance on a scale from 0.0 (most acidic) to 14.0 (most alkaline). You math whiz people have already figured out that 7.0 is neutral - neither acidic nor alkaline. We recommend that you keep the pH of the water in your Lettuce Grow Farm between 5.5-6.0. Most tap water is 8.0 or higher, which is why you’ll need to test the water regularly and adjust the pH if it is out of range.


Germination

We’re gonna be real with you - germination is tricky. While it sounds pretty straightforward - a seed sprouting into a plant - growing a strong seedling takes daily attention and properly calibrated light, water, temperature, and humidity. That’s why we have an experienced team of horticulturists on hand to grow the hardiest seedlings for you. Seedlings grown in less-than-optimal conditions grow more slowly and are less likely to grow successfully. We want to give you a strong head start with healthy seedlings most likely to thrive and grow into plants resistant to pests and disease and that will yield super delicious, nutrient-dense food.


Photosynthesis

At its most basic level, this is how what feeds you feeds itself. This is the process we all vaguely remember from biology class. If you need a refresher (which TBH, we did), plant leaves contain cells called chloroplasts which absorb light and convert it to sugar, which they then store in the form of starch. Chloroplasts contain chlorophyll, which absorbs sunlight for photosynthesis. In addition to chlorophyll, a chloroplast uses carbon dioxide and water to form the sugar - oxygen is the extremely critical waste product of this process. Bottom line: if you want your plants to feed you, you’ll need to make sure your Farmstand gets lots of yummy, delicious sunshine.

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