Try Hydroponic Lettuce - for less than the Farm Market!
Small greens like lettuce can grow up to twice as fast hydroponically, compared to growing in soil. And without the annoying bugs and diseases that can live in soil.
Splasher kits deliver a low-cost taste of hydroponics – clean delicious lettuce at the ready for sandwiches and salads. Start harvesting in 4 weeks or less, and keep harvesting after the farm market is closed for the year. No power required. You provide oxygen to the plant roots by "splashing" once or twice a day. The inner container holds the plants nestled in grow stones, a soil-free growing medium. Lift it, and nutrients splash through drainage holes into the outer container, oxygenating the nutrients and grow stones. For light, place on a bright cool windowsill. Or grow under a "daylight" CFL bulb - a desk lamp will do.
Splashers can grow lettuce, basil, leafy brassicas like kale, arugula, small pak choi, mizuna and other Asian greens, even flowers.
Kits grow up to 6 months of sweet and crunchy, black-thumb-proof summercrisp lettuce. Includes enough supplies to replant a second crop, and a bonus pack of seeds for the adventurous – tell us your preference during checkout.
Great project for kids ages 8 and up, as well as adults.
Buy two or more, and save! Enter coupon code Splash15 on your shopping cart.
Refill kits are also available. Refill kits also work as Aerogarden kits.
Holiday special! Burlap splasher cover included (see last photo).
All parts made in the USA. Growstones made from recycled glass.
Complete Lettuce Splasher
* Reconfigured! Lower price, cheaper shipping, grows better. Doesn't quite match the pictures.
- Grey grow stones made from recycled glass, two cups
- Four grow sponges for 2 grows (use two sponges at a time for lettuce)
- One-part hydroponic nutrients, for up to 6 months of growing
- Seeds for delicious, easy-grow summer crisp lettuce
- Bonus splasher-compatible seeds - herbs, flowers, lettuce, or brassicas
- Two square plastic tubs
- No tubs included - recycle your own! Pictured: inner tub from 15 oz. ricotta cheese, outer tub coffee can
- Other parts as for complete lettuce splasher
- Choose inorganic or organic hydroponic nutrients.
Q&A: More about Splashers
Why this product?
The Lettuce Splasher is a DIY project in the book Indoor Salad: How to Grow Vegetables Indoors. These kits are a low-cost way for readers to get the parts they need to try that project. Kind of a book launch special.
The parts are all easy to buy. But they come in large quantities that make it expensive to make just one or two splashers.
I've been using splashers successfully for years, based on hydroton grow rocks - reddish clay pebbles instead of grey recycled glass growstones. When configuring options for this product, I elected the new growstones. This hopefully makes the product interesting to experienced as well as new indoor growers - try a new substrate and new nutrients, as well as a new way of growing, and support a recycling industry.
Can I grow anything I want with this? Tomatoes? Cucumbers? Roses? Spinach? Swiss Chard?
No. Not all plants can thrive with this little air in the root zone. The 1-quart splasher is a good size for one to four small lettuce or brassica plants, or herbs. Splashers can grow lettuce, basil, brassicas including toy choi, kale, komatsuna, mizuna, arugula, and even certain flowers.
What happens if I don't splash twice a day?
To be honest, I usually only splash once a day. But the plants won't grow as well if you miss oxygenating the water too often. If you forget long enough, they'll die of neglect. How long depends on what you're growing, the plants' size, how much they're drinking, the temperature - it's hard to generalize. But when you're caring for them every day, you'll know long they can go without adding water.
How much light do I need?
A bright windowsill will work, if it gets some direct sun every day. This summercrisp lettuce variety can take the heat on a sunlit windowsill, though some of the bonus lettuce seeds or brassicas might find it too warm if the windowsill gets above 80°F (27C). An east-facing or southeast-facing window is cooler, if you have a choice.
I use a 23W 6500K daylight bulb in a clamp lamp over 4 lettuce splashers. That's about the limit for a 23W lightbulb, but the 4 splashers (8 summercrisp lettuce plants) grow very well. A 14W daylight bulb should work for 1 or 2 splashers.
How much would that add to my electric bill?
Running a 23W light bulb for 12 hours a day costs about 32 cents a week at 15 cents per kWh - my local rates. Lettuce typically lives about 12 weeks, and produces a harvest for 8 weeks, for a total electric bill of less than $4 for 8 weeks of lettuce. A 14W light bulb would cost less than $3. See Is Growing Vegetables Indoors Cost-Effective?
What's the difference between organic and inorganic nutrients?
According to my tests, there's not much difference in how well they grow lettuce. They're both one-part nutrients, which means you measure a single ingredient into a bottle of water, and shake to mix. Pretty easy! The inorganic nutrients are dry, and produced under chemical laboratory conditions by an industry leader in hydroponics. The organic nutrients are liquid, manufactured from assorted ingredients including seaweed and guano, by a family business. The organic concentrate looks grey, but mixes up fairly clear in water, and smells fine. The difference in price for the organic option is largely due to the liquid packaging problem.
You test these things?
I've been growing with "splashers", aka "outriders", for years. The current tests are to verify the configuration I picked for the splasher product - best tub size, seeds, nutrients, growstones, instructions - and to supply show&tell splashers.
What size cup is that inside the coffee can?
That's a 15oz. ricotta cheese tub, with holes "drilled" in the bottom. (I use a soldering iron.) The supermarket carries sour cream and yogurt tubs of a similar size.
You can use whatever tubs you want with the no-tub kit. It comes with two cups of growstones. 16oz. plastic cold drink cups would work, if you can't find anything better. The "complete" kit includes sturdy nesting tubs.
Is a container cover included?
Not at this time - I'm investigating fancier packaging. I made the patterned wrapper in the first picture from scrapbooking paper. With a paper wrapper, be sure to keep the paper dry while splashing.
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