Monday, January 10, 2011

Rockwool "Starts" Into Deep Water Culture System

The lettuce "starts" have finally shown their first "true" leaves prompting up-potting into the Deep Water Culture (DWC) system.

(above) DWC system in operation.

(above)  Rockwool cube with "start" in 3" net pot. 

(above)  Net pot filled with silica stone.

(above)  DWC with all plants in place (6 Simpson Elite lettuce)


  1. I can't wait to see those awesome massive white root systems. DWC Rocks!

  2. Its really a great Blog. LED grow lamps are most certainly the destiny of indoor cultivation, for commercial growers and home gardening enthusiasts alike.

  3. Hey Mr. H! I am enjoying your blog. I just started hydroponics this past week myself. I have done some container gardening with some success....and some failure. I am keeping a blog journal too. I keep mine private because I didn't think anybody would want to see...I may have to reconsider.

    I do have a question about your germination of seeds. Did you have your starter tray on a heating pad? I know there are heating mats for the trays that run about $50 which seems silly if a heating pad for $12 will do. I am all about being frugal.

    I am using a hand watering system. I have lettuce that I will be up-potting this weekend.

    Thanks - bonnie

  4. Hello Bonnie. By all means, post your blog!

    I do plan on adding a post on seed starting once I get the springtime starts rolling. Watch for that in the next couple weeks.

    For this lettuce grow in the DWC, I used a moist paper towel inside a ziplock bag. That was placed in a 1020 tray on top of a common, drug store heating pad. It is so old I don't even know where or when we got it, LOL!

    Once they sprouted, I delicately transferred them to the rockwool cubes and placed them under lights. Then, it is a matter of waiting for a bit more growth.

    I do not use the "domes" provided with many of the seed-starting trays, but I do keep a light breeze blowing on them from a small fan to prevent damping off.

    More to follow!!

  5. Sorry to trouble Mr. H but I have another question. After you got the sprouts under lights, how many hours did you keep the lights on them?

    I do appreciate your help. This is a fun adventure and I am learning so much.

    Thanks again

  6. The lettuce get 14 on, 10 off. The starts in the spring (tomatoes, peppers, etc.) get 18 on, 6 off.

    Lettuce is not quite as demanding as it tends to be a spring and fall "cool weather" crop grown when light levels are still relatively short.

    No worries Bonnie, I'll answer what I can. :)

  7. P.S. If your interested my blog is Obviously not much there but it's a start.


  8. I just put my lettuce starts in the DWC system I built but now realize I don't know how high the water should come up in the net pots. I've used the same tote you used and put 6 gallons of water in it. I've added half strength nutrients and checked the pH (around 6.0). I put a little Hydroton under the rockwool plugs and put Hydroton all around them. Can you advise me on how high the nutrient solution should come up in the net pots? Thanks,