Hydroponics vs. Soil
I want to see if I can grow a full-sized head of Romaine Lettuce in half of a half-gallon former milk container placed on my kitchen window sill. This same experiment could also be done with a stalk of celery. I've decided to regrow one lettuce in water with organic fertilizer and the other one in soil.
Here are the steps I’ll follow:
Two Coffee cups
Two heads of Romaine lettuce
Two empty plastic half-gallon milk cartons
Organic vegetable fertilizer ( only ¼ teaspoon) You can use miracle grow if you like.
Enough rich garden soil to fill one half of a half-gallon milk container
Kitchen knife and fork
¼ teaspoon measuring spoon
Utility knife [for cutting milk carton in half]
1. Cut off the ends of two heads of Romaine lettuce. (About 2 inches)
2. lightly score the bottom of each cut piece with a fork.
3. Place bottom down in a cup with about 1 ½ inches of water.
4. In about a week the lettuce will begin to grow.
5. At about two weeks check to see if root hairs have sprouted.
6. Transplant to milk carton containers (half-gallon containers cut in half). One is filled with about 2 inches of water and ¼ teaspoon of fertilizer. The other container will have holes punched in bottom for drainage and will be filled about half full with soil. Put one lettuce plant in the water container. Put the other one in the soil and then put soil around it to about half inch from top of container. Water so the soil is moist, not saturated.
7. Add water to both containers as needed. According to my calculations, from start to finish should be about six weeks.
NOTES: The photo below I took of the lettuce growing in the water/fertilizer solution. I started the one tonight that I’ll grow in the soil medium. That’s me in the reflection of the window. To be successful at doing a project like this 1) it has to be easy and 2) I need to have the experiment in a place where I will see it often and thus won’t forget. My kitchen window sill is the excellent spot for me.