Submitted to: Fruit Notes
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 20, 2004
Publication Date: June 20, 2004
Citation: Frantz, J. 2004. Maximizing hydroponic lettuce yields: managing temperature, light, co2 and nutrition. Fruit Notes. 4(4):14-16. Technical Abstract: There is a fine line in profitable lettuce production between rapid growth and poor quality. Currently, growth is sacrificed for greater quality. Optimizing temperature, light, CO2 and nutrition can improve the chances of success for growers. Producing lettuce at warmer temperatures (28C rather than 21C) can double lettuce yields, and elevating CO2 can further increase productivity as well as provide a safety margin at both temperature extremes. Elevated temperature causes increased productivity because of enhanced radiation capture. If additional light is supplied, productivity can be pushed even higher. Nutritional management provides the key for maintaining high quality and yield. Nutritional disorders often result from rapid growth. To correct for this, growers should dilute their nutrient solutions and increase their hydroponic nutrient solution flow rate to alleviate nutritional deficiencies, maintain high quality, and improve chances for success. An integrated approach to lettuce production can greatly improve lettuce yields and maintain lettuce quality thereby allowing more growers to be profitable.