It’s been four months since I starting using the Lettuce Grow hydroponic grow tower and I finally reached the point where I needed to break it down and do a reset. I highly recommend their Farmstand if you are looking to try hydroponic gardening. It’s very easy to set up and maintain, even for beginner growers. You can read about my first time setting it up here, along with updates from the first three months: Getting Started in Hydroponic Gardening.
Time to Reset the Farmstand!
The photo above was actually after about two months of growing, but after four months, things started to get a little crazy! I had two tomato plants that were huge and some of the other plants were getting really big. I also had a pest problem I was having trouble eradicating, so I decided to replant what I could in my regular garden and do a full reset on the whole thing. I’ve found sometimes the plants do well after transplanting, and some don’t, but it’s always worth a try. So the first thing I did was remove all the plants and scrub off the outside where plant bits were stuck. I also removed and washed off all the grow cups.
How to Reset Your Lettuce Grow Farmstand
Step 1 – Get the water out of the bottom
After cleaning the outside, it’s time to get the water out! Before you start this part, make sure to unplug the motor. Then remove the top lid and connect the little hose connector piece. Next connect the hose to the top. Once the hose is connected, you’ll turn the pump back on and it will pump the water out all on its own. It took about 20 minutes for the whole thing to empty. I made sure to keep an eye on the water level so I didn’t burn up the motor.
Step 2 – Take apart the Farmstand
I was happy to find taking it apart was as easy as putting it together. I have the 30 plant farmstand so it has five sections that each hold six plants. Each section turns and unlocks and then pops off. As I broke down the farmstand I cleaned each section.
Step 3 – Remove motor and clean out the bottom
Once it was empty, I took out the pump motor that was totally covered in roots. You can see how they’re all wrapped around it in the photos. And that was just the roots that were left over. I pulled out a lot of roots as I was removing the plants and grow cups. Then I dumped out the little bit of water that was left in the bottom and tried scrubbing the inside a bit. It was hard to reach all the spots, but I’m sure the plants don’t mind if it isn’t sparkling!
Step 4 – Put it all back together and order new seedlings!
After everything was all clean, I put it all back together and ordered 24 new plants. I have the 30 plant farm stand, but I wanted to try starting at least six of the lettuce ones myself. I recommend giving it a try! It saves you a lot of money and is really easy. They take a bit longer to grow because the seedlings come already 3 weeks old, but the payoff is definitely worth it.
I get these Rapid Rooter plugs on Amazon. I’ve tried several brands and these fit best in the grow cups that come with stand. A lot of the plugs are too narrow or cone shaped, but these are shaped like the Lettuce Grow grow cups. I’ve had really good luck starting plants from seeds in them. Click the pic to check them out:
And these are the seeds I’ve been using. You get over 10,000 seeds and 10 different varieties of greens for $10! I put the seeds in the plugs, then sit the plugs in little plastic cups with about 1/4 inch water at the bottom to keep them moist. First I sit them in the dark pantry for a few days until they start to sprout. Once they sprout, I move them to a sunny spot for a couple more days. After they look like they are growing well, I pop them into the grow cups and put them in the Farmstand.
Even though I start my own seedlings, I still like ordering the ones from Lettuce Grow too. And if you use my friend code, I get a a credit to put toward purchases on their website, so I’m totally pushing the friend code! So remember, use this link to get $50 off with my friend code FRIEND-SE2U, and let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to share my experience so far.
Step 5 – Refill with water and nutrients
I waited until my seedlings arrived to do this part, but you can get it prepped anytime. Once it is all back together, it’s time to fill it with water and turn the pump back on. You also need to add the nutrients. Lettuce Grow sends packs of Nutrients A and B, plus a PH test kit and PH reducer. I’ve actually been having trouble with one of their nutrient packs turning to a gooey slush after a couple weeks, which make a big mess. So I’ve been testing out different nutrient options from Amazon and will share the products when I find what works best. Right now I’m testing out Best Buds Hydroponic Plant Food.
My seedlings order arrived in just a few days and now I am ready for my fall garden! All the ones in the front are from Lettuce Grow. My seedlings are on the back side right now, because it gets less sun and they are still very small. One of the cool things about this set up is that you can pop out and rearrange your plants any time! It gets a little harder when they start putting out roots, but I’m usually always rearranging something as I test out what works best in each spot.
So here we go again with another fresh round of plants. I can’t wait to see what all I get out of this batch. I tried a few new things this time, like zucchini and some different lettuces. I also went with six bean plants to try and get enough at the same time to make with dinner. I’m tired of getting three beans at a time and then having those go bad before I get more! I also moved the Farmstand to a different spot. It’s all one big experiment, but so far it’s going great.