A Study of the Effectiveness of Hydroponic Growing Variables on Lactuca sativa var. capitata


  • Jacob Zajkowski Anthony Wayne High School
  • Whitney Short Anthony Wayne High School




hydroponics, sustainable agriculture, lettuce, consumer markets


Hydroponic growing in controlled environment horticulture has been an increasingly used method of produce production around the world. Its many methods integrate sustainability and growth efficiency through the control of climatic and system variables. This study investigated control variables that would produce and market a more effective lettuce (lactuca sativa. var capitata) crop. Three objectives determined: The comparison between the dimensions of deep water culture systems and the lettuce harvesting length, Consumer and ICP spectrometry recognition of different post-harvest hydroponic nutrient concentration, and the preference of lettuce grown in different hydroponic nutrient concentrations. Through growing trials and consumer tests, it was found that the 14 gallon (102 x 50.8 x 66cm) size deep water culture system also produced lettuce with larger harvest-length; spectrometry recognition of lettuce crops grown in different nutrient levels was effective with 7 of the 12 nutrients elements showing sufficient results of concentration in concentrated lettuce. Consumer identification recognition wasn’t successful with 40% of consumers unable to recognize any nutrient concentration level compared to two other varieties. Representing a diverse market audience, of consumers determined that variety 127 (50% regular concentration) was preferred as significant market influence of purchase. This research will impact future studies in effective small scale hydroponic growing and growers looking to expand knowledge of beneficial growth.


Download data is not yet available.

References or Bibliography

Barbosa, G. L., Gadelha, F. D., Kublik, N., Proctor, A., Reichelm, L., Weissinger, E., Halden, R. U. (2015, June 16). Comparison of Land, Water, and Energy Requirements of Lettuce Grown Using Hydroponic vs. Conventional Agricultural Methods. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4483736/

Bartok, John. (2017, January 26). Hydroponic Systems. Retrieved from


Garza-Alonso, C.A.; Olivares-Sáenz, E.; Gutiérrez-Díez, A.; Vázquez-Alvarado, R.E.; López-Jiménez, A. Visual Symptoms, Vegetative Growth, and Mineral Concentration in Fig Tree (Ficus carica L.) Under Macronutrient Deficiencies. Agronomy. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9120787.

Harvard Business Review. (2015, February 17). The Science of Sensory Marketing Retrieved from


Roberts, O. (2019, August 01). Food safety handbook for hydroponic lettuce production in a deep water culture. Retrieved January 31, 2021, from https://ecommons.cornell.edu/handle/1813/69355.

Röll, G.; Hartung, J.; Graeff-Hönninger, S. Determination of Plant Nitrogen Content in Wheat Plants via Spectral Reflectance Measurements: Impact of Leaf Number and Leaf Position Remote Sens. 11, no. 23: 2794. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11232794.

Sardare, Mamta. (2013). A REVIEW ON PLANT WITHOUT SOIL - HYDROPONICS. International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=

White, Bridget. (2004). Alternative Hydroponic Substrates. Retrieved from




How to Cite

Zajkowski, J., & Short, W. (2021). A Study of the Effectiveness of Hydroponic Growing Variables on Lactuca sativa var. capitata. Journal of Student Research, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.47611/jsrhs.v10i2.1506



HS Research Projects