Jim from Texas
Just came back from a Thanksgiving trip and had to harvest our lettuce - was growing like crazy! We're growing both 'giant caesar' and 'bibb' varieties. Unfortunately, I did find that at one point I guess I had too much fertilizer - seemed to be 'burning' the lettuce, and though right now the plants seem to be doing well, virtually all of the outer leaves had to be throw away because they were very spotted with brown, mottled discoloration - once removed, though, the next layer of leaves were awesome, and left the inner part of the plant still in great shape.
I've attached a pic [the last one in the gallery below] of what we kept, having removed about the same amount and left it out for the family of rabbits that've been living under our shed for awhile. I also have the whole rig almost running entirely via solar - have been running a 12v pump on a single battery using 45w of panels, but that seemed to 'run out of juice' after awhile (drained a fully charged battery - runs great thereafter most of the day, but panels weren't putting out enough juice to power the pump and charge the battery enough to run all night), so I've bought about 80w worth of panels to replace those with, and am looking for a pump that will draw less power, hoping that I'll be able to completely run the entire operation (as well a light for the shed, air bubbler for the water, etc) via solar, etc.
At any rate, hope this finds you doing well - and even having decided to leave what we didn't want to the rabbits, are growing more lettuce than we can eat (family of five), so am sharing with extended family, etc. Thanks for the fantastic idea! ... I had originally started with some basil plants that did really well, but quickly overgrew the system to the point that water was backing up and coming out of the holes rather than trickling past and down the pipes - the roots were crazy!