science in your salad
Lettuce is a food that, in addition to having a delicious flavor, is rich in fiber and nutrients that contribute to our physical development and health. It is also one of the most common ingredients in salads and believe it or not, it is very easy to grow, you can even do it without the need for soil, just with water! Use your skills of exploration, observation and investigation and carry out this experiment at home or in your classroom.
You will need the following materials:
✔ glass or jar
✔ Romaine lettuce stem or similar
⛔ Ask an adult to cut off at least 7 centimeters from the bottom end of the stem of a romaine lettuce. To keep the stem elevated, insert three tripod toothpicks into the base of the lettuce. Next, put the stem and some water in a glass, making sure to only cover the base of the lettuce with water. Place the jar in a window or place where it receives sunlight and change the water every day to prevent it from rotting. Within a week you will notice new shoots growing in the center of the stem. If you wish, you can transplant your stem to a pot or wait for it to continue growing in the water.
Roots grown in water are different from roots grown in soil. The water does not provide all the nutrients so growth is slower, the leaves are less bushy and the flavor is less intense. With this method you cannot grow an entire head of lettuce. However, your lettuce leaves will continue to grow because the plants store nutrients in their tissues. allowing them to survive for a while before withering away.
Variations: Substitute scallions or green onions for the lettuce stem. Cut off the white end, leaving the roots intact. Follow the procedure described for the previous experiment. Don’t forget to write down your observations!