Can urban farmers depend on biochar substrate (soilless) for growth and yield of lettuce cultivation?

  • Vide Adedayo University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
  • David Akinwale University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Taiwo Oyemade University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria


The need to increase food production to meet up with the urban growing population coupled with the limited access to land and soil fertility challenges in Nigeria have called for an alternative agricultural innovation to complement conventional and soil-based food production system. One of such alternatives is the use of Biochar Substrates Hydroponics for cultivation of crops. Whether this innovation could enhance the growth and yield of crop especially at the small-scale level is uncertain. Thus, the paper assesses the response of lettuce to Biochar substrate so as to determine the growth and yield. Experimental research was carried out to establish whether or not there is significant difference between soil based and substrate farming using the same lettuce seed type. Data of plant diameter, width and leave number were collected from lettuce grown in both soil and biochar substrate systems. 3 lettuce plants were randomly selected to measure yield rate. Data collected were analyzed using Design Expert and subjected to a variance test. The result revealed a P-value of = 0.15 indicating no significant growth and yield of the lettuce planted on biochar substrate and soil based in leave production. However, there was significantly difference of yield mass with P-value of 0.038, signifying the biochar substrate-based lettuce was found to be higher than that of the soil-based cultivation. The study concluded that biochar substrate (soil-free) cultivation of lettuce provides weighted or higher massed lettuce than soil-based lettuce cultivation and recommends a larger scale experiment among others to determine if urban farmers can depend on it for increase yield and growth of Lettuce.