Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponics

Grower Sam Rowley harvesting Suncrest™ Bibb lettuce from Tank #2 at the Whidbey facility. 

Grower Sam Rowley harvesting Suncrest™ Bibb lettuce from Tank #2 at the Whidbey facility. 

Suncrest™ Red Romaine ready for harvest. A favorite among chefs.

Suncrest™ Red Romaine ready for harvest. A favorite among chefs.

Field of green floating in 18 inches of nutrient-rich, circulating tank water at the Whidbey facility.

Field of green floating in 18 inches of nutrient-rich, circulating tank water at the Whidbey facility.

Floating Rafts in DWC Tanks
Suncrest uses advanced hydroponic technology to grow lettuce on rafts in very large tanks of nutrient-rich water. This type of hydroponic growing is called Deep Water Culture (DWC) hydroponics and it is the most efficient method of growing high-volumes of lettuce and leafy-greens all year round. Think of these tanks as  “water” conveyor belts. Young seedlings are planted on rafts that float on the water. After each harvest, the rafts are then pushed toward the far end of the tank for the next harvest. 

Suncrest™ DWC Control Modules
Suncrest has developed "modular" units that plug into the large tanks of water to continuously filter and sterilize the water. Nutrients and oxygen are added and the water temperature, as well as the ph, are carefully controlled to provide the perfect growing environment for the roots of the lettuce. 

DWC Tank Cycle Time
Cycle time, or turn-over rate, in the tank is the key to volume production. On average, once rafts are placed in the tank, it takes 28 days to harvest. But this changes seasonally based on sunlight and temperatures.