TAMPA, FL--(Marketwire - Jan 28, 2013) - Sustainable gardening is not something one would expect to find at a towering hotel in downtown Tampa, FL, but it's a practical reality and Channelside District guests are reaping the benefits, one head of lettuce at a time.
A unique feature of the already impressive Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina is its hydroponic garden which produces up to 300 heads of lettuce per week depending on the type of varieties grown. Utilizing seven Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) systems the hotel in Ybor City is saving up to $654 per week by producing the lettuce from seed and hotel guests are reaping the benefits as they enjoy produce that is grown pesticide-free from hydroponic nutrients containing all natural and organic ingredients. Currently growing Red Romaine's (Red Cash and Breen), Endive, Lollo Rossa, Speckled Romaine and Watercress varieties with a system that is maintained with water filtered through a reverse osmosis filtration system to effectively remove up to 99 percent of all contaminants, the lettuce is used daily in the hotel's three on-site restaurants which include the II Terrazzo, a popular authentic Italian restaurant in Tampa, FL.
Constantly looking to the future, hotel gardeners are in the early stages of developing a proposal for the addition of a new system that would more than double the weekly hydroponics production and push the garden closer to full production of the lettuce used in the outlets.
While the hydroponic garden is closed to the public, this Tampa luxury hotel also maintains an organic container garden on its pristine rooftop terrace, using 114 containers to grow Easter Egg Radishes, Tri Color Carrots, Swiss Chard, White Chard, Red Kale, Tuscan Kale, Black Cherry Tomatoes, three varieties of Habanero peppers, Jalapeno, Golden Beets, spinach and eight varieties of herbs -- basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, mint, chives, garlic chives and sage. Several different varieties of flowers including Morning Glory, Sunflower, Moon Flower, Nasturtiums and Marigolds are also scattered throughout the containers to help maintain an ecological balance ideal for growing.
The containers are watered individually by a rain harvesting irrigation system constructed from reclaimed materials and capable of capturing and storing 660 gallons of rain water. Rain water is then delivered to each container through the use of a time controlled pump, a series of micro irrigation lines and an assortment of drippers and sprayers according to each plant's needs.
Using a custom hand blended mix of organic soil and compost, the hotel's container garden has grown significantly from last season's 32 tomato and 26 pepper plants used within the food service department.
About the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina
The Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina welcomes guests with luxury accommodations amidst one of Tampa's premier waterfront districts and features full-service amenities for a remarkable Tampa hotel experience. Attentive service, tantalizing on-site dining options, a sparkling rooftop pool, well-equipped fitness facility and full-service business center are among the many amenities provided for those enjoying the fine offering of guest rooms and scenic vistas at this vibrant waterside hotel.