ABSTRACT: Nowadays, an important economic movement is involved in the improvement of polyethylene trays for the production of seedlings, being developed with different volumes, numbers and cell formats in an each culture-specific manner. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the performance of curly lettuce originated from seedlings from trays with different volumes, through the comparison between conventional and hydroponic-NFT cultivation. Five volumes of trays (10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 cm³ of cell-1) were tested in conventional and hydroponic cultivation, from February to March 2016. For the purpose of comparison, the plants were evaluated through the characteristics of height, circumference, stem diameter, number of leaves, fresh shoot mass and productivity. The use of volumes greater than 10 cm³ showed higher precocity in both cultivation systems, with hydroponic cultivation being more precocious and productive when compared to conventional cultivation.