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1. Crops can be produced on non-arable land (not fit for farming). Ex. Land with poor soils, and contamination (i.e., high heavy metal and salinity levels). *The grower doesn’t have to have good soil since the systems, bags, etc. are placed on top of the ground. 2. Isolation from diseases or insect pests usually found in the soil. *The plant roots are contained in systems, bags, etc. and do not grow through soil that might contain diseases or other pests such as insects and nematodes. *Additionally, white fabric ground covers can be placed on the greenhouse floor to further isolate the systems and plants from soil-borne pests. NOTE: The white fabric also reflects light back up into the canopy enhancing photosynthesis, allows for ease of cleaning and helps control humidity and weeds. 3. Direct and immediate control over the rhizosphere. *Since the roots are either growing in water or growing through an inert medium, whatever is in the nutrient solution is bathing the roots. Therefore, nutrient concentrations and pH can be adjusted quickly. 4. High planting densities are possible which minimizes use of land area. *For field tomatoes a typical planting density is 4000 to 5000 plants per acre. Greenhouse hydroponic tomatoes can be 10,000 to 11,000 plants per acre! *Plants can be grown closer together because of the use of indeterminant (“vining”) varieties that take up less area than do bush varieties usually used for field cropping. Also they need less root room – the plants are “spoon fed” the nutrient and water they need and do not have to grow a large root system to find these, as field tomatoes do in the soil. 5. Higher yields are ...
Overview of Hydroponics Consumption of tomatoes in the United States has reached 4.3 billion pounds each year. When consumers are willing to pay double or triple standard prices for a great tasting, blemish free product, buyers and sellers alike can smile at the possibilities. Repeated pricing studies have shown that only high-quality, garden vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, salad crops and culinary herbs, can provide break even or better revenues in hydro systems. Hydroponics is a technology for growing plants in nutrient solutions (water and fertilizers) with or without the use of artificial medium (e.g., sand, gravel, vermiculite, rockwool, peat, coir, sawdust) to provide mechanical support. Liquid hydroponic systems have no other supporting medium for the plant roots: aggregate systems have a solid medium of support. Hydroponic systems are further categorized as open, where after the nutrient solution has been delivered to the plant roots, it is not reused; or closed where surplus solution is recovered, replenished, and recycled. The definition of hydroponics has been confined to liquid systems only, which blurs statistical data and leads to underestimation of the extent of the technology and its economic implications. All hydroponic systems in temperate regions of the world are enclosed in greenhouse-type structures to provide temperature control, reduce evaporative water loss, and to reduce disease and pest infestations. The principal advantages of hydroponic controlled environment agriculture (CEA) include high-density maximum crop yield, crop production where no suitable soil exists, a virtual indifference to ambient temperature and seasonality, more efficient use of water and fertilizers, minimal use of land area, and suitability for mechanization, disease and pest control. The major advantage of hydroponic (CEA) compared to field grown produce is the isolation of the crop from the soil, which often has problems of diseases, pests, salinity, poor structure and/or drainage. The principal disadvantages of hydroponics, relative to conventional open-field agriculture, are the high costs of capital and energy inputs, and the high degree of management skills required for successful production. Capital costs may be especially excessive if the structures are artificially heated and cooled. This is why appropriate crops are...
Hydroponics – Sustainable ... WHY HYDROPONICS: DO YOU KNOW. WHERE ... 1,400,000. 1,600,000. 1,800,000. 2,000,000. 1991. 2001. Cucumber. Tomato. Hydroponics – Sustainable st Century Agriculture for the 21 Richard Tyson University of Florida / Orange County Extension WHY HYDROPONICS: DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR FOOD COMES FROM ? LOCAL FOODS Food security Economic security Food safety Socially responsible Environmentally responsible The local foods movement - Lovavores Sourcing locally grown food is now just as important as sourcing organically grown foods – FreshPointe Regional Sales Manager, Orlando Homegrown Coop - Local Food Cooperative Local Harvest website http://www.localharvest.org/ Hydroponics : Definition • Growing plants without soil in a liquid or soilless media with a mineral nutrient solution
History of Hydroponics. • Hanging gardens of ... World War II-hydroponics in western Pacific. • Plastics .... TOV (tomato on the vine): Tradiro, Ambiance,. Balance ... History of Hydroponics • • • • • Hanging gardens of Babylon Aztec floating gardens World War II-hydroponics in western Pacific Plastics changed everything! Boom in 1990’s – – – – Space program Growing in deserts Vertical farming Large scale production Advantages •Crops can be grown where soil is unsuitable •Reduced plant disease •More control •Bigger yields Disadvantages •Initial costs higher •Deeper knowledge is needed •If introduced, diseases can easily spread •Needs more attention The basics • Growing substrates • Nutrient solution • System designs Growing Substrates • What makes a good media? – Provides support – Good pore size – Does not clog system – Does not affect nutrient solution Photo: /www.aquaponicsusa.com
NON-CIRCULATING HYDROPONIC METHODS FOR GROWING TOMATOES B.A. Kratky, G.T. Maehira, R.J. Cupples and C.C. Bernabe University of Hawaii, 461 W. Lanikaula St. Hilo, HI 96720 Keywords: tomato, nutrient solution, rainshelter, non-circulating hydroponics, mosquitoes Abstract. ‘Big Beef’ tomatoes produced 2.68 kg/plant from a 72 day harvest period when they were grown in 0.35 liter aluminum beverage cans by a sub-irrigation hydroponic method. Tomatoes growing in net pots (70 ml) suspended by expanded polystyrene bead boards with a sub-irrigation method gave similar yields in one trial but lower yields in another trial than tomatoes growing in beverage cans. Tomatoes growing in 10 cm square plastic pots filled with perlite (700 ml) rested on 5 cm high upside-down nursery trays and yielded significantly higher than plants growing in aluminum beverage cans resting on the tank floor in 2 trials. Placing a 5 cm high nursery tray as a support for a 10 cm pot increases the root exposure to moist air (i.e. air between the nutrient solution surface and the tank cover) and provides a net-type surface which encourages root formation and anchorage. Hawaii’s lower elevations are warm and very conducive to mosquito reproduction in these non-circulating hydroponic tanks. In an effort to control mosquitoes, window screen was supported on the nursery tray above the nutrient solution level, thus trapping newly hatched mosquitoes below the screen where they eventually died. Tomatoes were also grown in 7.6 liter pots which were sub-irrigated by microtubes. Each pot contained an upside-down 3.8 liter pot with slits, so only 3.8 liters of cinder growing medium was needed to fill the pot. In several cases, roots grew into the microtubes supplying the nutrient solution and this blocked nutrient flow to the pots, thus killing the plants. Tomatoes growing in ...
Hydroponics – Sustainable. Agriculture for the ... Variety of Hydroponic Systems Based on. Nutrient ... field grown vs $1.00 / lb for hydroponic tomatoes. Target ... Hydroponics – Sustainable st Century Agriculture for the 21 Richard Tyson University of Florida / Orange County Extension WHERE DOES YOUR FOOD COME FROM ? LOCAL FOODS Food security Economic security Food safety Socially responsible Environmentally responsible Hydroponics : Definition Growing plants without soil in a liquid or soilless media with a mineral nutrient solution Hydroponics Greenhouse or outdoor systems Environmental and labor friendly Crop choices ‐ environment and cost factors pH recommendation range from 5.5‐6.5 High tech and low tech systems