Updated Aug 20, 2020
Soilless cultivation is an innovative process that was introduced in recent years for protected crops. This practice has been established for the large-scale production of fresh vegetables and ornamental plants, especially in the countries of Northern Europe, with the main purposes of:- Increasing production- Optimizing acreage - Reducing working times- Reducing the need for water and fertilizers - Optimizing climatic conditionsThe continuous climate changes, the increasing interest in environmental impacts, and the availability of cheap facilities and simple technologies all lead to an increased use of soilless cultivation in commercial applications. When talking about soilless crops, we’re referring to two types of systems:- Real hydroponics, without substrate: the root system of a plant is directly in contact with the water and the nutrient solution (floating system, nutrient film technique, aeroponics)- Hydroponics with substrate: the plant grows on inert, organic materials, or a mixture between them (cultivation bags, slabs, pots or bins)In these systems, fertigation feeds the plants and involves the use of water-soluble fertilizers. In the most sophisticated and technological systems, the nutrient solution is recycled continuously, thus ensuring maximum efficiency of the water resources used (closed cycle). In the simplest systems, however, especially in those based on the use of the substrate, the drained nutrient solution is dispersed (open cycle)...
Categories: Irrigation, Precision Agriculture, Vegetables