Hydroponic Food Production by Howard M. Resh
Preface to Hydroponic Food Production PDF
The first edition of this book was published in 1978. Generally, the book gets updated about every four years. However, the last edition, the sixth, was revised in 2001 and it has been over ten years now.
As a result, the seventh edition has undergone some major changes to keep it state of the art in the field of hydroponics. The author has maintained the book in its same format, but expanded many of the chapters and added a new chapter (Chapter 11) on coco coir culture.
Also, new applications and concepts of hydroponics are discussed with a sustainable yield approach. The book is not highly technical in providing the basics of hydroponics in the initial chapters with regard to plant function and nutrition.
The objective is to make the reader aware of the present advances in hydroponics using the various substrates and systems that have proved successful with specific vegetable crops.
While most of the material presented relates to greenhouse hydroponic systems, a few are of outdoor hydroponic systems under favorable climates.
This book is meant to be a practical guide for persons interested in entering hydroponics commercially or as a hobby.
Whatever the size of operation the reader may be interested in, the book presents the principles of getting started and gives many examples and illustrations to clarify these methods.
The first four chapters introduce the reader to the history of hydroponics: plant nutrition, essential plant elements, nutrient uptake, nutritional disorders, sources of nutrients, and then a detailed explanation of composing nutrient solutions.
Sources of the nutrients are given with conversion tables to facilitate the calculations of nutrients the plant requires to the volumes of nutrient solution makeup.
Concentrated nutrient stock solutions are explained and calculations are clearly exemplified. Many nutrient formulations are given as a reference to start the formulation for specific crops that can be optimized for specific conditions with experience.
Various media or substrates most suitable to hydroponics or “soilless culture” are presented to explain their characteristics and assist the reader in choosing the best for his or her specific crop and growing system.
In Chapter 5, water culture systems are explained and illustrated. This includes raft or floating systems on a relatively small scale to large commercial operations.
This section contains a lot of new material on commercial raceway or raft culture. Aeroponic systems are described with automated rotational systems by Omega Garden as either hobby or commercial application of aeroponics.
An alfalfa and bean sprout operation is presented to demonstrate the principles of growing sprouts. Another new section is on microgreens, which are increasingly in demand as a new product, superior to sprouts in nutrition and taste.
A do-it-yourself method is given so that one can easily set up such a system in the residence.
Chapter 6 on nutrient film technique (NFT) expands this culture to the most up-to-date automated systems presently in operation in Europe and North America.
It also expands on the ebb-and-flow (flood) system for growing seedlings. A new section has been added on the commercial application of an A-frame NFT system exemplified by a commercial operation in Colombia.
Main Contents of Hydroponic Food Production eBook
- The Past
- The Present
- The Future
- Suitable Site Characteristics
- Soil versus Soilless Culture
- Plant Constituents
- Mineral and Essential Elements
- Plant Mineral and Water Uptake
- Upward Movement of Water and Nutrients
- Plant Nutrition
- Inorganic Salts (Fertilizers)
- Recommended Compounds for Complete Nutrient Solutions
- Fertilizer Chemical Analyses
- Fertilizer Impurities
- Nutrient Formulations
- Nutrient Stock Solutions
- Preparing the Nutrient Solution
- Plant Relations and Cause of Nutrient Solution Changes
- Medium Characteristics
- Water Characteristics
- Pumping of Nutrient Solution into Beds
- Sterilization of Medium
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