For saving space and soil, this method also has several
other benefits, including no soil-borne diseases, no
weeds to pull and no soil to till, run-of-the-mill side
benefits of soil-less gardening.


Many people think that filtering the recirculating solution is useful, but we have never filtered our solutions. Our measurements indicate that total organic carbon in the recirculating solution does not exceed 15 mg per liter, even near the end of a 2 month life cycle. About 30% of the organic carbon in the solution is in the chelating agent. Total organic carbon includes the carbon that is in microbial biomass, so it is clear that neither organic compounds nor microorganisms are at high levels in the solution. The solution also appears as clear prior to harvest at 80 days as fresh solution.

Hydroponics Guide

Roots leak organic compounds, but there is an equilibrium between microorganisms on root surfaces and the exudates so that compounds are degraded to CO2 at the root surface. Estimates of the quantity of root exudates vary widely, but there is considerable evidence that carbon efflux increases when plants are stressed (Barber and Gunn, 1974; Smucker, 1984; Haller and Stolp, 1985). Bowen and Rovira (1976) found that roots in solution culture produce smaller quantities of exudate than in soil. Trollenier and Hect-Buchholz (1984) found that reduced root growth due to inadequate aeration in hydroponic culture was accompanied by a dramatic increase in root microbe population, which they attributed to increased exudation from roots. The bottom line is that healthy roots in a well aerated hydroponic system should not increase the microorganisms or organics in the solution and filtering is thus unnecessary.


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