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.


The requirements for plant growth in soil culture and nutriculture are the same. The only fundamental difference between the two methods is the manner in which the inorganic nutrients required for growth are supplied to the roots.

Temperature. There is an optimum temperature range for plant growth. Above or below this range, plants will not do well. Warm season crops usually do well between 60o and 75o or 80o F., with 60o F. the night temperature. Cool-season crops do well between 50o and 70o F., with 50o F. the night temperature. Temperatures for best growth should be maintained whenever possible.

Hydroponics Guide

Light. Most cultivated plants need large amounts of sunlight. When plants are grown indoors, additional artificial light is sometimes needed. If plants are grown entirely under artificial light, the intensity of the light must be very high without causing the temperature to rise above the optimum range.

Water. Water should be available in adequate amounts in the soil or in soilless culture for proper growth. Too little or too much water will not give optimum growth.

Oxygen. In soil that is not waterlogged, adequate oxygen should be available. In hydroponic systems for growing plants, there may not be sufficient oxygen in the nutrient medium. To provide enough oxygen, it is often necessary to bubble air through the solution surrounding the roots.

Carbon Dioxide. Carbon dioxide, as gas, is taken up through the surface of the leaf and furnishes carbon and oxygen. These elements are required, along with hydrogen, in the manufacture of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are used by the plants as food. Mineral Nutrients. The plant must absorb certain minerals through its roots to survive. The minerals required in relatively large amounts are nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Those required in small amounts are iron, manganese, boron, zinc, and copper. Molybdenum and chlorine are also useful to plants, but the quantities required are so minute that they are usually supplied in the water or along with the other mineral nutrients as impurities.


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