Introduction to Hydroponics and Controlled Environment Agriculture
by Patricia A. Rorabaugh, Ph.D. University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center 1951 E. Roger Road Tucson, AZ 85719 Revised December, 2012
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1: Controlled Environment Agriculture and Hydroponics: Past, Present and Future The Plant How to grow greenhouse crops Plant Protection: Insects and Diseases Basic Principals of Hydroponics Transplant Production Pollination, Fertilization and Bee Management Fruit Harvesting, Grading and Storage Plant Nutrition and Nutritional Disorders Fertigation Systems and Nutrient Solutions Greenhouse Site Selection Greenhouse Structures Greenhouse Control Systems Greenhouse Energy and Resource Alternatives “Greening” the Greenhouse Greenhouse Marketing, Economics & Business Plans Appendices
CHAPTER 2: CHAPTER 3: CHAPTER 4: CHAPTER 5: CHAPTER 6: CHAPTER 7: CHAPTER 8: CHAPTER 9: CHAPTER 10: CHAPTER 11: CHAPTER 12: CHAPTER 13: CHAPTER 14:
CHAPTER 15: CHAPTER 16:
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CHAPTER 1 CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT AGRICULTURE AND HYDROPONICS: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE DEFINITIONS: Protected Agriculture: mulches, row covers, shade structures, greenhouses, etc. Any type of method or structure used to extend the “growing season”. Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) includes greenhouses, growth chambers, or any totally enclosed structure providing control of the aerial environment: temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide (CO2) around the leaves & light (for photosynthesis) and oxygen (O2) around the roots and shoots (for respiration). Hydroponics growing plants without soil & controlling the root zone conditions (water, nutrients, oxygen, temperature) using a complete nutrient solution with every watering (water + mineral nutrients) with or without an aggregate medium to support the roots (aggregates include sand, gravel, perlite, rockwool, coco coir, etc.) THE ANCIENT PAST: Discoveries in agriculture from 600B.C. to 300 A.D. *600-500 B.C. – The “Hanging Gardens of Babylon” One of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Possibly one of the first examples of protected agriculture. Built by King Nebuchadnezzar II on the east bank of the Euphrates River in the middle of the desert for one of his wives. Renditions suggest a series of terraced growing areas in which water is supplied by a “chain pump” lift system from the river below. *Several hundred years B.C. – Egyptian hieroglyphs tell of the people growing plants in water culture, possibly papyrus (for paper) and lotus. *372-287 B.C. Theophrastus – One of the greatest early Greek philosophers and called the “father of botany”. He performed experiments in crop nutrition; noted that rotting manure (compost) warms & ripens the soil increasing growth; worked with potted plants. *92 B.C. Sergius Orata of Rome – Invented a combusted gas heating system in which the warm air passed through flues in the floor. Bath water was also warmed by his system. *14-37 A.D. – Cucumbers were grown off-season for the Roman Emperor Tiberius using a structure covered with “transparent rock” (presumably mica). First known use of controlled environment agriculture. Other such structures described during 1st century. *23-79 A.D. – Pliny “The Elder” (Gaius Plinius Secundus) wrote Naturalis...
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