1st Edition

Complete Guide for Growing Plants Hydroponically

By J. Benton Jones, Jr. Copyright 2014
    223 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    223 Pages
    by CRC Press

    With the continued implementation of new equipment and new concepts and methods, such as hydroponics and soilless practices, crop growth has improved and become more efficient. Focusing on the basic principles and practical growth requirements, the Complete Guide for Growing Plants Hydroponically offers valuable information for the commercial grower, the researcher, the hobbyist, and the student interested in hydroponics. It provides details on methods of growing that are applicable to a range of environmental growing systems.

    The author begins with an introduction that covers the past, present, and future of hydroponics. He also describes the basic concepts behind how plants grow, followed by several chapters that present in-depth practical details for hydroponic growing systems:

    • The essential plant nutrient elements
    • The nutrient solution
    • Rooting media
    • Systems of hydroponic culture
    • Hydroponic application factors

    These chapters cover the nutritional requirements of plants and how to best prepare and use nutrient solutions to satisfy plant requirements, with different growing systems and rooting media, under a variety of conditions. The book gives many nutrient solution formulas and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of various hydroponic systems. It also contains a chapter that describes a school project, which students can follow to generate nutrient element deficiency symptoms and monitor their effects on plant growth.

    Hydroponics defined
    Is hydroponics a science?
    Hydroponic terminology
    Historical past
    The future of hydroponics
    Hydroponic practice and the art of hydroponics
    Value of the hydroponic method
    Units of measure

    How plants grow
    Soil fertility factors
    The plant root
    Water content and uptake
    Ion uptake
    Root surface chemistry

    The essential plant nutrient elements
    Criteria for essentiality
    The major elements
    The micronutrients
    Content in plants
    Function in plants
    Forms of utilization
    The beneficial elements
    Element substitution
    Visual plant symptoms of elemental deficiency or excess

    The nutrient solution
    Water quality
    Water pH
    Water and nutrient solution filtering and sterilization
    Weights and measures
    Nutrient solution reagents
    Nutrient solution formulations
    General purpose/use formulations
    Plant species requirement adjustments of the nutrient solution
    Nutrient solution control
    Methods and timing of nutrient solution delivery
    Programmable controllers

    Rooting media
    Elemental content of perlite, rockwool, and coir

    Systems of hydroponic culture
    Mediumless hydroponic systems
    Rooting medium hydroponic systems

    Hydroponic application factors
    Progressive developments
    Nutrient solution formulations and their use
    Cultivar/variety availability and selection
    Grower skill and competence
    Factors for success
    Controlled-environment agriculture
    Outdoor hydroponics
    Home gardener/hobby hydroponic grower

    Educational role
    Demonstration project
    Nutrient element deficiency experiments

    Hydroponic reference books
    Cited References

    Appendix A: Measurement factors
    Appendix B: Essential element summarization tables
    Appendix C: Diagnostic testing
    Appendix D: Common errors made when plants are grown hydroponically


    J. Benton Jones, Jr. , earned a BS degree in agricultural science from the University of Illinois and obtained MS and PhD degrees in agronomy from the Pennsylvania State University. He has written extensively on hydroponic topics and has been engaged in hydroponic research projects for much of his professional career. Dr. Jones is considered an authority on applied plant physiology and the use of analytical methods for assessing the nutrient element status of rooting media and plants as a means for ensuring plant nutrient element sufficiency in both soil and soilless crop production settings. At various times, he has served as a director of several university and commercial soil and plant analysis laboratories, and he still serves as an advisor for two such laboratories.