Hydroponic Food Production : A Definitive Guidebook for the Advanced Home Gardener and the Commercial Hydroponic Grower, Seventh Edition book cover
7th Edition

Hydroponic Food Production
A Definitive Guidebook for the Advanced Home Gardener and the Commercial Hydroponic Grower, Seventh Edition

ISBN 9781439878675
Published August 9, 2012 by CRC Press
560 Pages 479 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Hydroponic Food Production: A Definitive Guidebook for the Advanced Home Gardener and the Commercial Hydroponic Grower, Seventh Edition is a comprehensive guide to soilless culture with extensively new and updated contents from the previous edition published in 2001. Meant for hobby and commercial growers, the book:

  • Shows the reader how to set up a hydroponic operation with the options of using any of the many hydroponic cultures presently used in the industry to grow vegetable crops
  • Provides background in plant physiology and nutrition essential for growing these crops
  • Describes nutrient formulations and their applications in nutrient solutions with calculations

This practical guide to soilless growing practices provides detailed information on how to design, set up, and operate hydroponic culture systems. Featuring more than 500 photographs, drawings, and tables, the seventh edition of this bestselling book has been extensively updated and expanded. The text describes the most successful growing cultures to use with specific crops and details media as well as hydroponic techniques. Chapters cover nutrient uptake and mixing as well as deficiencies and their symptoms, plant nutrition, nutrient solution, water culture, tropical hydroponics and special applications, plant culture, nutrient film technique, gravel culture, and more.

Table of Contents

The Past
The Present
The Future
Suitable Site Characteristics
Soil versus Soilless Culture

Plant Nutrition
Plant Constituents
Mineral and Essential Elements
Plant Mineral and Water Uptake
Upward Movement of Water and Nutrients
Plant Nutrition

Nutrient Solution
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

The Medium
Medium Characteristics
Water Characteristics
Pumping of Nutrient Solution into Beds
Sterilization of Medium

Water Culture
Raceway, Raft, or Floating System
Hydroponic Grass Units
Alfalfa and Bean Sprouts

Nutrient Film Technique
Early NFT System
Later NFT Systems
Commercial NFT Systems
Nutrient Flow Technique: Vertical Pipes, A-Frame, or Cascade Systems
Gutter and Pipe NFT Channel Systems
Agri-Systems NFT
Hortiplan Automated NFT System
Outdoor NFT Watercress
Ebb-and-Flow (Flood) Systems
A-Frame NFT System

Gravel Culture
Media Characteristics
Subirrigation Gravel Culture
Trickle Irrigation Design
Advantages and Disadvantages of Trickle Irrigation
Sterilization of Gravel between Crops
Advantages and Disadvantages of Gravel Culture

Sand Culture
Medium Characteristics
Structural Details
Drip (Trickle) Irrigation System
Sterilization of Sand Beds between Crops
Sand Culture of Herbs
Advantages and Disadvantages of Sand Culture

Sawdust Culture
Growing Medium
Bed System
Bag System
Nutrient Solution Distribution System
Advantages and Disadvantages of Sawdust Culture

Rockwool Culture
North American Greenhouse Vegetable Industry
World Greenhouse Vegetable Industry
Rockwool Composition
Rockwool Cubes and Blocks
Rockwool Slabs
Rockwool Layout
Irrigation System
Cucumbers in Rockwool
Tomatoes in Rockwool
Large Greenhouse Operations in North America
Harvesting, Grading, and Packing
Peppers in Rockwool
Recirculating Rockwool Systems
Advantages and Disadvantages of Rockwool Culture

Coco Coir Culture
Source of Coco Coir
Coco Coir Grades and Characteristics
Coco Plugs and Blocks
Sustainable Agriculture Greenhouse Technology
Tomatoes in Coco Coir
Advantages and Disadvantages of Coco Coir Culture

Other Soilless Cultures
Hydroponic Herbs
Foam Culture
Perlite Culture
Column Culture
Sack Culture
Sterilization of Medium
Advantages and Disadvantages of Peat and Coco Coir Mixtures

Tropical Hydroponics and Special Applications
Hidroponias Venezolanas
Sand Culture in the Tropics
Ebb-and-Flood Water Culture of Watercress
Rice Hulls–Coco Coir Culture of Tomatoes, Peppers, and Cucumbers Special Applications References

Plant Culture

Seedling Production
Plant-Growing Temperature
Relative Humidity and Vapor Pressure Deficit (VPD)
Carbon Dioxide Enrichment
Vegetative versus Generative Growth
Irrigation (Fertigation)
Plant Support
Suckering and Training (Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers, and Eggplants)
Physiological Disorders
Diseases and Insects
Vegetable Varieties
Green Grafting
Planting Schedules
Crop Termination
Special Considerations

Appendix 1: Horticultural, Hydroponic, and Soilless-Culture Societies

Appendix 2: Greenhouse Production Resources

Research Extension Services for Publications
Some Soil and Plant-Tissue Testing Laboratories
Biological-Control Agents
Special Hydroponic Equipment

Appendix 3: Units of Measurement—Conversion Factors

Appendix 4: Physical Constants of Inorganic Compounds

Appendix 5: Greenhouse and Hydroponic Suppliers

Biocontrol Agents
Greenhouse Structures, Coverings and Equipment
Greenhouse Shading Materials
Growing Media and Supplies
Irrigation Equipment
Sprout Supplies


Insect and Disease Control
Professional Publications and Research Journals
Trade Magazines and Periodicals

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Howard M. Resh is the Hydroponic Greenhouse Farm Manager for Cuisinart Resort and Spa in Anguilla, British West Indies.


"The seventh edition of Hydroponic Food Production is a complete comprehensive guide for the advanced home gardener. It covers media, lights and nearly every method of hydroponic gardening, and provides charts, equations, and diagrams for easy understanding. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to supercharge their garden and take their indoor gardening skills to the next level."
—Matt LeBannister in Hydrolife

"… a comprehensive guide to soilless culture with extensively new and updated content …"
GREENHOUSECanada, May 2013

"This edition has been completely revised and expanded in an update that follows many new developments in the field since the publication of the prior 2001 edition. From how to set up a basic hydroponic operation to understanding plant physiology and calculating nutrient formulations, this is a key pick for any concerned with implement soilless gardening."
—Midwest Book Review