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

Hydroponic Food Production

A Definitive Guidebook for the Advanced Home Gardener and the Commercial Hydroponic Grower, Seventh Edition, 7th Edition

By Howard M. Resh

CRC Press

560 pages | 479 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2012-08-09
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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.


"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

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

About the Author

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

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Botany
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / General