What is Soilless culture?
Soilless culture also called hydroponically technology. Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants without soil by instead using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Terrestrial plants may be grown with only their roots exposed to the nutritious liquid, or the roots may be physically supported by an inert medium such as perlite or gravel. More about the Hydroponics Growth System here.
Advantage of soilless cultivation
Compared with conventional soil cultivation, soilless cultivation is a more advanced method of crop cultivation, and its advantages are mainly reflected in the following aspects.
1. Effective prevention of soil continuous cropping obstacles and soil-borne diseases
In the field planting management of vegetables, rational rotation of land and avoiding repeated years of stagnation are one of the important measures to prevent the serious occurrence and spread of diseases.
Hydroponic vegetable refers to the vegetable that is cultivated under the traditional soil cultivation form, in which most of the roots are grown in the layer of nutrient solution and liquid, which only provides water, nutrients, and oxygen through the nutrient solution. Hydroponic vegetables have a short growth cycle and are rich in vitamins and minerals essential to the body.
However, in recent years, the area of cultivated land in China has been decreasing year by year, and the production of vegetables has become more specialized and large-scale. In particular, the area of cultivated facilities has been expanding year by year, making it difficult to further promote and apply the rational rotation system of the land.
The soil diseases caused by heavy land are becoming more and more serious. Although soil disinfection can also be used to solve the problem, soil disinfection is not only costly, labor-intensive, and expensive, but the effect is not very satisfactory.
If the soilless cultivation method is adopted, since the cultivation environment is completely isolated from the soil, the occurrence of soil-borne diseases can be effectively prevented.
As long as the seeds, culture media, equipment, nutrient solution, etc. are carefully disinfected and properly managed, it is generally not easy to infect diseases, and high-level continuous cropping can be implemented, which greatly improves the land utilization rate.
It is precise because soilless cultivation methods have irreplaceable superiority in preventing the occurrence of soil-borne diseases, so it is of great significance in the pollution-free production of vegetables.
2. Improve the yield and quality of crops.
Soilless cultivation techniques can artificially regulate the environmental conditions such as temperature, light (controlled by the LED growth lighting), moisture, and nutrients required by crops. Therefore, the yield is higher than that of conventionally produced vegetables, the quality is good, and the products are clean and hygienic.
Since soilless cultivation does not use organic fertilizers, it can avoid contamination of products by parasites of organic fertilizers in the soil, and diseases rarely occur. Therefore, pesticides are rarely applied, and the problem of pesticide residues in vegetable products is solved to some extent.
3. Water saving, fertilizer saving, and labor saving
In the cultivation process, management links such as nursery and soil mixing, soil tillage, watering, cultivating and weeding, and pest control can be saved, which can save a lot of labor.
Soilless culture of vegetables is a new type of indoor soilless cultivation method, also known as nutrient liquid culture.
The core of soilless culture is to fix the plant roots in the planting basket and let the roots naturally grow into the plant nutrient solution.
The liquid can replace the natural soil to provide water, nutrients, temperature and other growth factors to the plant so that the plant can grow normally and complete its entire life cycle.
Mechanized operations and automated management can also be carried out in soilless cultivation sites of a certain scale. The nutrient solution in soilless culture can be formulated and adjusted according to the nutritional needs of different crops at different growth stages.
The nutrients can be directly absorbed by the crops without passing through the soil, and the unabsorbed parts can be recycled and reused, and the soil is reduced. Waste of water caused by evaporation and loss.
Therefore, water saving and fertilizer saving can be achieved.
4. It is not restricted by natural conditions.
The location of soilless cultivation is not restricted by soil quality and water conservancy conditions, especially in areas with harsh conditions such as desert, poor land, and drought. It is an effective method of crop cultivation.
Disadvantage of Soilless cultivation
1. High-cost investment
The disadvantage of soilless cultivation is that the investment in disposable equipment is large, the cost of fertilizer is high, and the electricity is used.
2. High-level knowledge and Technology
Management requires a certain level of knowledge. For example, the preparation, adjustment, and management of nutrient solution require some special knowledge.
These unfavorable factors have become the limiting factors for the promotion and utilization of soilless culture techniques.
Therefore, according to the specific conditions of each place, the use of soilless cultivation methods and supporting technologies that are simple, convenient, low in investment, low in cost and good in application effect will greatly promote the application of soilless cultivation techniques in practice.
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