Soilless farming is nothing but growing plants on substrate other then soil. soilless farming methods has certain advantages over conventional farming. Several material better known as Soilless growing media were being used for this purpose. soilless culture is the term most frequently used to include all nonconventional soil culture methods, although the term hydroponics is often still found in the literature. Both terms can be used to describe all the general non-soil growing systems.
Advantage of Soilless Farming Over Soil based farming
Most of Soilless Media are free of pests and diseases due to their manufacturing processes.
While reuse from crop to crop, Soilless media can be disinfected between uses so as to kill any microorganisms.
In soilless systems it is possible to have better control over several crucial factors, leading to greatly improved plant performance.
Physical and hydraulic characteristics of most soilless substrates are superior to those of soils.
Good Soilless Media allow a simultaneous optimization of both water and oxygen availabilities. The matric forces holding the water in substrates are much weaker than in soil.
· Nutrient availability to plant roots can be better manipulated and controlled in soilless cultivation than in most arable soils.
A significant fraction of the macro-pores is filled with air, and oxygen diffusion rate is high enough so that plants do not experience a risk of oxygen deficiency.
Because the nutrient solution can be adjusted and is constantly being replaced, water containing a relatively large amount of saline may be used.
It is easier to obtain an average of high yields in hydroponics compared to other growth methods, because a proper root environment and good nutrient conditions are more easily achieved.
Soilless Farming Method
Grow Bag System
In bag culture the growing medium is placed in plastic bags, which are formed in lines on the floor, thus avoiding the costs of troughs or trenches and complex drainage systems. The bags can be
used for at least 2 years .
Typically, bags are of UV-resistant polythylene, which will last for 2 years; they have a black interior. The exteriors of the bag should be white in deserts and other regions of high light levels in order to reflect radiation and inhibit heating the growing medium; conversely, a darker exterior color is preferable in northern, low-light latitudes to absorb winter heat. Bags used for horizontal applications (the most common) are usually 50-70 I in capacity. When used horizontally, bags are sealed at both ends after being filled with the medium. The bags are placed flat on the greenhouse floor at normal row spacing for tomatoes or other vegetables, although it would be beneficial to first cover the entire floor with polythylene film. Paired rows of bags are usually placed flat, 1.5 m apart (from center to center) and with some separation between bags. Holes are made in the upper surface of each
bag for the introduction of transplants, and two small slits are made low on each side for drainage or leaching. Some moisture is introduced into each bag before planting.
Drip irrigation of the nutrient mix is recommended with a capillary tube leading from the main supply line to each plant. Plants growing in high-light, high-temperature conditions will require up to 2 L of nutrient solution per day.
The most commonly grown crops in bag culture are tomatoes and cucumbers (also cut flowers). When tomatoes are grown, each bag is used for two crops per year for at least 2 years.
Grow mixes for bag culture include peat vermiculite (50:50), peat vermiculite:perlite (60:20:20), peat local sand or gravel (50:50), etc. Peat can be replaced by good quality coco coir. Often a wetting agent is added. Some growers add some of the nutrients to the mixture as fertilizers. In 1 m2 of material, the quantities added are approximately: potassium nitrate 1 kg, superphosphate (20% P20 S) 1 kg, limestone 3-6 kg, iron chelate (10% Fe) 40 g, and boric acid 30 g. The other nutrients are added to the irrigation water. The pH should be 5.0-5.7 and the amount of the fertilizers added - especially the limestone - should be calculated accordingly.
The best means towards nutrient control is to irrigate the peat mixed with a full nutrient solution.
The Total Grow Mix by VR INTERNATIONAL
Ideal Plant grow mix that suits Soilless growing. This grow mix is favorable to be used as supporting media in Hydroponics and Aquaponics system. It provide physically support plant growth Allow for maximum root growth Supply roots with necessities such as water, air, and nutrients. An ideal as pot mixture It has open structure, which allows good drainage and holds sufficient moisture for plant growth and permits excess water to drain away. Made up from unique blend of Coco peat, Perlite, vermiculate, Humic Acid, Amino Acid, and Essential micronutrients that are ready to absorbed and fulfill initial nutritional requirement of during germination and initial growth.