The best practices related with soilless production
When it comes to start up a soilless production, the grower should consider certain aspects which will determine the crop success. The soilless culture has numerable benefits, but it requires basic technical knowledge to ensure the correct development of the crop.
The soilless technique or hydroponic growing aims to obtain greater profitability by reducing cultural and labour costs, as well as an improvement in the quality of the fruit and final production of the crop. The most remarkable benefits of soilless production are the following:
- Higher production speed.
- Increase of the production.
- Greater efficiency of irrigation water and fertilizers applied to crops.
- Restrictions in the contribution of nitrates to the soil.
- Reuse of wasted water irrigation by the recirculation.
- Decrease in phytosanitary and environmental problems.
- 100% renewable resource.
In Projar we give advice to producers all over the world for more than 15 years during the transition to a soilless production. Our expertise in this field plus our knowledge in soilless raw materials as coir fiber and peat has allowed us to elaborate a guide with the best practices.
Three main aspects to consider in a soilless production:
To select the most suitable soilless growing system for your crop
The soilless system chosen must be the correct one for the type of production. Basically, there are two hydroponic systems available:
Coir peat soil
This soilless solution consists in a compressed coir fiber supplied in a ready-to-use format. There is a diverse range of coco peat mixes depending on the coir granulometry, on clime conditions and on the technification level available on the hothouse.
Depending on the production characteristics and the grower needs, we supply coir fiber in different formats: coir slabs (Grow Bags) and coir bags (Easyplanter).
On one hand, Grow Bags are suitable to plant 3 or 4 plants in the same growing media. On the other hand, the coir fiber bags or Easyplanter allows to produce plants individually. Both formats include the drainage holes and could be customized according to the level of irrigation technology installed on the crop.
Another soilless system is the one composed by a pot filled with substrate. This system also provides the perfect growing media for the correct plant development. There are different pot designs depending on the type of production and the plant requirements. Moreover, as manufacturers of substrates, we provide the perfect substrate for each production with the characteristics that the plant needs to grow properly. Our substrates are made of high-quality raw materials as white peat, black peat, coir fiber and perlite.
To control the fertigation and water irrigation parameters suitable for the production
One of the main aspects of soilless production system is the control of fertigation. It is important to consider the phenology of the plant, the production physical characteristics derived from the substrate and the dimensions of the container. Besides, the evolution of radiation and the vapor pressure deficit in the atmosphere are also the parameters that determine the variation in fertigation demand.
To cultivate in a substrate imply having low energy of water retention and a limited reserve in the root environment. These conditions require frequent irrigation and doses according to the substrate’s physical properties and the volume of the water reserve available.
To complement the production with agro-supplies and improve the good results of soilless system
Every soilless growing system will be determined by three basic components:
- The agro-supplies complementary to the crop: growing containers, shadow mesh, anti-weed mesh, pot elevators… These agro-supplies guarantee the right development of the plant and ensure the proper conditions to control all the environmental parameters that could affect the crop.
- The right infrastructure: automatizations, irrigation systems…
- The technology for the correct management of the crop.
If you have planned to start up a soilless project and want advice, please contact us. One of our experts will contact you and will study your case to give you the best solution.