An Introduction to Hydrophonics and Controlled Environment Agriculture

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Introduction to Hydroponics and Controlled Environment Agriculture

by Patricia A. Rorabaugh, Ph.D. University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center 1951 E. Roger Road Tucson, AZ 85719 Revised December, 2012

CHAPTER 1: Controlled Environment Agriculture and Hydroponics: Past, Present and Future The Plant How to grow greenhouse crops Plant Protection: Insects and Diseases Basic Principals of Hydroponics Transplant Production Pollination, Fertilization and Bee Management Fruit Harvesting, Grading and Storage Plant Nutrition and Nutritional Disorders Fertigation Systems and Nutrient Solutions Greenhouse Site Selection Greenhouse Structures Greenhouse Control Systems Greenhouse Energy and Resource
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*~300 A.D. Rome – Roses were forced to flower early by the addition of warm water into the irrigation ditches twice a day. This would warm the roots and stimulate growth.


THEREFORE, up to ~300 A.D., the ancients had perfected protected agriculture (terraced growing areas, mulches and compost heating), greenhouses, hot air and hot water heating systems and had experimented with plant nutrition, water culture and more. THEN: The Great Library in Alexandria Egypt was burned. Rome fell. Enter the Dark Ages! What was learned before was forgotten… When people forget their “history” they are doomed or, in this case, required to repeat it! 1300’s 1400’s 1500’s – European Renaissance: revival of art, literature & learning. DEVELOPMENT OF PROTECTED AGRICULTURE AND GREENHOUSES: People want to “grow out of season” (i.e., have tomatoes in Winter) or grow plants where they don’t normally grow (i.e., lettuce, a cold weather crop, in Tucson in the Summer!). Therefore, move the plant from the natural environment to an artificial one… using protected agriculture and/or greenhouses. Modify or control the temperature, relative humidity, CO2, light, etc., to provide optimum conditions to grow any crop any time anywhere! What discoveries had to be made in order to develop the modern greenhouse? *1385 – The French built “glass pavilions” oriented toward the south to grow flowers (though mainly for the wealthy to
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