Alot has happened since school has started. Greenhouse Management – Sustainable Food Production has been giving the opportunity to do hydroponic research, an investigation on using standard foam versus an algae resistant treated foam during seed germination and in a water culture hydroponic system.
Hydroponics is the technology of growing produce in nutrient solutions with the use of soilless mediums in an aquatic based environment. These systems are very efficient and environment friendly as all water is recirculated and creates no agricultural runoff. Although there are many types of systems, the main use of foam in hydroponics is used in water culture. Water culture systems involve the plants being suspended in net pots directly above the nutrient solution with a constant supply of oxygen from an air pump. This foam used is much like a raft with holes. As a raft, the foam will float on a shallow body of nutrient solution so that the roots will be completely submerged at all times.
Pelleted seed are used in hydroponics. A clay based coating is added to the exterior of the seed. The coating will dissolve once exposed to water. There are many benefits of using a pelleted seeds are that they are easy to handle, have a high visibility, and gives you the opportunity of planting more precisely. The following picture illustrates a few examples of pelleted seeds used in the Plymouth Food Science and Ag Center.