INVESTIGATING THE EFFECTS OF HYDROPONIC MEDIA ON QUALITY OF GREENHOUSE GROWN LEAFY GREENS
Information regarding optimizing greenhouse agriculture and use of hydroponic media for produce growth is lacking. We examined the difference in yield at high, medium, and low levels of commercial hydroponic nutrient solutions in order to optimize the cost-benefit relationship in the growth of leafy greens. Also, we determined the feasibility of an “organic” self-prepared nutrient solution for leafy green growth. Regardless of level of commercial hydroponic nutrient solutions, leafy greens growth was similar; however, use of “organic” nutrient solution provided problematic leafy greens growth. Overall, we found that hydroponic systems are cost-effective and can complement a sustainable leafy green production. Additional research will be required to develop productive and cost-effective “organic” nutrient solutions.
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