For people who want to learn technical details about the process of growing food hydroponically, here are some helpful resources I’ve found:
Books & Magazines
The academic sources I’ve come across usually recommend Howard M. Resh’s book, “Hydroponic Food Production: A Definitive Guidebook for the Advanced Home Gardener and the Commercial Hydroponic Grower”. This book costs over $50 USD, so I haven’t bought a copy yet.
The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century by Dickson Despommier. This is great! I just finished reading the kindle version last week. This book talks about how our current global food production works, how things came to be that way, and how we might transform the current system to be less wasteful and more productive as the world’s population continues to grow. The book ends with an extensive list of links and resources including many about hydroponics.
Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses is an Australian magazine about hydroponics and greenhouses:
University Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) programs:
University of Arizona
- Main page for the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center
- Hydroponics page–scroll down for Dr. Patricia A. Rorabaugh’s pdf book, “Introduction to Hydroponics and Controlled Environment Agriculture”
Seed and equipment suppliers
Johnny’s Selected Seeds sells seeds and provides lots of howto information for growers
- I requested one of their printed seed catalogs a while ago, and it came in the mail last week. This catalog is amazing, and I assume other seed catalogs are probably similarly useful. The Johnny’s catalog includes pictures of mature plants for each variety of seed along with information about suitable growing conditions–pH ranges, soil temperature ranges, day and night air temperature ranges, fertilization, time to harvest, etc.
- On their website, the Tech Sheets page of their Grower’s Library has pdfs with detailed instructions for growing various crops including salad mix, micro greens, greenhouse peppers, and greenhouse cucumbers.
General Hydroponics makes the ph Up, pH Down, FloraDuo A, and FloraDuo B solutions specified in the PFC2 bill of materials. The General Hydroponics website has a “knowledgebase” section with FAQ-style pages on hydroponics in general and on the specifics of using their pH and nutrient solutions successfully. They also sell simple, ready-made hydroponics systems.
- Main knowledgebase page
- Knowledgebase: Basic Hydroponics Questions
- Knowledgebase: Hydroponic System Questions
- Knowledgebase: Nutrient Questions
- Knowledgebase: pH Dynamics and Adjustment Questions
- Knowledgebase: Growing Media Questions
- Knowledgebase: Water Questions
- Knowledgebase: TDS, EC, PPM, Millisiemens Questions
- FloraDuo nutrient solution product page
- pH buffering solutions product page
- Hydroponic and aeroponic systems product page
- The feedcharts and basic feedchart generator pages provide charts to help decide when to switch out the nutrient solution and how much of each type of nutrient to use at different stages of plant growth
- Their blog is called The Lotus. Some of the most interesting posts include CO2 enrichment, is it for you?, The Fundamentals of Proper Plant Research, Let’s Talk Hydro Systems, and Should I adjust the pH of my water before or after mixing my nutrient?