Type: Book

Advances in horticultural soilless culture


Dr Nazim S. Gruda is Professor of Horticulture at the University of Bonn, Germany. Professor Gruda is internationally-renowned for his research and over 250 publications in areas such as soilless culture, controlled environment cultivation and product quality of horticultural crops. He is Chair of an International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) Working Group and has edited Acta Horticulturae for the ISHS. In recognition of his research, Professor Gruda was awarded the 2003 “Dr. Heinrich-Baur-Prize” by the Technical University of Munich, Germany, the 2017 “National Scientific Prize” by the Albanian Academy of Science, and the status of “Distinguished Scientist” by the Chinese Academy of Science in 2020.



Publication date:

23 February 2021

Length of book:

442 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786764355

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"This book provides an informative global perspective on soilless culture systems (SCS) around the world…the book promises to bring together the current best practice in SCS horticulture to create an important industry reference for all participants." ISHS - Chronica Horticulturae

Soilless cultivation techniques (including hydroponic systems) have attracted growing attention as a way of growing horticultural crops more efficiently without taking up more land. These controlled environment systems are also less vulnerable to climate change and are particularly suited to urban farming as part of the shift to more localised, circular food systems.

Advances in horticultural soilless culture provides a comprehensive assessment of recent research in this important area, paying close attention to the advances in optimising substrates for soilless cultivation, as well as the developments in solid and liquid-medium container systems, fertigation systems, modelling and process control. The collection includes case studies on horticultural crops such as tomatoes, strawberries and ornamentals.

With its distinguished editor and international range of expert authors, Advances in horticultural soilless culture will be a standard reference for university and other researchers involved in horticultural science, hydroponics and soilless cultivation. It will also be a valuable resource for government and other agencies supporting vertical and urban farming systems, as well as companies involved in this sector.

What others are saying...

“This book, written by well-qualified scientists and edited by an internationally-distinguished expert in greenhouse horticulture, provides a valuable update of the science and the current technologies applied in soilless culture”.
Professor Dimitris Savvas, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece

"This book from an internationally-recognized editor and authors will be a standard reference book on soilless culture for practitioners, scientists and students. It will serve to trigger practices and innovations increasing sustainability and optimizing product quality in soilless cultivation.”
Professor Rui Machado, Universidade de Évora, Portugal

"Soilless culture is rapidly rising around the world due to its ability to deliver reliable yield, quality and produce uniformity, and is very much a technology-driven industry. However, we should also pay attention to best horticultural principles and this book promises to bring together the current best practice in technology and horticulture to create an important industry reference for all participants."
Graeme Smith CAg, Chair - International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS) ‘Working Group – Hydroponics & Aquaponics’, and Vice Chair - ISHS ‘Division - Protected Cultivation and Soilless Culture’

"The contents of the book will help extend our knowledge of soilless culture, an advanced method of cultivation that combines precise control of product quality with achieving the more efficient, sustainable production we need."
Professor Miguel Urrestarazu Gavilán, University of Almería, Spain

Table of contents

1.Soilless culture systems and growing media in horticulture: an overview: Nazim S. Gruda, University of Bonn, Germany;

Part 1 Materials
2.Advances in understanding plant root behaviour and rootzone management in soilless culture systems: Youbin Zheng, University of Guelph, Canada;
3.Developments in inorganic materials, synthetic organic materials and peat in soilless culture systems: Jeb S. Fields, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, USA; and Nazim S. Gruda, University of Bonn, Germany;
4.Developments in alternative organic materials for growing media in soilless culture systems: Nazim S. Gruda, University of Bonn, Germany; and Neil Bragg, Substrate Associates Ltd, United Kingdom;
5.Understanding and optimizing the physical properties of growing media for soilless cultivation: Jean Caron, Université Laval, Canada; and Jean-Charles Michel, L’Institut Agro, France;
6.Understanding and optimising the chemical properties of growing media for soilless cultivation: Patrizia Zaccheo and Laura Crippa, University of Milan, Italy; and Francesco Giuffrida, University of Catania, Italy;
7.Understanding and optimising the biological properties of growing media for soilless cultivation: Francesco Giuffrida and Rosario Paolo Mauro, University of Catania, Italy; and Patrizia Zaccheo, University of Milan, Italy;

Part 2 Technologies
8.Advances in liquid- and solid-medium soilless culture systems: Yüksel Tüzel, Ege University, Turkey; and Astrit Balliu, Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania;
9.Advances in irrigation/fertigation techniques in greenhouse soilless culture systems (SCS): Georgios Nikolaou and Damianos Neocleous, Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Cyprus; and Evangelini Kitta and Nikolaos Katsoulas, University of Thessaly, Greece;
10.Advances in nutrient management modelling and nutrient concentration prediction for soilless culture systems: Jung Eek Son, Tae In Ahn and Taewon Moon, Seoul National University, Korea;
11.Advanced hydroponics design for plant cultivation in cities: Giuseppina Pennisi, Alessandro Pistillo, Elisa Appolloni, Francesco Orsini and Giorgio Gianquinto, DISTAL – University of Bologna, Italy;
12.Optimizing product quality in soilless culture systems (SCS): Pietro Santamaria, Barbara De Lucia and Angelo Signore, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy;

Part 3 Case studies
13.Advances in soilless cultivation of tomatoes and other fruit vegetables: V. Truffault, Futura Gaïa, France; and E. Legast, Centre Technique Interprofessionnel des Fruits et Légumes (CTIFL), France;
14.Advances in soilless culture strawberry production: Mike Nichols, formerly Massey University, New Zealand;
15.Advances in soilless culture of ornamentals: Erik van Os and Arca Kromwijk, Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands;