Researchers funded by Horticulture Australia (HAL) have completed a best practice manual for converting from soil production to hydroponics. It also has applications for growers looking to upgrade their hydroponic systems. The manual is not a guide to managing hydroponic systems; rather, it outlines what growers need to think about before a conversion from soil to hydroponics is undertaken.
The manual was prepared by Dr Kaye Fergusson and Barbara Hall of the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), with the collaboration of researchers Jeremy Badgery-Parker, Keith Webb, Tony Burfield, Domenic Cavallaro and Sophie Parks.
The manual highlights the importance of having an overall plan for converting to hydroponics and how a step-by-step approach can make the process manageable and less risky. It aims to assist growers in examining their reasons for converting to hydroponics, explains the basics of hydroponic systems and management, emphasises what hydroponic systems can and cannot do for a grower’s business, and outlines the steps for conversion.
The best practice manual is expected to be released in late 2012. Notification of the manual’s publication and instructions on how to obtain a copy will be announced in Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses.