Hydroponic Growing PERLITE

Under Protective
The Schundler Company
10 Central Street
Nahant, MA 01908
732-287-2244 www.schundler.com


Part of a Preliminary Report on:
Growing Melons in Perlite Hydroponic Cultures...
Under Protective Structures
By the University of Florida
Horticultural Sciences Department

Perlite hydroponic cultures and protective structures are used around the world to profitably produce horticultural crops. In recent research conducted by the Department of Horticultural Sciences of the University of Florida they have been proven to have great potential in Florida as important tools growers can use to increase both profits and the efficient use of their resources.

Perlite culture is the use of perlite as the medium for a soilless culture system in which nutrients and water are absorbed by the perlite and taken up by the plants as needed. Perlite culture provides a method of growing horticultural crops with a number of economic advantages. Essentially perlite hydroponics:

Perlite is an excellent medium for soilless culture because it:

The basic components of a perlite cultural system include:

Protective structures are used worldwide to modify the environment surrounding horticultural crops. Protective structures, ranging in complexity and costs from rowcovers to glass greenhouses.

Walk-in tunnels are poly-covered, greenhouse-like structures with no permanent heating or cooling systems and are much less expensive than greenhouses to build and operate while providing greater cold-protection than rowcovers. Walk-in tunnels are used extensively throughout the world to produce horticultural crops in areas with climates similar to Florida’s. These tunnels generally provide a 3 to 5 C increase in plant canopy temperatures when compared to outside air temperatures.

As growers seek to maximize the use of their resources in an environmentally sound manner, perlite culture and protective structures are effective tools growers can choose to help achieve these objectives. When considering whether to use these technologies, one should do the following:

Once deciding to use perlite culture and/or protective structures, several basic steps should be taken in setting up and using these systems.

  1. Carefully plan the nutrient solution system
    • ensure an adequate water supply by developing back-up systems and procedures
    • determine the optimum nutrient program for the particular crop being grown
  2. Frequently monitor irrigation, temperature, and nutrient levels throughout the season and adjust irrigation and nutrient systems accordingly.

Additional information can be obtained from the following resources

For more information about these uses of perlite in turf grass applications, landscaping, and/or container growing, please call or contact us at:

The Schundler Company
10 Central Street
Nahant, MA 01908
(ph)732-287-2244 (fax) 732-287-4185

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