Vegetable production in greenhouses may impair the ecological balance of the environment substantially as far as being uncontrolled. Soilless cultures especially should be handled thoughtfully. A fraction of the nutrients administered, more than 25-30%, is doomed to be lost in an open system, and the resulting ecological risk is accompanied wit...h increasing costs of the production. Experiments have been conducted with the purpose of estimate the amount of nutrients involved. According to the results, as a mean, 30-80 per cent of the main nutrients was utilised. The rate of nutrient utilisation is influenced by the plant species involved as well as by the circumstances of production. One of its most important components is the irrigation, which determines the amount of overflow and of its salt content.
For soilless vegetable production of the Southern Great Plain region in Hungary, there is enough water available, however, the origin and chemical composition of it are decisive from the point of view of practicability. The ground water is everywhere accessible, although its sodium and chloride content is almost always significant, moreover, hu...man pollution may occur (e.g. nitrates and phosphates). A further unfavourable moment is the seasonal variation observed within the area of the same community. The abundant supply of water in the Quaternary strata are located in more than half of the cases within the upper 50 m region. As by the expected changes of the climate, a strategic increment of the importance of subsurface waters is anticipated. Their composition is relatively stable, and the prognoses are reliable for the same settlement. Salt content of the majority of water resources bearing hydrocarbonates is low, however, streaming of the subsurface waters tend to increase their sodium content and to diminish their calcium and magnesium, whereas the pH increases (mainly by ion-exchange). Water quality is decisive not only because of the interaction with the plants but also from the point of view of the distribution of water. Some micro-elements, mainly iron and secondarily manganese may cause problems, therefore, irrigation water ought to be prepared carefully. Production technology should be completed by a technical equipment using aeration for the elimination of ironinfluence of yields on rate of return of investment; (3) the role of increasing of added value content of products. Importance of the utilisation of alternative channels of distribution and the formation of producers' cooperatives are underlined, being based on calculation of return of investment.
Cucumber production by soil less culture on rockwool substrate in Hungary is an open system regarding its water and nutrient supply. Environmental and economical reasons require the recycling of nutrients of the system. Experiments have been planned in order to estimate the utilisation of individual nutrient elements applied. All around the veg...etation period, chemical analyses monitored the depletion of the elements initially administered by sampling the solutions at successive phases from the injection to the overflow. The results have been compared with earlier experiences refering to general rules. It has been stated that the intensity of photosynthesis is decisive in determining the composition of the overflow. The less changes are observed during the period of frequent watering.
The absorption of the nutrient elements varied between 25-51% deperiding on the individual elements. The differences are significant. Further examinations are needed in order to clear:
- which are the main elements of technology, which are decisive in utilisation of nutrients
- what are the possibilities of the secondary utilisation of nutrients.