Prairie Cordgrass An Aeroponic Approach to Greenhouse Production Nathan Deppe-PCF Coordinator Recycled Glass vs. Leca Stone Substrates Prairie Cordgrass ‘Savoy’ (right) rooted in leca stone vs. recycled glass substrate (left) Choice of Substrates Recycled Glass Leca Stone Comparison of Plants in Diverse Substrates Plants in Recycled Glass a. Fewer Shoots and Rhizomes b. Less Robust Plants in Leca Stone a. Strong Healthy Plant Crown b. More Shoots and Rhizomes c. Healthier and More Vigorous Roots d. Improved Top Growth Materials and Methods 1) 2) 3) 4) Tank/Reservoir (4 or 5 Gal White Bucket) Submersible Tank Pump (Eco-Plus, Eco-185) Feeder Pipe with Mist Nozzles (PVC Construct) Containment Vessel with Substrate (6” Wide Lip Bucket Basket and Leca Stone) 5) Nutrient Solution 6) Greenhouse Environment Suitable for BioEnergy Grass Production (28C/20C, 16 hr Photoperiod with 1000W HPS HID) Tank/Reservoir A white tank is a necessity in order to keep nutrient solution cooler from incoming solar gain A 4 or 5 gallon tank is needed for ample head space and nutrient solution Submersible Tank Pump Used to continuously circulate nutrient solution Filter is kept on during use to keep pump from driving inert matter thru nozzles Brand: Eco-Plus Model: Eco-185 Purchased at a local hydroponics store Feeder Pipe Assembly PVC Construct ½” MPT to ½” MPT nipple from pump to ½” FPT to ½” MPVC pipe thread to ½” FPVCPT to 1/2” PVC slip to 1.5” Piece of ½” PVC to ½” Tee to Each end of feeder pipe is 3” long ½” PVC to ½” PVC slip caps Purchased at a local hardware store Mist Nozzles Two 1/8” holes drilled at 5.5” from center of nozzles 180 degree nozzles with threaded tips Nozzles need adjustment to spray both sides of bucket basket Nozzles purchased at a local hydroponics store Containment Vessel with Substrate 6” wide lip bucket basket filled with leca stone Purchased at local hydroponics store Seedlings were planted with crown slightly below surface of substrate Nutrient Solutions Peter’s Hydroponics Special (5-11-26) Calcium Nitrate (Horticultural Grade) Magnesium Sulfate Iron Sulfate General Guidelines For early rooting use less calcium nitrate Use iron sulfate to maintain sufficient iron levels for green-up of leaf tissue Use calcium nitrate to push vegetative growth once plants become established Change solution every47 days and clean tank and flush substrate with water Nutrient Solutions (Cont) General Solution Fertilizer Rates for Aeroponic Peter’s Hydroponic Special (2.5 tsp/5 gallons water) Calcium Nitrate (early growth: 0.5 tsp/5 gallons water, vegetative growth: 1.5 tsp/5 gallons water) Magnesium Sulfate (1/4 tsp/5 gallons water) Iron Sulfate (1/2 tsp/5 gallons water) Greenhouse Environment Plant Care Facility Space for Hydroponic Culture 28C/20C Day/Night Temps Energy Shade Curtains and 1000 W HPS HID for Optimal Lighting Conditions 16 Hour Photoperiod with Active Supplemental Lighting to 700 Wm-2 Solar Radiation Special Thanks I would like to thank Clinton Shipley and Andrew D’Urso for their outstanding technical assistance that helped create these protocols. In addition, I would like to thank Dr. DoKyoung Lee for providing plant material and inspiration for this project.