• Ecophyto
  • Logo-Cirad
  • RITA
  • Logo-CA

Soilless culture


  • Definition and role in the reduction of phytosanitary products : soilless cultivation is opposed to full-ground cultivation. The above-ground system is of interest in the event of soil contamination by pests that are difficult to control (bacteriosis and other telluric pests). The plants develop either on an inert substrate which serves as their root support, or without any support (strict hydroponics). The water and mineral supply of the plants is completely controlled and is provided in the form of nutrient solutions. Soilless crops are generally protected in greenhouses.
  • Against which pests? Soil pests (nematodes, etc.), fungal and bacterial soil diseases (bacterial wilt of Solanaceae, etc.) and to a lesser extent against weeds.
  • On which crops? Mainly vegetable crops (tomato, lettuce, cucumber, pepper, eggplant, melon, etc.).
  • When ? All year.
  • In what conditions ? When cultivation in open ground has become difficult due to the presence of soil-borne pests.
  • Regulations : cultures in soilless systems are not authorized in organic farming in the European Union. In conventional agriculture, the regulations in force prohibit the addition of phytosanitary products through the fertigation network. Greenhouses from 20 m² to 2000 m² must be subject to a prior declaration of work. Beyond 2000 m², the application for a building permit is mandatory.
  • Working time : it depends on the crop, the surface, the existence or not of different physiological stages for the crop, the type of installation chosen: around 8000 hours/ha/year for tomatoes.
  • Compatibility of alternative techniques with each other :  



Last change : 07/07/22
Figure 1
Figure 2