Wasabi Crop Research is located in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.
Wasabi Crop Research research aims to cultivate wasabi by using hydroponics and aeroponic systems to produce high-grade wasabi rhizomes for the commercial market.
Our research model is based on the principles of continuous flow chemistry to enable maximum oxygen at the plant roots.
The objective of commercial hydroponic systems is to transport the nutrient solution via a steady stream to the roots of the plants.
Various diameters of plastic pipe are used in hydroponic systems to create a different configuration for a particular plant set-up. For example, lettuce is usually grown using a 2-inch diameter pipe in comparison to growing tomatoes in a 4- to 6-inch diameter pipe. In some hydroponic systems, a gradient is necessary to allow the easy flow of nutrients to pass over the plant roots.
Simple hydroponic systems can be made using a length of pipe and drilling holes to a diameter of 1-1.5 inches followed by the insertion of the plants. The growing medium can exist in several forms such as rockwool, coconut fibre, expanded clay, perlite and vermiculite. Also pottery, pumice and synthetic foam can be utilised. In come cases, you have to use wire or string and this would be the case for growing hydroponic tomato plants.
The nutrient solution is stored in a large reservoir and is pumped under gravity to the network of pipes with the aim of continuously flowing the nutrient solution over the roots. The nutrient solution is then recirculated back to the tank and is kept aerated.
On completion of the growing of the crops the pipe can be cleaned using 0.5 to 1.0 percent of sodium hypochlorite solution to reduce the contamination.
The application of nutrient film technique (NFT) uses a flexible plastic tube supported by a plastic tray. Holes are made in the tube(s) at various intervals. The plants are usually started in root cubes such as rookwool and then placed in the tube to allow the roots to be in contact with the flow of nutrient solution.