Two experiments were carried out in two successive seasons, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 2021, at the research farm of the National Research Center (NRC) at Nubaryia Region, Al Buhayrah Governorate, Egypt. The study of the performance of the deep water culture as one of the most important hydroponic systems in comparison with drip irrigation systems in open fields and under greenhouses on productivity, water productivity, fertilization productivity, and some quality characteristics of lettuce.
The experiment was arranged in a complete randomized block design with three replicates for each cultivar in each farming system. The study concluded that, by using the DWC, the vegetative growth characteristics were improved, productivity and water productivity increased, and the quality of the 2312 lettuce crop been improved. It was also possible to save more than 50% of the fresh irrigation water and mineral fertilizers required for fertilizing lettuce plants compared to the traditional farming systems, which are the soil farming system with drip irrigation, whether under greenhouses or open fields.
DWC technology has huge potential for agricultural production under conditions of arid and semi-arid regions, i.e., reduced crop water consumption, possibility to grow all kinds of vegetable crops, ease of management, short crop growth cycle, and improved plant growth, yield, and quality as well as ensuring the healthy quality of fresh produce. The results of the study confirmed that the production of water lettuce (DWC) is a suitable, effective, and sustainable alternative to the production of lettuce by traditional soil-based methods in light of the limited and scarcity of water sources in Egypt.
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