Physical characteristics of soilless media

Rony Wallach*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Similar to soils, soilless media are composed of three phases: solid, aqueous, and gaseous. The substantial differences between the former and the latter are related to the solid phase composition and associated texture and structure. While the solid phase of soils is mostly minerals, it is a mixture of minerals and organic matter for soilless culture, resulting in substantial differences in their physical and hydraulic properties. The physical and hydraulic properties of soil have been intensively studied, both experimentally and theoretically, the application and implementation of these knowledge and methods to soilless substrates is limited. This chapter aims to close the gaps in physics and hydraulic characterization and application between mineral soils and soilless media by applying terminology, methods, and approaches that are commonly used for the former to the latter. The current version of this Chapter extents the topic of particle wettability and its effect on the physical properties of soilless media. Although research on sales-media wettability and its effect on water retention and flow in the media has only recently initiated, its relevance is essential owing to the high organic matter content of these media and the relationship between the two.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationSoilless Culture
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Practice Theory and Practice
Number of pages80
ISBN (Electronic)9780444636966
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Contact angle
  • Convective-dispersive equation
  • Hydraulic characterisitcs
  • Hysteresis
  • Non-wettable media
  • Richards equation
  • Root water upatke
  • Water availability


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