EFFECT OF PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF COIR ON THE PRODUCTIVITY OF GREENHOUSE TOMATOES
Coir is a relatively new growing media, and little information is known of the relationship between particle size and particle size distribution on crop productivity. Particle size significantly affects the physical properties of coir, particularly the air-water relationships. An experiment was designed to compare the yield, water use efficiency and RGR (relative growth rate) of a tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) crop grown in coir using a range of particle sizes. Seven treatments based on combinations of small (S), medium (M) and large (L) sized particles, together with a commercial ungraded coir dust. Two irrigation (low and high) frequencies were used. The seven treatments are based on particle size with differences in WHC (water holding capacity). A bioassay will be used to compare tomato yield and RGR. The physical properties, governed by particle size, have an effect on tomato yield. As treatments increase in WHC so does yield. An upward linear relationship exists between WHC and yield gained per plant. A relationship was also found between the bioassay and tomato yield trial. Similar to the tomato yield trial, as WHC increased so did the RGR. The relationship between WHC and RGR may have commercial implications for both soilless media manufacturers and growers which require specific physical properties in terms of water and air availability for particular crop types.
Duggan-Jones, D.I., Nichols, M.A. and Woolley, D.J. (2013). EFFECT OF PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF COIR ON THE PRODUCTIVITY OF GREENHOUSE TOMATOES. Acta Hortic. 1004, 101-106
air filled porosity, water holding capacity, easily available water, bioassay, yield, particle size