EFFECT OF PLANT DENSITY AND HARVESTING FREQUENCY ON YIELD COMPONENTS OF HYDROPONICALLY GROWN MUSTARD SPINACH (BRASSICA JUNCEA)
Ideal plant population can lead to optimum yields, whereas too high or too low plant densities can result in relatively lower yields and quality. The objective of this study was to determine the combined effect of plant densities and leaf harvesting frequencies on yield of hydroponically grown mustard spinach. Mustard spinach plantlets were transplanted 21 days after seeding, utilizing a gravel-film technique hydroponic system. Eight treatment combinations were used, namely four plant densities (10, 16, 20 and 25 plants/m2) combined with two leaf harvesting frequencies (after every 7 and 14 days). Leaf area, fresh and dry mass, and number of leaves were measured from four weeks after transplanting. Total number of inflorescences and bolted plants were also recorded. The results show that plant densities and harvesting frequencies, both, affected leaf area, leaf fresh mass and leaf dry mass per m2 planted. Harvesting frequency of 14 days significantly improved leaf area, leaf fresh and dry mass as well as number of inflorescences and bolted plants compared to 7 day frequencies. Conversely, leaf number was higher at a harvesting frequency of 7 days. Leaf fresh mass, area, dry mass and number of leaves at a plant density of 25 plants/m2 improved significantly compared to a plant density of 20, 16 and 10 plants/m2. An increase in plant population resulted in an increase in the number of inflorescences and bolted plants. Plant density of 25 plants/m2 combined with a harvesting frequency of 14 days improved yield of mustard spinach significantly.
Maboko, M.M. (2013). EFFECT OF PLANT DENSITY AND HARVESTING FREQUENCY ON YIELD COMPONENTS OF HYDROPONICALLY GROWN MUSTARD SPINACH (BRASSICA JUNCEA) . Acta Hortic. 1007, 515-521
bolting, closed hydroponic system, gravel-film technique, inflorescence, leaf fresh mass, leaf number, plant density