ASIAN LEAFY VEGETABLES AND HERBS CULTIVATED IN SUBSTRATE CULTURE AND AEROPONICS IN GREENHOUSE
Intensive cultivation systems are rarely investigated regarding their effects on Asian leafy vegetables and herbs having culinary, nutritional and medicinal importance. There are different possibilities to cultivate leafy vegetables and herbs in greenhouses using hydroponics as substrate-culture and aeroponics, and there are clear results regarding its influence on the quality of the plants. Therefore, clones of water spinach (Ipomoea aquatic) and Asian herbs of the family Lamiaceae were cultivated in hydroponics: Thai Basil (Ocimum basilicum), Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum), Perilla or Beefsteak Plant (Perilla frutescens) and Vietnamese Balm (Elsholtzia ciliate). The aim of these experiments was to evaluate the cultivation systems for these special vegetable and herbs regarding harvestable biomass production and nutritional value. Leaf area and number of shoots as well as the biomass production were investigated over three to four harvest periods. The nitrate, vitamin C, carotene and essential oil content were determined to evaluate the nutritional value. Water spinach and the herbs could be harvested after two to four weeks. In total between 3 and 4 harvests were possible in substrate-culture and aeroponics as well but with higher yield in substrate-culture. In aeroponics, the biomass production was dependent on the plant densities investigated. Visually, the quality of all plants was better in case of 20 x 20 cm plant density in cultivation than at 10 x 10 cm plant density. The highest yield was obtained for the highest density with 100 plants per m². It was proved that also the length of the stems and the leaf area were influenced by plants density. The vitamin C content was highest in all herbs cultivated in aeroponics whereas the essential content oil was highest in Holy Basil and Perilla cultivated in substrate. Also the carotene content in water spinach was the highest in substrate-culture.
Böhme, M. and Pinker, I. (2014). ASIAN LEAFY VEGETABLES AND HERBS CULTIVATED IN SUBSTRATE CULTURE AND AEROPONICS IN GREENHOUSE. Acta Hortic. 1034, 155-162
cultivation systems, medicinal and aromatic herbs, quality assessment, nutritive value