INFLUENCE OF FERTILIZER SOLUBILITY IN A CLOSED PRODUCTION SYSTEM
Adoption of soilless culture as an alternative method to soil based cultivation for production of major vegetables in protected agriculture environments, where good quality water is scarce, is a necessity for conservation of water and protecting soil in Kuwait. The Closed Insulated Pallet System (CIPS) is a soilless technique with enclosed-root zone that is based on a continuous sub-irrigation capillary system is a candidate for adaptation in the country. However, prior to commercialization of the technique, one of the challenges for employing CIPS for producing vegetable crops is recognizing suitable fertilizer sources with proper solubility properties. Thus, the main objective of this study was to identify fertilizers with appropriate solubility that sustain cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. Arabella) grown in CIPS. A factorial experiment with two standard fertilizers (Nitrophoska and commercial 15-15-15) and two slow-release fertilizers (Osmocote Exact 5-6 months and 10-12 months release) was conducted. Results showed that cucumber plants performed significantly better in terms of vegetative growth and reproductive growth when fertilized with the standard fertilizer Nitrophoska. The effect of Nitrophoska has significantly increased the yield of cucumber Arabella between 12 and 51% over other treatments and the soil-based control. Results for water use efficiency for cucumber varied among treatments of CIPS but all were much higher than the soil-based control.
Albaho, M., Thomas, B., Ali, S. and George, P. (2015). INFLUENCE OF FERTILIZER SOLUBILITY IN A CLOSED PRODUCTION SYSTEM. Acta Hortic. 1062, 15-20
soilless system, Cucumis sativus, CIPS, protected agriculture, capillary irrigation