Current knowledge and recent technological developments in nutrition and irrigation of greenhouse crops
The greenhouse production of vegetables and cut flowers is increasingly based on modern technologies to minimize resource use efficiency, while maximizing yield, produce quality, and environmental sustainability. This trend applies also in regions with mild winter climate such as the Mediterranean basin, although the majority of greenhouses in these areas are simple constructions aiming to minimize the investment and operational cost and profit from the low requirements for heating. Plant nutrition and irrigation are two crucial factors for yield, produce quality, and environmental sustainability in protected cultivation, and this applies in both high-tech and simple greenhouse constructions. In recent years, many new developments related to plant nutrition and irrigation of greenhouse crops have appeared. In the current paper, a short overview of some new technologies and developments is provided, focusing mainly on novel products and application methods, alternative greenhouse cropping systems, issues related to nutrient and water use efficiency in greenhouses, and environmental sustainability in protected cultivation. One of the issues addressed in this keynote lecture is the use of biostimulants in greenhouse crops and their impact on plant nutrition, fertilization and irrigation. Furthermore, some special aspects of plant nutrition and irrigation in organic and soilless greenhouse production systems are reported. In this respect, some information about organic soilless culture systems is provided. Grafting of fruit vegetables and its impact on nutrient and water use efficiency is also a topic of this paper. The need to develop more resilient plants to multiple (i.e., nutrient and water) stress in view of the upcoming climate change by breeding new cultivars and hybrids and developing new crop management strategies is also highlighted. In this respect, the serious constraints imposed to protected cultivation by the shortage of good quality irrigation water and the concomitant problem of irrigation water salinity are discussed. Finally, new technologies to automatically control nutrient and water supply in greenhouse crops such as modern decision support systems (DSS) are also presented.
Savvas, D. (2020). Current knowledge and recent technological developments in nutrition and irrigation of greenhouse crops. Acta Hortic. 1268, 1-12
agricultural water, fertigation, greenhouse vegetables, nutrient solution, nutrient supply, organic greenhouse