The Floating Growing System and New Growing System® to grow leafy vegetables and herbs

S. Nicola, A. Ertani
New cultural techniques, such as soilless culture systems (SCS), have been developed as a valid alternative to traditional culture systems in soil to improve the yield and raw material quality at harvest and enhance the postharvest shelf life by standardizing the growing system. Among the different SCS, floating growing systems (FGS) are gaining attention for producing leafy vegetables, both head and baby leaf vegetables, and herbs. The FGS, also referred as raft systems, are characterized by the low technology setting, simple structure and maintenance. The New Growing System (NGS®) is a closed-recirculating system that has been designed for open fields, mainly for lettuce, and protected cultivations, mainly for lettuce, strawberry and tomato. Both systems are efficient in terms of water use efficiency and highly productive. They have been tested in two respective lab-scale pilot plants (LSPP-FGS and LSPP-NGS, respectively) to grow several herbs and aromatic plants (e.g., basil, spearmints and mints, parsley, perilla and shiso). In NGS, head lettuce was also tested. In FGS, baby leaf vegetables (e.g., garden cress, water cress, baby lettuce, beet, spinach, chicory, endive, green kale, green and wase mizuna, green and red mustards, rocket salad, tat-soi) were also tested. The present review will present the yield and productivity of the species studied. FGS proved to be the best growing systems to produce baby leaves and herbs, including perilla and shiso, while NGS is more adapted to grow mints.
Nicola, S. and Ertani, A. (2021). The Floating Growing System and New Growing System® to grow leafy vegetables and herbs. Acta Hortic. 1321, 251-258
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1321.33
baby leaf vegetables, aromatic plants, hydroponic

Acta Horticulturae