DEVELOPMENT OF PERLITE CULTURE SYSTEMS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF GREENHOUSE TOMATOES

R.A.K. Szmidt, D.A. Hall, G.M. Hitchon
The perlite culture system developed at the West of Scotland Agricultural College is described.

This system, utilising 30 litre bags of perlite with a shallow reservoir of nutrient solution, is now the most widely adopted hydroponics system for glasshouse crop production in Scotland. In comparative trials over a number of seasons tomato crops grown in the perlite system have consistently outyielded those grown in rockwool or using Nutrient Film Technique (NFT).

Re-use of perlite is commercially attractive as it is inert, physically stable and easy to handle. Therefore, previously used perlite was subjected to a range of "pasteurisation" treatments: steam, dry heat, fungicide and radio frequency (Rf) emission. Fungi were eliminated by such methods and bacterial populations markedly reduced. The physical structure of perlite was not significantly affected by these treatments. Tomato crops were successfully grown in perlite previously treated in these ways.

Szmidt, R.A.K., Hall, D.A. and Hitchon, G.M. (1988). DEVELOPMENT OF PERLITE CULTURE SYSTEMS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF GREENHOUSE TOMATOES. Acta Hortic. 221, 371-378
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1988.221.41
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1988.221.41

Acta Horticulturae