DEVELOPMENT OF ALTERNATIVE CROP SYSTEMS FOR COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION OF VEGETABLES IN HYDROPONICS - II: CUCUMBER, PEPPER AND COMMERCIAL ORCHARD
In this paper, the main experimental and commercial results of a line of research carried out over several years at Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Chapingo, Estado de Mexico, are presented. One objective is the development of alternative soilless cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) and bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) production system to realize short growing cycles. Delayed transplant using containers of 0.7 L filled with volcanic sand (tezontle), combined with early plant decapitation and high population densities have been evaluated. The decapitated plants yield less than those growing in conventional systems, but the yield per surface unit is compensated with the higher density. With cucumber plants, decapitated 1.0 m high and conduced at 10 plants/m2, 25 kg/m2 of fruits has been obtained in two months from transplant to final harvest, using plantlets of 35 days age, this is potentially 1000 t/ha/year. With bell pepper plants, decapitated above fourth bifurcation and density of 6 plants/m2, an average of 7 kg/m2 in crop cycles of 120 days from transplant to final harvest using plantlets of 60 days age, has been obtained. This management allows for three crop cycles annually with a potential yield of 210 t/ha/year. Another objective is to develop a commercial soilless greenhouse vegetable production system based on several species growing at the same time and place. It is possible to grow different leafy and bulb vegetable species using a nutrient solution up to 75% of regular concentration in the same greenhouse. Also it is possible to grow any fruit vegetable species with a regular nutrient solution (100% concentration).
Moreno-Pérez, E.C., Sánchez-del-Castillo , F. and Contreras-Magaña, E. (2012). DEVELOPMENT OF ALTERNATIVE CROP SYSTEMS FOR COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION OF VEGETABLES IN HYDROPONICS - II: CUCUMBER, PEPPER AND COMMERCIAL ORCHARD. Acta Hortic. 947, 189-195
production systems, greenhouse, vegetable orchard, plant density, crop cycles