EFFECT OF PLANT DENSITY AND HARVESTING METHOD ON YIELD COMPONENTS OF HYDROPONICALLY GROWN AMARANTH

M.M. Maboko, C.P. Du Plooy
In spite of the high nutritional value and popularity of amaranth in South Africa, lack of information on the production of amaranth in soilless conditions is a major concern for hydroponic farmers. A study was thus conducted in a shade-net structure in order to evaluate the effect of plant densities and harvesting methods on amaranth when grown in a closed hydroponic system (gravel-film-hydroponic system). Plants were subjected to three plant densities, i.e., 10, 16 and 25 plants/m2, with two harvesting methods, i.e., tipping and cutting. Tipping was done by plucking off the growing point of the shoots, while cutting was done by first cutting the plants at a height of 15 cm, with sequential cutting of 5 cm above the previous cutting. Experimental layout was a randomized complete block design with three replicates. Plants harvested by cutting at a plant population of either 16 or 25 plants/m2, produced significantly higher leaf area, fresh and dry mass, compared to the other treatments. Plants harvested by cutting, had a reduced number of inflorescences, and the yield increased by 37%, compared to the standard method of tipping. Therefore, plant population of either 16 or 25 plants/m2, harvested by cutting, increased production of amaranth, as a result of a reduced number of inflorescences and increased leaf area.
Maboko, M.M. and Du Plooy, C.P. (2012). EFFECT OF PLANT DENSITY AND HARVESTING METHOD ON YIELD COMPONENTS OF HYDROPONICALLY GROWN AMARANTH . Acta Hortic. 947, 415-421
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.947.54
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.947.54
Amaranthus tricolor, inflorescence, plant population, soilless, tipping
English

Acta Horticulturae