CAN SUPER ABSORBENT AFFECT ON EFFICIENCY OF HYDROPONIC SYSTEMS?
Hydroponic culture has developed rapidly in recent years. Different materials are used as cultural substrate and one of the most common one is perlite. Despite the beneficial properties of perlite, it has low water holding capacity (WHC). As a result, the considerable volume of solution can be wasted daily and decrease the efficiency of hydroponic system. In order to improve WHC of perlite this experiment was performed in an experimental glasshouse. We explored the effect of a locally produced hydrogel as a medium amendment on yield, water/fertilizer use efficiency and fruit quality of grafted and non-grafted greenhouse cucumber plants. The results showed that hydrogel enhanced yield and water/fertilizer use efficiency but did not affect fruit quality. Grafted plants onto Cucurbita pepo rootstock had higher yield and water/fertilizer use efficiency just in non-amendment substrate and could not get better records in hydrogel amended media. The possibility of using hydrogel in soilless culture and differences between grafted and non-grafted cucumber plants will be further discussed.
Delshad, M., Ahrar , M. and Babalar, M. (2012). CAN SUPER ABSORBENT AFFECT ON EFFICIENCY OF HYDROPONIC SYSTEMS?. Acta Hortic. 952, 667-671
soilless culture, rootstock, grafting, cucumber, growing media