EVALUATION OF ORGANIC-BASED FERTILIZERS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF ORNAMENTAL BEDDING PLANTS
There is an increased interest of bedding plant growers and consumers for environmentally friendly agricultural practices. Recently, products called organic-based fertilizers have appeared on the market. These products, in addition to the organic matter, contain a source of soluble nitrogen making them interesting to use in a fertilization program. The objective of this study was to evaluate if organic based fertilizers could be used throughout a cycle of production of bedding plants with different fertilization needs, and to verify if the quality of the plants produced was comparable to those fertilized with traditional fertilizers. Surfinias (high needs) and Begonias (low needs) were fertilized with three organic based fertilizers (Daniels®, BiofertTM and Solo-Tek GrowTM) and compared to a control (conventional fertilization program). Surfinia as well as Begonia plants fertilized with the three organic based fertilizers showed the same quality than those grown under conventional fertilization. Differences between treatments were detected for substrate pH and electrical conductivity. Leaf tissue analyses revealed nutrient deficiencies for some treatments with however no visible deficiency symptoms. Because of their low cost, lower impact on the environment and ease of use with conventional greenhouse equipment, organic based fertilizers have a good potential for inclusion in a bedding plant production fertilization program.
Rochefort, S., O'Donoughue, L., Authier, N. and Delorme, M. (2013). EVALUATION OF ORGANIC-BASED FERTILIZERS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF ORNAMENTAL BEDDING PLANTS. Acta Hortic. 982, 53-60
Begonia, Surfinia, greenhouse production, environment, substrate conditions, pH, salinity