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Transplants grown hydroponically are an alternative for soil

Carrasco, G., Marquez, O., Urrestarazu, M., Salas, M.C.
Acta horticulturae 2003 no.609 pp. 407-410
cabbage, cauliflower, greenhouses, growers, hydroponics, leaves, methyl bromide, seedbeds, soil, summer, tobacco
Plant production in soil is also using transplants grown by hydroponics. The use of direct-seeded float system has been used, firstly, to produce tobacco transplants and, experimentally, vegetables which are able to establish in soil at field or under greenhouses; growers are able to avoid the use of methyl bromide, by using sterile substrates. In this study, the production and quality of cauliflower and cabbage transplants grown in soil culture in open field and in the soilless culture under an unheated greenhouse were compared. The study was carried out at Talca, South Central Chile in summer 2001. Transplants in open field were grown in a soil seedbed. Those obtained under a greenhouse were grown using a float system. Each system was replicated four times. It was measured the leaf number, stem diameter, height, dry and fresh matter and useful transplants at transplanting stage. Also, it was measured the established transplants (%) in soil 21 days after transplanting. For cauliflower, no differences were observed in growth variables from both transplants systems. However, when plants were already in soil, it was found a higher proportion of established transplants grown in a float system than those grown in the soil seedbed (98.3 and 69.2%, respectively). In cabbage, also was found that dry matter (0.49 g transplant-1) at transplanting, leaf number (8.8 leaves transplant-1) and height (19.8 cm). After 21 days of transplanting were higher plants cultivated in soilless system initially than those grown in soil seedbed (0.23 g transplant-1, 6.4 leaves transplant-1 and 14.1 cm, respectively).