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Yield response of hydroponically grown mustard spinach and non-heading Chinese cabbage to frequency of leaf harvest and flower removal

Maboko, Martin Makgose, Du Plooy, Christian Phillipus
International journal of vegetable science 2019 v.25 no.2 pp. 185-195
Brassica juncea, Brassica rapa, Chinese cabbage, bolting, deblossoming, flowers, hydroponics, leaf area, leaf mass, leaves, sowing, spinach
Bolting of mustard spinach [Brassica juncea L. (Czern)] and non-heading Chinese cabbage [B. rapa L. subsp. chinensis (Halnelt)] is a constraint to realizing optimal yield. The objective of this study was to determine effects of leaf harvest and frequency of flower removal on yield of hydroponically grown mustard spinach and non-heading Chinese cabbage. Plants were established 28 days after seeding in a gravel-film technique hydroponic system. The experiment was conducted from June to September in 2013 and 2014 on mustard spinach and non-heading Chinese cabbage. Leaf harvest frequencies were at 7 or 14 days, and flower removal frequencies were no flower removal, or removal of flowers at 7 or 14 days. Mustard spinach had higher fresh leaf mass, leaf area and dry leaf mass compared to non-heading Chinese cabbage at the leaf harvest frequency of 14 days. Non-heading Chinese cabbage had a higher number of plants predisposed to bolting with higher fresh and dry shoot mass compared to mustard spinach. Flower removal did not affect yield of either plant. It is recommended that mustard spinach be used over non-heading Chinese cabbage with a leaf harvest frequency of 14 days, and without flower removal for improved leaf yield.