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Determination of substrate suitability index for prioritizing substrates for crop production under protected culture
- Sarkar, Amaresh, Majumder, Mrinmoy
- International journal of vegetable science 2019 v.25 no.3 pp. 285-294
- Capsicum annuum, Cucumis sativus, Lactuca sativa, Solanum lycopersicum, Spinacia oleracea, charcoal, clay, coir, cucumbers, fresh market, growers, head lettuce, hot peppers, pH, peat, perlite, porosity, prioritization, protected cultivation, rockwool, sawdust, spinach, tomatoes, vegetable crops, vermiculite, water holding capacity
- Substrates differ for different crops and an optimal substrate depends on pH, porosity (%), and water-holding capacity (%). A substrate suitability index (SSI) was determined to prioritize substrates for maximum growth of vegetable crops under protected culture. The SSI was determined by the weighted ratio of the substrate properties values required for optimum crop growth compared to the optimum value of those properties for particular substrates. Optimal substrates for crops were selected based on SSI values. The first and second priority substrates for tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) were clay pebbles (SSI = 0.939) and sawdust (SSI = 0.791). The first and second priority substrates for chili pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) were peat (SSI = 0.975) and vermiculite (SSI = 0.970). The first and second priority substrates for crisp head lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) were rockwool (SSI = 0.978) and vermiculite (SSI = 1.186). The first and second priority substrates for fresh market cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) were charcoal (SSI = 1.022) and coir (SSI = 0.965). The first and second priority substrates for spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) were coir (SSI = 0.998) and perlite (SSI = 0.976). Prioritization of substrates for crops could help protected crop growers in selection of the best substrate for the vegetable produced.