Container size and growing media affects water use efficiency in a Gerbera jamesonii cut flower crop

Libertad Mascarini, Gabriel Lorenzo, Hector Svartz, Sabrina Pesenti, Silvia Amado

Abstract


Two containers (4 and 8 L plastic pots) and three growing media mixture types (0/100, 25/75 and 50/50 % of peat/perlite) were used, with the aim of determining the optimum combination for gerbera cut flower crop, considering both commercial productivity (yield and quality of cut flowers) and environmental impact, (water and fertilizer use efficiency). The best combination in the first year of production was 8 L and 0/100, followed of 4 and 8 L with the 25/75, with a yield of 53.4, 30.5 and 29.7 flowers m-2 respectively. The yield of the rest of the treatments were similar, around 20 flowers m-2. Commercial cut flower quality was aceptable in all treatments. Considering the efficiency measured as the ratio water used per flower harvested, 8L 0/100 was clearly superior with a value of 1.23 L/flower, the rest of the treatments were between 2.17 y 4.14 L/flower, keeping relation as much with container size like with growing media mixture. The importance of these results is the simultaneous consideration of many factors which affect both comercial profitability and development of sustainable technology for intensive crops.


Keywords


sustainable agriculture, soilless culture, perlite, peat.



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14295/rbho.v18i1.695

ISSN: 2447-536X

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