EFFECTS OF PEAT AND PEAT-ZEOLITE SUBSTRATES ON QUALITY, GROWTH INDICES OF CUCUMBER SEEDLINGS AND CROP PRODUCTIVITY
The objective of this study was to evaluate peat and zeolite mixtures substrates performance on cucumber seedling quality and crop yield. The research was carried out in a greenhouse covered with double polymeric film at the Institute of Horticulture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry. Cucumber seedlings were grown in different substrates: peat, peat + zeolite 1 : 1, peat + zeolite 2 : 1, peat + zeolite 3 : 1 and peat + zeolite 4 : 1. Cucumber seedlings grown in peat and zeolite substrates are shorter; the leaf area is smaller than that of the seedlings grown in peat alone. The dry mass of the aboveground part of these seedlings is lower (difference insignificant), however, the root mass is higher than those grown in peat alone. The addition of zeolite to peat substrate does not have any positive effect on the photosynthesis pigment content in cucumber seedling leaves. The physiological growth indices of the seedlings grown in peat-zeolite substrates were lower compared to those grown in peat. When zeolite is added to peat substrate, net assimilation rate is higher compared to those grown in peat. Higher yields (significant difference) were demonstrated by cucumbers, the seedlings of which had been grown in peat-zeolite substrates.
Cucumis sativus L.; mixtures of growing media; seedling; yield
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