The effect of silicon and calcium additives on the growth of selected groups of microorganisms in substrate used in soilless cultivation of strawberries

Krzysztof Frączek

Department of Microbiology and Biomonitoring, Faculty of Agriculture and Economics, University of Agriculture in Krakow

Karol Bulski

Department of Microbiology and Biomonitoring, Faculty of Agriculture and Economics, University of Agriculture in Krakow

Tomasz Zaleski

Department of Soil Science and Agrophysics, Faculty of Agriculture and Economics, University of Agriculture in Krakow


The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of silicon (Si) and calcium (Ca) added to the substrate (perlite
or its mixture with peat) used in soilless strawberry cultivation on the number of different groups of microorganisms in the substrate. Research was conducted on a farm located in southern Poland in which soilless cultivation of strawberries in gutters, under covers, with an irrigation system was carried out. The microbiological analyzes were performed by serial dilution method. The analyzes included determination of the total number of bacteria, actinobacteria, fungi and aerobic atmospheric nitrogen assimilators of the Azotobacter genus. In this work, we showed that the concentration of microorganisms associated with the cultivation substrate may be influenced by the presence of silicon and calcium added to the composition of the substrate. Correlation analysis showed that the addition of Si + Ca to the substrate affects increase in the total number of bacteria in the substrate. The obtained results confirm that the cultivation substrate can be modified in such a way that it is more conducive to the multiplication and survival of bacteria associated with the substrate.


strawberry, substrate, microorganisms, silicon, calcium

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Krzysztof Frączek 
Department of Microbiology and Biomonitoring, Faculty of Agriculture and Economics, University of Agriculture in Krakow
Karol Bulski 
Department of Microbiology and Biomonitoring, Faculty of Agriculture and Economics, University of Agriculture in Krakow
Tomasz Zaleski 
Department of Soil Science and Agrophysics, Faculty of Agriculture and Economics, University of Agriculture in Krakow



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