Growth chamber tests demonstrated that alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) residue is toxic to cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) seed germination and seedling growth. Ground alfalfa roots at 0.5% (w/w, dry weight) inhibited germination when added to the growing medium. Alfalfa roots at 0.5% were also toxic to pregerminated cucumber seed. However, cucumber seedlings grew normally if this same medium was watered and incubated for >1 day before planting. Alfalfa particle size in media influenced cucumber performance, with the intermediate size (1 to 2 mm) being lethal to cucumbers.
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