Allelopathic Effects of Alfalfa Plant Residues on Emergence and Growth of Cucumber Seedlings

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

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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