Minimizing Irrigation and Fertilization in Greenhouse-grown Flowering Vinca

in HortScience
Authors:
Karen L. Panter1Colorado State Univ. Cooperative Extension, 9755 Henderson Road, Brighton, CO 80601

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Amy M. Briggs2Dept. of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523-1173

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Michael J. Roll2Dept. of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523-1173

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Steven E. Newman2Dept. of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523-1173

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The objective of this study was to determine which combination of three types of irrigation systems, three fertilization method, and four growing media produced optimum growth of flowering vinca, Catharanthus roseus. Irrigation systems used included ebb-and-fl ood, drip, and pulse; fertilization methods included slow release, prepackaged, and custom mixed; and the four growing media were peatmoss:perlite:vermiculite (1:1:1, by volume), peatmoss:rockwool (1:1, by volume), and 0.6-cm diameter shredded rubber or fabric from waste tires: vermiculite:peatmoss (1:1:2, by volume). Four replications of five plants each were used in each of the 36 treatment combinations. Plants were potted 29 and 30 May 1996 in 10-cm containers, grown for 10 weeks, and harvested 6 Aug. 1996. The drip-irrigated benches were irrigated once per day for 15 s. Pulse-irrigated benches were watered twice per day for 6 s. This resulted in the drip- and pulse-irrigated plants receiving a similar volume of water daily. Ebb-and-fl ood benches were filled once per day with drainage occurring 15 min after filling. Ending plant heights and dry weights indicated that those plants in the prepackaged fertilizer/drip or ebb-and-fl ood irrigation/shredded tire fiber growing medium were comparable to plants grown in the peatmoss:rockwool medium with the same fertilizer and irrigation methods.

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