Use of Cold Water for Irrigation Reduces Stem Elongation of Plug-grown Tomato and Cabbage Seedlings

in HortScience
Authors:
Junne-Jih ChenTechnique Department, Taiwan Seed Improvement and Propagation Station, Hsinshe, Taichung, Taiwan 426, Republic of China

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Yung-Wei SunTechnique Department, Taiwan Seed Improvement and Propagation Station, Hsinshe, Taichung, Taiwan 426, Republic of China

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Tzay-Fa SheenTechnique Department, Taiwan Seed Improvement and Propagation Station, Hsinshe, Taichung, Taiwan 426, Republic of China

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Seedlings of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) and cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. Capitata) were planted in 240-cell plug trays in the greenhouse and subjected to irrigation with water at different temperatures once a day. Irrigation with cold (5 to 15 °C) water reduced stem length of tomato by 28% to 32% in comparison with irrigation with water at room temperature (27.5 to 30.5 °C). Use of water at 10 °C did not affect total shoot dry weight but increased the shoot dry weight per centimeter of stem. Irrigation with water at 5 °C reduced stem length of cabbage seedlings 40%, but use of water at 10 and 15 °C did not. Both shoot and root dry weights were increased by irrigation with water at 10 °C. These results demonstrate that irrigation with cold water provides an effective method for improving the quality of plug-grown seedlings.

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