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  • Author or Editor: Lily Kile x
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The production of Beit Alpha cucumber (Cucumis sativus) in hydroponic systems has increased in popularity since the early 2000s, along with the use of high-wire trellising systems. Some farmers claim the high-wire trellising systems, also known as drop-and-lean trellising, result in a more consistent weekly yield than umbrella or modified-umbrella systems. This study compared the high-wire and modified-umbrella trellising systems both using a 7 ft top wire and 4 plants/m2 plant density. The fruit weight and number of fruit per plant were significantly greater using the modified-umbrella trellising system, with the number of fruit being about twice as high as the high-wire trellising system. Consistency of yields was also measured for both systems and found to peak at ∼5 to 7 weeks after the start of harvest using both trellising systems. However, peak yields using the modified-umbrella trellising system followed a quadratic curve, implying that the high-wire trellising system results in more consistent yields. Differences in yield and harvest consistency were likely related to light penetration of the plant canopy. Growers using low-profile greenhouses can expect lower yields and more consistent harvests using the high-wire trellising system. Yields may be improved using a higher plant density. Alternatively, succession planting on a 5- to 7-week interval can improve harvest consistency using a modified-umbrella trellising system.

Open Access