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  • Author or Editor: M.A. Woodard x
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A recycling nutriculture system was redesigned to improve growth and flowering of Tagetes erecta L., cv., Inca Yellow in four media; loose rockwool (RW), coal bottom ash (CBA), pinewood peelings (PWP) and CBA:PWP (1:1, v/v). Three nutricycle frequencies of 12, 6 and 4 per 12 hour light period were set with a nutricycle duration of 5 minutes. Volume, height and fresh and dry weights of marigolds in CBA, PWP and CBA: PWP were comparable to that of marigolds in RW. Flower diameters of plants in CBA, PWP and CBA:PWP were increased and days to harvest decreased compared to plants in RW. Plants in CBA: PWP increased in fresh weight compared to CBA or PWP plants. No interaction occurred between media and nutricycle frequency at 12 or 4 cycles per 12 hours; however a malfunctioning timer caused prolonged flooding of plant root zones at the 6 cycle setting. This resulted in decreased plant volume and fresh and dry weights at this frequency. These results show that growth and flowering of marigolds in CBA and PWP comparable with that in RW can be achieved with more than 1 nutricycle frequency.

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`Inca Yellow' marigolds (Tagetes erects L.) were planted in polyethylene bags containing coal bottom ash (CBA), pine wood peelings (PWP), a mixture of 1 CBA: 1 PWP (v/v), and loose Grodan rockwool (RW) and grown in a circulating nutriculture system. Three fertigation frequencies of 12, 6, or 4 cycles per 12-hour light period were set with a duration of 5 minutes each. Flower diameters of marigolds grown in CBA, PWP, and CBA-PWP exceeded flower diameters of RW-grown marigolds, and days from planting to harvest were less in CBA and CBA-PWP than in the other two media. There was no interaction between medium and fertigation frequency. Foliar analysis showed no significant differences in plant elemental composition among root media or fertigation frequencies. Postharvest PWP water extracts contained higher P levels than extracts of other media, and CBA-PWP water extracts contained higher K, Ca, and Mg. In the CBA-PWP mixture, decomposition products from PWP may have increased P volubility and solubilized the K, Ca,-and Mg-in CBA.

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