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- Author or Editor: Tatiana Pagan Loeiro da Cunha-Chiamolera x
An intercrop is studied here as a new way of farming in soilless systems within a protected environment. To estimate the efficiency of intercropping in this cultivation system, an experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of the electrical conductivity (EC) of the nutrient solution (2.0, 2.5, and 3.0 dS·m−1) on lettuce and tomato plants and on the agronomic and economic feasibility of the intercrop compared with monoculture. The results indicated that a moderate increase in EC from 2.0 to 3.0 dS·m−1 did not exert any important effect on tomato plant production or quality but did cause a decrease in lettuce yield in both the first and second crops. Intercropping was only feasible for lettuce when the tomato and lettuce plants were transplanted on the same day. The highest tomato (G class) and lettuce yields were achieved at an EC of 2.5 dS·m−1; this condition resulted in the highest intercrop profitability (0.53 €·m−2 more) when compared with tomato monoculture.
Saffron is one of the most appreciated, traditional, and expensive spices in the world. The objective of our study was to evaluate the effect of cooling the nutrient solution on the production, and organoleptic and commercial qualities of saffron grown in soilless culture. The nutrient solution was cooled to 4 to 5 °C whereas the control treatment was the fertigation supplied at ambient temperature. Corms were placed in a controlled cultivation chamber. The number of flowers per corms, and the weight and length of stigmas were measured. The amounts of safranal, crocin, and picrocrocin were analyzed spectrophotometrically according to the International Organization for Standardization [ISO/TS 3632-2 (2011) Normative]. Our results show that cooling of the nutritive solution increased flower production, the commercial phytochemical content, and organoleptic properties.
The use of colored shade nets is a method to protect plants from direct solar radiation and optimize the light spectra they transmit. The purpose of this work was to evaluate the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), the photosynthetically active integrated radiation (IPAR), temperature, relative humidity, growth, production, and fruit quality of Physalis ixocarpa variety Tecozautla, cultivated under nets generating 60% shade in the colors beige, blue, green, red, and black and under a treatment without netting (control group). Different variables were observed: climatic variables, such as radiation, temperature, and relative humidity; growth variables, such as plant height and stem diameter; production variables, such as number, weight, and caliber of the fruit; and quality variables of the fruit, such as pH and total soluble solids. The highest PAR, IPAR, and temperature and lowest relative humidity were obtained in the absence of netting. The white net resulted in the highest PAR and IPAR but no difference in temperature or relative humidity. In addition, an increase in the height, stem diameter, number of branches, and weight, number, and size of the fruit was observed. The white net resulted in the highest yield: 88% higher than in the control group. The pH of the fruit was significantly higher under the white netting, and no differences among the treatments in terms of the content of total soluble solids were found.