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๐Ÿ“„ Parameters of Drainage Waters Collected during Soilless Tomato Cultivation in Mineral and Organic Substrates

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-21 Mon 05:00
2020-Dec-21 Mon 05:00

The aim was to determine the suitability of various substrates for application in a closed system of soilless tomato cultivation, based on the potential fitness of drainage waters from these substrates for recirculation. Four substrates were used: rockwool, coir substrate, lignite substrate (Carbomat) and biodegradable organic substrate (Biopot). Tomato plants grown in these substrates were fertilized with the same amount of nutrient solution, containing the same concentration of nutrients. The characteristics of drainage water from these substrates were analyzed during cultivation. The highest amount of drainage water was collected from the lignite substrate Carbomat. However, these leachates showed good properties for further recirculation: low electro conductivity and turbidity, high nutrient content, moderate microbial load with high population of Trichoderma fungi, and being beneficial for plant growth. Moreover, Carbomat produced the highest tomato yield compared to other substrates. This indicates that this organic substrate is an efficient alternative to rockwool and its drainage water may be reused in a recirculation system. On the contrary, the drainage water from the Biopot substrate showed the worst qualities: high pH and low EC, low concentration of nitrate nitrogen and phosphorus, very high turbidity and a high number of microorganisms. These parameters do not qualify Biopot drainage waters for reuse.