Article | 06. 2016 Vol. 34, Issue. 3
Use of Pellet or Cube-type Phenolic Foam as an Artificial Medium for Production of Tomato Plug Seedlings

Department of Horticulture, Division of Applied Life Science, Graduate School of Gyeongsang National University1
Institute of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Gyeongsang National University2
KOC Biotech Co. Ltd.,3

2016.06. 414:423


Growers in plug seedling production think that root media in which rockwool is a component has given rise to several environmental problems. Therefore, the demand for new materials as a substitute for rockwool has been increased. This study examined the possibility of cultivation of tomato plug seedlings using a newly developed growing medium with phenolic foam. Plug seeds of tomato cultivar ‘Madison’ were sown in four pellet-type growing media: Grodan rockwool (GRW), UR rockwool (URW), phenolic foam LC (LC) or phenolic foam LC-lite (LC-lite). Then, the seedlings were transplanted to the four cube-type growing media 19 days after sowing. Seeds were germinated in a growth chamber (25 ± 2°C, 80% relative humidity, and dark) for 4 days and then the seedlings were grown with a nutrient solution supplied by an overhead irrigation system in a greenhouse. Plant height, number of leaves, leaf area, and fresh or dry weight of tomato seedlings were the greatest for the seedlings transplanted to URW cube media after being grown on LC-lite pellets. Root grade was the greatest for the seedlings transplanted on LC or LC-lite cube media after being grown on LC pellets. Chemical properties of all media tested for tomato growth were maintained within a stable range, while physical properties of URW showed high values in container capacity, air space, and total porosity. These results demonstrated that the phenolic foam media were effective for seedling growth and can substitute for rockwool as a root medium.

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