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Evaluation of a split-root nutrition system to optimize nutrition of basil

Ganisher D Abbasov, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract

The plant-nutrient-water optimum interaction always has been a problematic program for plant growth and development. This work investigates this interaction using a split root nutrition system to determine possible changes in traditional hydroponics to enhance plant growth and development. While split root nutrition systems have been used experimentally to answer some specific questions, the technique has never been used in a production system for optimizing plant, nutrient, and water interaction. The introduction of hydroponics almost a hundred fifty years ago has not changed this situation fundamentally. Moreover, the norm of fertilizer application on agricultural crops has the advantage of increased productivity and reduced expenses. Results of the current research using split-root nutrition system suggest no differences between weekly application of nutrients and applying all nutrients necessary for all vegetation one time. Moreover productivity was increased significantly where the split-root, nutrition system was used to provide the experimental solution. Problems with traditional growing systems, such as optimizing pH of media, increasing productivity, improving quality of product by increasing phytochemicals were addressed using experimental nutrient solutions specifically for basil (Ocimum Basilicum L). The pH of the root zone was kept at the optimum level of 6.8 during the entire vegetation period. Split root nutrition system using experimental solution significantly increased productivity due to increasing water potential in one half of the root zone, an increased quality of basil, and an increased amount of enzyme activators which would not be possible using the traditional growing system due to toxicity.^

Subject Area

Agronomy|Biochemistry|Chemical engineering

Recommended Citation

Abbasov, Ganisher D, "Evaluation of a split-root nutrition system to optimize nutrition of basil" (2013). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3603044.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI3603044

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