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Open AccessArticle

Comparative Study of Three Low-Tech Soilless Systems for the Cultivation of Geranium (Pelargonium zonale): A Commercial Quality Assessment

1
Edmund Mach Foundation, Technology Transfer Centre, via E. Mach 1, 38098 San Michele (TN), Italy
2
Research Centre in Urban Environment for Agriculture and Biodiversity (ResCUE-AB), Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences (DISTAL), Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Viale Fanin, 44, 40127 Bologna, Italy
3
Zamboni Stefano Farm, via Trento 13, 38049 Vigolo Vattaro, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(9), 1430; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091430
Received: 25 August 2020 / Revised: 16 September 2020 / Accepted: 18 September 2020 / Published: 20 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soilless Culture, Growing Media and Horticultural Plants)
The study evaluated the feasibility of simplified hydroponics for the growth of rooted cuttings of geranium (Pelargonium zonale) for commercial purposes in local farms in Northern Italy. Tested systems included a control where soilless system on substrate (peat) (T-1), usually adopted by local farmers, was compared against an open-cycle drip system on substrate (peat) (T-2), and a Nutrient Film Technique system (T-3). For commercial features, assessed parameters included flowering degree (flowering timing, numbers of inflorescences plant−1, and number of flowers inflorescence−1), numbers of leaves plant−1, number of branches plant−1, final height of plant, and the aesthetic-commercial assessment index. Assessed parameters also included fresh and dry weight, SPAD Index, the water consumption, and the water use efficiency (WUE). The soilless systems typology significantly affected rooted cuttings growth, commercial features, and WUE. The adoption of an open-cycle drip system (T-2) resulted in a significant improvement of all the crop commercial characteristics as compared with other treatments, making plants more attractive for the market. The water consumption was higher in T-2 as compared with T-1 and T-3, but it allowed for the highest fresh weight, and therefore also the highest WUE. The results indicate that the typology of soilless system significantly enhances the commercial characteristics of geranium. View Full-Text
Keywords: Pelargonium zonale; low-tech soilless cultivation system; commercial quality Pelargonium zonale; low-tech soilless cultivation system; commercial quality
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MDPI and ACS Style

Brentari, L.; Michelon, N.; Gianquinto, G.; Orsini, F.; Zamboni, F.; Porro, D. Comparative Study of Three Low-Tech Soilless Systems for the Cultivation of Geranium (Pelargonium zonale): A Commercial Quality Assessment. Agronomy 2020, 10, 1430. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091430

AMA Style

Brentari L, Michelon N, Gianquinto G, Orsini F, Zamboni F, Porro D. Comparative Study of Three Low-Tech Soilless Systems for the Cultivation of Geranium (Pelargonium zonale): A Commercial Quality Assessment. Agronomy. 2020; 10(9):1430. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091430

Chicago/Turabian Style

Brentari, Luca; Michelon, Nicola; Gianquinto, Giorgio; Orsini, Francesco; Zamboni, Federico; Porro, Duilio. 2020. "Comparative Study of Three Low-Tech Soilless Systems for the Cultivation of Geranium (Pelargonium zonale): A Commercial Quality Assessment" Agronomy 10, no. 9: 1430. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091430

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