Previous Article in Journal
Risk of Human Pathogen Internalization in Leafy Vegetables During Lab-Scale Hydroponic Cultivation
Article Menu
Issue 1 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Horticulturae 2019, 5(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae5010026

Vermiliquer (Vermicompost Leachate) as a Complete Liquid Fertilizer for Hydroponically-Grown Pak Choi (Brassica chinensis L.) in the Tropics

School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, QLD 4702, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current Address: Water Management and Use, Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Queensland Government, 209 Bolsover Street, Rockhampton, QLD 4700, Australia.
Current Address: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Earley Gate, Whiteknights Road, Reading RG6 6AR, UK.
Received: 5 November 2018 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
Full-Text   |   PDF [2609 KB, uploaded 15 March 2019]   |  
  |   Review Reports

Abstract

The processing of organic wastes and composts by worms results in castes and vermiliquer (i.e., vermicompost leachate). Both castes and vermiliquer contain plant available nutrients, the latter better suited to hydroponic operations, but the optimum pH for worm productivity and vermiliquer production makes the latter too alkaline for hydroponics. We show that under optimal hydroponic management practices, the growth and yield of pak choi (Brassica chinensis) based entirely on pH buffered vermiliquer collected after 8–10 weeks of vermicomposting was comparable with those treated with a conventional inorganic hydroponic fertiliser. Nitric acid proved to be a superior pH buffer compared with orthophosphoric acid. The total fresh weight in the nitric acid buffered vermiliquer treatments ranged from 70% to 98% of the total fresh weight of the control. However, the non-buffered hydroponic production of pak choi using off-line (batch) vermiliquer or direct linkage with vermifarms was not successful. There were no statistically significant differences between pak choi yields using vermiliquer from kitchen wastes or composted paunch materials. A 50% dilution of vermiliquer led to yield loss, but less proportionately than the dilution, and the use of pot hydroponics rather than nutrient film technique (NFT) hydroponics led to a better performance of pak choi under less favourable conditions. This is the first report of comparable yields between vermiliquer treatments and an inorganic nutrient source and highlights the feasibility and commercial potential of this hydroponic practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydroponics; organic fertiliser; vermiliquer; vermicompost leachate; pak choi; nutrient film technique hydroponics; organic fertiliser; vermiliquer; vermicompost leachate; pak choi; nutrient film technique
Figures

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Churilova, E.V.; Midmore, D.J. Vermiliquer (Vermicompost Leachate) as a Complete Liquid Fertilizer for Hydroponically-Grown Pak Choi (Brassica chinensis L.) in the Tropics. Horticulturae 2019, 5, 26.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Horticulturae EISSN 2311-7524 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top