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Effects of Nutrient Composition and Lettuce Cultivar on Crop Production in Hydroponic Culture
Open AccessCommunication

Seed Germination and Seedling Growth on Knitted Fabrics as New Substrates for Hydroponic Systems

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Faculty of Engineering and Mathematics, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, Interaktion 1, 33619 Bielefeld, Germany
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Biochemistry and Physiology of Plants, Faculty of Biology, Bielefeld University, 33501 Bielefeld, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Horticulturae 2019, 5(4), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae5040073
Received: 7 August 2019 / Revised: 14 October 2019 / Accepted: 17 October 2019 / Published: 23 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Knowledge of Hydroponic and Aquaponic Systems)
Vertical farming is one of the suggested avenues for producing food for the growing world population. Concentrating the cultivation of crops such as herbs in large indoor farms makes food production susceptible to technical, biological or other problems that might destroy large amounts of food at once. Thus, there is a trend towards locally, self-sufficient food production in vertical systems on a small scale. Our study examined whether conventional knitted fabrics, such as patches of worn jackets, can be used for hydroponics instead of the specialized nonwoven materials used in large-scale indoor systems. To this end, seed germination and seedling growth of 14 different crop plant species on knitted fabrics with three different stitch sizes were compared. Our results showed that hydroponic culture on knitted fabrics are indeed possible and allow for growing a broad spectrum of plant species, suggesting recycling of old textile fabrics for this purpose. Among the 14 plant species studied, differences in germination success, average fresh and dry masses, as well as water contents were found, but these parameters were not affected by knitted fabric stitch size. View Full-Text
Keywords: vertical farming; plant growth; textile fabrics; knitted fabrics; hydroponics vertical farming; plant growth; textile fabrics; knitted fabrics; hydroponics
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Storck, J.L.; Böttjer, R.; Vahle, D.; Brockhagen, B.; Grothe, T.; Dietz, K.-J.; Rattenholl, A.; Gudermann, F.; Ehrmann, A. Seed Germination and Seedling Growth on Knitted Fabrics as New Substrates for Hydroponic Systems. Horticulturae 2019, 5, 73.

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