NUTRIENT UPTAKE, GROWTH, YIELD AND QUALITY OF CUCUMBER GROWN IN VARIOUS GROWING MEDIA
Khurram Ziaf 1 ,*, Iftikhar Ahmad 1 , Haroon Hamid 1, Muhammad Awais Ghani 1 , Muhammad Wasim Haider 1 and Anam Noor 2
1 Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan 2 Department of Horticulture, The Islamia University Bahawalpur, Pakistan 3 Department of Horticulture, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan *Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Different substrates, namely, spent mushroom compost (SMC), press mud (PM), farmyard manure (FYM), non-granular compost (NGC), granular compost (GC) and silt were used alone or in different combinations, to assess their impact on seedling production of cucumber variety ‘Summer Green’, and its further growth, yield and quality. The highest germination rate (93%) was observed in the mixtures of 75%:25% and 50%:50% silt and PM, 25%:75% silt and FYM and 50%:50% silt and NGC, about five times higher than control (20%). Shoot length (4.5cm), root length (14.0cm), number of lateral branches (6.8), chlorophyll contents (105.9) and seedling fresh weight (5.3g) was highest in the mixture of 50%:50% silt and NGC, around 1.9, 1.5, 2.5 and 2.8 times higher than that of control, respectively. But, highest dry weight (30.9%) was recorded in the mixture of 50%:50% silt and SMC, almost 2.5 times greater than that of control (12.4%). While, the number (3.5) and weight (1388.4g) of fruits plant -1 , fruit diameter (62.11mm), fruit length (25.3cm) and leaf N (0.7mg/g dry sample) and K (27.5mg/g dry sample), TSS (Brix) and phenolic contents (55.5mg GAE 100g -1 ) were also highest in the mixture of 50%:50% silt and NGC. Correlation revealed positive significant relation of germination with growth and yield related traits. From the above results, it is evident that the mixture of silt and NGC (50%:50%) can be used as a local media for cucumber seedling production. Further studies are needed to compare this local media as substitute of peat moss, using some other cucurbits as well.
Keywords: Cucumis sativus, compost, farmyard manure, fruit yield, press mud, seedlings, silt, total phenolics.