Effects of cultural cycle and nutrient solution electrical conductivity on plant growth, yield and fruit quality of ‘Friariello’ pepper grown in hydroponics

https://doi.org/10.17221/172/2015-HORTSCICitation:Amalfitano C.A., Del Vacchio L.D.V., Somma S., Cuciniello A.C., Caruso G. (2017): Effects of cultural cycle and nutrient solution electrical conductivity on plant growth, yield and fruit quality of ‘Friariello’ pepper grown in hydroponics. Hort. Sci. (Prague), 44: 91-98.
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‘Friariello’ pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) was grown with nutrient film technique (NFT) in order to evaluate the effects of four nutritive solutions, at electrical conductivities (EC) of 3.5, 3.8, 4.1, 4.4 mS/cm, in two cultural cycles (winter-summer versus spring-autumn) on growth, yield and fruit quality. In the winter-summer cycle, fruit yield was significantly higher than in the spring-autumn one. The 3.8 mS/m EC resulted in the highest yield in the winter-summer crops, whereas the 4.1 mS/m EC was the most effective under the spring-autumn cycle. Water consumption was 34% higher in winter-summer than in spring-autumn season. The 3.8 mS/m EC caused the highest water consumption, whereas a 25% reduction was recorded under 4.4 mS/cm. The macronutrients absorption was the highest with 3.8–4.1 mS/cm EC and the lowest with 3.5 mS/cm. Fruits harvested in late summer and berries obtained under 4.4 mS/cm EC mostly showed the best quality. The fruit ascorbic acid and α-carotene content was higher in late summer than in late spring and all fruit antioxidants attained the highest values with 4.4 mS/cm EC.

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