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V. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
This study was carried out at Organic Agriculture Laboratory, Horticulture Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University and Central Lab. of Organic Agriculture, Agricultural Research Center A.R.C., Giza, Egypt during 2009 – 2012 for producing tomato - cv. Super Strain “B” - and cucumber - cv. Beta Alpha - organic transplants under greenhouse condition.
The objectives of this study were to develop an efficient organic transplant production protocol by:
1) Select the best sanitizer for tomato and cucumber transplants growing media as a fungicides substitute.
2) Determining the optimal concentration of the fenugreek and rocket sprout’s powder – based medium amendment.
3) Determining the optimal concentration of the dry and fresh fenugreek and rocket sprout water extract as foliar spray on transplants.
4) Select the best combination of medium amendment and foliar spraying recommended for organic transplant production.
The study includes the following parts:
Part one: Effect of fenugreek seed and henna dry leaves powder as growing media sanitizer on tomato and cucumber transplants production:
Tow preliminary experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of fenugreek seed powder and dry henna leaves powder on tomato and cucumber transplants growing media to select its sanitation as a fungicides substitute. Three concentrations (5%, 2.5% and 1.25%) of fenugreek seeds powder and (0.4%, 0.2% and 0.1%) of henna dry leaves powder were incorporated into tomato and cucumber transplants growing media compared with chemical fungicide Rizolex [10% Tolclofos-methyl] in control treatment each in separate experiment were studied. The following results were obtained:
1. Compared to control, tomato seedlings emerged and produced transplants of similar or even better quality when grown in media incorporated with higher fenugreek seed powder concentrations. The results showed significant increases in tomato transplants character i.e transplants shoot length and shoot fresh and dry weight at 5% fenugreek concentration than control treatment.
2. In the case of cucumber transplants growth the results showed better transplants characters using henna dry leaves powder concentration at 0.2% as compared with other treatments and control treatment
However, from these preliminary experiments, it was recommend replacing chemical fungicide by adding non-chemical fenugreek seed powder at 5% and henna dry leaves powder at 0.2% for tomato and cucumber transplanting growing media, respectively, in the following experiments.
Part two: Effect of fenugreek and rocket sprout powder-based amendment in tomato and cucumber transplants growing media:
These groups of experiments (two experiments) were carried out for investigating seedling emergence and transplants growth of tomato and cucumber in media mixed with four concentrations (0.0, 0.2, 0.4 and 0.6) by weight of the dry fenugreek or rocket sprout powder-based organic medium amendment. Each species separate experiment factorial with a completely randomized design. The following was concluded:
1. No amended (control) treatment had the lowest transplant characters for both tomato and cucumber transplants, indicating that application of fenugreek and rocket sprout powder in this study could adequately supply nutrients up to the long-term nutritional content of the medium.
2. Concerning the concentration of sprout amendment in the growing medium, healthier tomato transplants using lowest amendment concentration (0.2%) which recorded best tomato transplants characters than tomato transplants growing in control medium. On the other hand the higher amendment concentration (0.6%) recorded in cucumber transplants characters than control treatment.
3. Regarding to the interaction between kind of sprout and medium amended concentrations, the highest tomato transplant characters were obtained with medium amended with 0.2% rocket sprout powder amendment. Similar results with rocket sprout powder amendment were recorded in cucumber transplants but with higher medium amended concentration 0.6%.
Part three: Effect of weekly foliar spraying with fresh and dry fenugreek and rocket sprout water extract on tomato and cucumber transplants production:
These groups of experiments (four experiments) were carried out for determining the optimal concentrations of the dry or fresh fenugreek and rocket sprout water extract as foliar spraying once or twice a week on tomato and cucumber transplants production. Four diluted concentration (0.0%, 1.0%, 1% and 10%) of fresh (two experiments) and dry (two experiments) sprout water extracts were foliar sprayed on tomato and cucumber leaves after appearing the 1st true leaf once and twice a week in four experiments. Each experiment was factorial with a completely randomized design.
The following was concluded:
a) Effect on tomato transplants production:
1. Tomato transplant shoot length, shoot fresh and dry weight and root dry weight as affected by once or twice weekly foliar spray with fresh and dry fenugreek and rocket sprout water extracts at different dilution concentrations are evaluated.
2. All tomato transplant characters are not significantly affected by foliar spraying with water extract of dry sprout species; weekly number of spray and their interactions.
3. However the highest concentration (10%) of fresh sprout as foliar spray increased significantly tomato growth characters compared with other concentrations and control treatment.
4. Concerning foliar spraying with fresh sprout water extract, tomato transplant sprayed with fresh rocket sprout water extract at higher concentration (10%) had the best transplant characters.
5. Foliar spraying twice a week showed the highest effect compared with sprayed once a week.
from this data we recommend: foliar spraying on tomato transplants with fresh rocket sprouts at 10% solution concentration twice a week for producing healthier organic transplants than conventional control transplants.
b) Effect on cucumber transplants production:
1. Cucumber transplants shoot length and shoot fresh and dry weight were significantly increased by spraying fenugreek sprout powder or fresh extracts compare with rocket sprout powder or fresh extract.
2. However, transplants root dry weight recorded increased weight with sprout powder extract with opposite results in fresh sprout extract. The twice weekly spray was significantly better than once a week.
3. Concerning the extract concentrations, increasing the concentrations reduced significantly the transplants recorded characters. In other words decreasing the extract level to 0.1% increased significantly the cucumber transplants shoot length and weight (fresh and dry) and root dry weight.
4. The effects of the interaction between dry or fresh extract concentrations and sprout species or weekly spray were significant for all transplants characters.
5. The best values were obtained with transplants that received lower extract concentration (0.1%) of fenugreek sprout dry or fresh extracts and of two weekly sprays. Data was more pronounced with fenugreek sprout dry extract.
Part four: Effect of the interaction of medium amendment and foliar spray on organic transplants production:
These groups of experiments (two experiments) were carried out in greenhouse for determining the best combinations of best medium amendment with sprout powder from (2nd experimental group) with best results treatment from foliar spray with sprout water extract from (3rd experimental group) and their interactions on tomato and cucumber organic transplants production as compared with conventional transplants. Each experiment was simple completely randomized design. The following was concluded:
1. Tomato and cucumber transplants length and its shoot and root weight increased in all treatments as compared with control.
2. Between treatments data showed growth stimulus in foliar spray with sprout water extract as compared with medium amendment with dry sprout powder.
3. However interaction between dry sprout powder medium amendment and foliar spray with sprout water extracts recorded the highest tomato and cucumber transplants characters (leaves number, transplants length, weight and leaf No. 2 dimensions).
4. Concerning total chlorophyll content, showed that chlorophyll content increased in leaf No. 2 (from the bottom) of tomato transplants with sprout water extract foliar spraying and its combination treatments while increased on cucumber transplants with sprout dry powder medium amendment.
5. Regarding shoot content of N, P and K data showed increased in K content in both transplants (tomato and cucumber) and in N content in tomato transplants with medium amendment with sprout powder.
6. Phosphorus content in both transplants (tomato and cucumber) and Nitrogen content in cucumber were not significantly different.
Finally, use of sprout water extracts as foliar spray and/or sprout powder as organic amendment used in this study has the potential to serve as nutrition supplements for sustainable greenhouse transplant production. There are benefits to incorporation of sprout powder-based amendments together with sprout water extract as foliar spray to provide sufficient nutrition for tomato and cucumber transplants growth. It could be recommended that twice weekly foliar spray with fresh rocket sprout extract at 10% concentration together with growing medium incorporation with lower rocket sprout powder concentration (0.2%) for growing healthy tomato transplants. While for growing healthy cucumber transplants the recommendation were twice weekly foliar spray with fenugreek dry sprout extract at lower concentration (0.1%) together with growing medium incorporation with higher rocket sprout powder concentration (0.6%).