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Summaries of Articles

Summaries of Articles

Overview - Tomatoes

“Hydroponic Tomatoes: The Complete Guide to Soilless Success Part Two: Production Systems and Crop Management” by Lynette Morgan, PhD 2003, The Growing Edge 15(1), pp 60-73 - Summaries (in pdf) (html)

This is the second in a series published in the popular magazine The Growing Edge (Corvallis, OR). The author, Dr. Lynette Morgan, is a regular contributor to the magazine and is a horticultural consultant who holds a PhD in vegetable production from Massey University in New Zealand. Although her perspectives on greenhouse culture, markets, and cultivar selection are slightly different from what we might experience in Tennessee, she writes for an American audience and the basic science and production issues she addresses are universal.

Overview - Strawberries

“Out-of-Season Greenhouse Strawberry Production in Soilless Substrate”
F. Takeda 1999, Advances in Strawberry Research. Volume 18, pp 4-15.
Summaries (in pdf) (html)

Fumiomi Takeda is a researcher with the Agricultural Research Service at the Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, WV. His focus is small fruit production, and he has been publishing technical papers on greenhouse strawberries for many years. This paper provides a good overview of the strawberry production in protected agriculture

EC and Tomatoes

“Influence of electric conductivity management on greenhouse tomato yield and fruit quality” M. Dorais, A.P. Papadopoulos, A. Gosselin 2001, Agronomie 21, pp 367-383.
Summaries (in pdf) (html)

This paper comes out of the highly respected Greenhouse and Processing Crops Research Center under the umbrella of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Harrow, Ontario. Dr. Papadopoulos has been publishing very applied and reliable papers on hydroponic crops for many years, and this paper is yet another excellent source of information. The issue of Electrical Conductivity (EC) management and its effect on yield and quality is a hot topic. This lengthy literature review paper explores how high ECs cause fruit size to decrease while increasing the dry matter content. This means that the average fruit is smaller, but may have a higher carbohydrate content (and therefore, more sugars) than fruits from plants grown under lower fertilizer EC regimes.
EC levels affect yield and fruit quality differently depending on how the fertilizer solution interacts with other factors. These other factors include the specific tomato variety being grown, various environmental parameters such as humidity and temperature, the composition of the nutrient solution and specific crop management strategies. Some studies showed that ECs above 2.3 to 5.1 mS/cm reduced yield to an unacceptable level, while at the same time, ECs of 3.5 to 9.0 mS/cm improved tomato fruit quality. Manipulating the environmental conditions such as humidity, temperature and ambient CO2 levels might offset some negative effects on yield and quality issues, such as blossom end rot (BER).