Container design affects shoot and root growth of vegetable plant

Jesús Gallegos, JUAN-EUGENIO ALVARO MARTINEZ-CARRASCO, Miguel Urrestarazu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The response of root growth in containers has been studied in recent decades. The objective was to evaluate the effect of four types of containers on root and shoot growth. The containers were two shapes, round and square, and in some containers, internal vertical walls (IVWs) were placed that increased the internal container surface area with two substrates: perlite and coir fiber. Seedlings of cucumber, pepper, and tomato were transplanted. Two experiments were performed: vegetative growth and drought stress by partial decapitation and a period without fertigation. After decapitation, preexisting and new leaf area, dry biomass or the leaves, and stem were measured. The results revealed that the type of container had no effect, nor were there significant differences between substrates. The containers with IVWs exhibited an increase in biomass and the root surface. The total contact surface with the substrate of the four container types was closely related to the recorded plant growth. Thus, IVWs not only decrease mechanical problems of roots by preventing spiralling but also favor the production of biomass in vegetable plants and substantially increase the root, enabling the plants to manage water deficit and potentially improve posttransplant stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-794
Number of pages8
JournalHortScience
Volume55
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Container shape
  • Internal vertical wall
  • Root impedance
  • Root surface
  • Vegetable crops

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