Influence of Perlite and Jiffy Substrates on Cucumber Fruit Productivity and Quality

  •  Sorin Petre    
  •  Maria Pele    
  •  Elena Maria Draghici    


Most studies related to the culture of cucumbers refer only to germination, emergence and development of leaves and fruit, the nutrients used and their efficiency. This study assesses the influence of different types of soilless substrates (Perlite – 2 mm, Perlite – 4 mm, Perlite – 5 mm, Jiffy and Jiffy + 50% Perlite – 4 mm) on the content of nitrate, carbohydrates, chlorophyll, proteins, invertase activity and dry matter in cucumber leaves, stems and fruit grown on the respective substrates. The highest production was obtained on Perlite – 4 mm. The nitrates content was below the maximum admitted limit for all samples. Dry matter content of fruit depended on substrate in succession Jiffy, Perlite – 5 mm, Perlite 4 mm, Perlite 2 mm and Jiffy+Perlite 4 mm. The highest content of total chlorophyll was both in leaves as well as relating to fruit of plants grown on Perlite 5mm. The protein concentrations in fruits decrease in the order Jiffy, Perlite – 4 mm, Perlite – 5 mm, Perlite – 2 mm and Jiffy+Perlite – 4 mm. Both carbohydrates and invertase activity have the highest values in fruits. When, reducing sugars content is very high invertase activity corresponding is low. The highest level of reducing sugars was found in fruits grown on Jiffy followed by those developed on Perlite – 2 mm. Although, Jiffy substrate shows very good results it is expensive so the best choice for growing cucumbers in terms of both production and nutrient content is mainly the Perlite – 4 mm substrate.

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