Studies on Cucumber Production Using Substrate Culture under North Sinai Conditions
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Desert Research Center (DRC)
Ashraf Abd Al-Baset Ali   

Desert Research Center (DRC)
A wide range of soilless cultivation techniques have been developed and introduced for intensive cropping systems and for boosting the crop yield of many vegetables, mainly in greenhouses. Adoption of some local natural by-products to be utilized as a substrate growing medium to overcome soil-related problems appeared to be a promising project. Therefore, greenhouse experiments were conducted at the Baloza Experimental Station of the Desert Research Center (DRC), North Sinai Governorate, Egypt, during the two consecutive winter growing seasons of 2016-2017 and 2017-2018. These experiments aimed to investigate the effects of seven growing substrate culture treatments of separated or mixed sand obtained from sand dunes and date palm tree residues (Karenna) on plant vegetative growth, flowering, fruit yield and quality traits, and fruit nutritional values of cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus L.) Filial-1 hybrid 1101. Crop evapotranspiration reference (ETc) and water use efficiency (WUE), as well as treatment feasibility, were also studied. The experiment was set up in a complete randomized block design with three replicates. The obtained results strongly indicated that growing substrate media containing 25% sand (S) from sand dunes mixed with 75% grinded Karenna (Kg) of date palm (1 S + 3 Kg) significantly recorded the superiority of all studied characters of plant vegetative growth, number of flowers, fruit set, yield and its components, as well as fruit N, P and K contents, compared with other growing substrate medium treatments. On the contrary, the worst values of all studied parameters were achieved when sand was used alone (100% S) as a growing media. Furthermore, the highest water use efficiency and net income values were also attained by the 1 S + 3 Kg media treatment relative to the other growing substrate medium treatments.