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Root zone warming of greenhouse tomatoes in nutrient film as a means of reducing heating requirements



Root zone warming of greenhouse tomatoes in nutrient film as a means of reducing heating requirements



Journal of Horticultural Science 58(1): 103-110



Tomato plants grown in nutrient film with a minimum root-zone temperature of 25.degree. C were compared with ambient root temperature conditions at 3 night-time air temperatures of 15.degree. C, 10.degree. C and no heating (8.degree. C), and at 18.degree. C, 12.degree. C and no heating (9.degree. C) in a 2nd experiment. A 30% shade treatment was superimposed on the temperature treatments in the 1st experiment. The only disadvantage of growing the crop at the lower night tempertures with root-zone warming was a 4-wk delay in the start of fruit picking. Root-zone temperature had little effect on growth, but root warming increased the numbers of fruit harvested, and after 8 wk of picking the 25.degree. C root temperature treatment resulted in 13-16% greater yield by weight than that from plants grown with ambient root-zone temperature. There was no interaction between root-zone temperature and shading, 30% shading giving 30% less yield at all temperatures. A night-time air temperature of 10.degree. C gave the best yields and the best response to root-zone warming.

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Accession: 006356694

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