Date of Graduation

Winter 2018

Degree

Master of Natural and Applied Science in Agriculture

Department

College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Melissa Remley

Keywords

microgreens, radish, hydroponics, calcium, plant nutrition, fertilization

Subject Categories

Horticulture | Plant Biology

Abstract

Radish microgreens were grown in a hydroponic wicking system and subjected to a range of calcium chloride (Ca) solutions to evaluate growth, yield, and mineral content. A solution range of 0 to 160 mM Ca was applied to determine upper limits of Ca fertilization. Solutions above 20 mM Ca showed toxic effects to germination and growth, while 5 and 10 mM Ca resulted in the greatest percent of shoots that grew to a desired size for harvest (%H), as well as greater average hypocotyl length per plant (HL) and cotyledon surface area per plant (CSA). For subsequent experiments, Ca solution range was narrowed to 0 to 10 mM Ca. A single best rate of Ca was not identified in this range, but trends suggested that added Ca can increase average fresh weight per plant (FW), HL, CSA, and the percent of shoots that develop a first true leaf (%TL). Capmat II growing media resulted in a low %H across multiple experiments, but when vermiculite was added as a growing media, average percent germination (%G) and %H increased in all treatments. Differences in plant size and biomass did not occur until higher Ca concentrations when microgreens were grown in vermiculite. In general, Ca content of plant tissues increased with Ca solution concentration; however, the level of increase was dependent on the media and whether treatments were applied at the time of planting or delayed until after germination.

Copyright

© Cady C. Goble

Open Access

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