8th International Symposium on Protected Cultivation in Mild Winter Climates, Aghadir, Morocco, 19 - 24 February 2006, pp.433-440
A short term (66 days) greenhouse experiment was conducted to investigate Partial Rootzone Drying (PRD)technique for soilless grown eggplant. PRD is a newly developing irrigation-fertigation technique to save water, nutrients and care environment. The PRD practice simply requires wetting of one half of the rooting zone and leaving the other half dry, thereby utilizing reduced amount of irrigation water and nutrients. The wetted and dry sides are interchanged in the subsequent irrigations. Two treatments were tested during a66-day-of-growing period in perlite open system; (1) FULL, control treatment where the full amount of nutrient solution, which was measured using drainage data, was applied to the roots on all sides of the plant; (2) PRD, 30% deficit nutrient solution application with PRD in which wetted and dry sides of the root zones were interchanged with every irrigation. PRD treatment had 25% and 17% decreases in shoot fresh weight and leaf area of plant, respectively, however, had 39% increase in fruit production in comparison to the full amount of nutrient solution apply. Plant analysis for N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu showed that macro and micro nutrients were higher from 8% to 42% and 10% to 85%, respectively in PRD plants. The PRD plants were adequately fed for all nutrients however FULL treated plants had less N and K concentrations in their tissues according to the reference values.