Application of directly brewed compost extract improves yield and quality in baby leaf lettuce grown hydroponically

Journal ar
  • Volumen: 10
  • Número: 3
  • Fecha: 01 January 2020
  • ISSN: 20734395
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.3390/agronomy10030370
  • Document Type: Article
  • Publisher: MDPI
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( aim of this work was to study whether the application of a directly brewed compost extract (added in the nutrient solution or by microsprinkler) could be used to improve the yield and quality of baby leaf red lettuce growing in a floating system, and to control the incidence of Pythium irregulare. Its effect on the quality of fresh-cut red lettuce was also studied. For this, two experiments were carried out over two growing cycles (winter-spring and autumn). The results showed that the use of compost extract added to the nutrient solution improved baby leaf lettuce growth and quality, reducing the nitrate content and enhancing the content of potentially health-promoting compounds such as phenols and flavonoids and the antioxidant capacity. Microbial quality was maintained during storage and the compost extract had no negative effect on the microbial load of the final product. In addition, application of the compost decreased the population of P. irregulare in the water. It is concluded that the application of directly brewed compost extract is of potential use in a sustainable soilless production system for baby leaf red lettuce, since it improves the yield and quality of the product and is able to control the incidence of P. irregulare.

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