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A Study on the Physical and Hydraulic Characteristics of Cocopeat Perlite Mixture as a Growing Media in Containerized Plant Production


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A well-known planting medium in soilless culture is a coconut based material famously known in Malaysia as cocopeat. It is a viable ecologically friendly peat soil substitute for containerized crop production. The multipurpose growing media had received much interest particularly in commercial applications. This study focused on the physical and hydraulic characteristics of cocopeat perlite mixture as a growing media in containerized plant production. Perlite was added to cocopeat at a ratio of 3 cocopeat: 1 perlite. Bulk density, particle density, porosity, particle size distribution, water holding capacity, wettability and hydraulic conductivity of the media were evaluated. About 82.93% of the total particles were in the range between 0.425 and 4 mm in diameter at a bulk density of 0.09 g/cm3. Total porosity (79%) and wettability improved with the incorporation of perlite to cocopeat. This study showed that water holding capacity was very high at 912.54% whereas the saturated hydraulic conductivity was low at 0.1 cm/s. The results showed that adding perlite to cocopeat had improved the physical and hydraulic characteristics of the media.
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Sains Malaysiana 46(6)(2017): 975–980
A Study on the Physical and Hydraulic Characteristics of Cocopeat Perlite Mixture
as a Growing Media in Containerized Plant Production
(Kajian terhadap Sifat Fizikal dan Hidraulik Campuran Cocopeat Perlite sebagai
Media Pertumbuhan dalam Pengeluran Tanaman dalam Bekas)
A well-known planting medium in soilless culture is a coconut based material famously known in Malaysia as cocopeat.
It is a viable ecologically friendly peat soil substitute for containerized crop production. The multipurpose growing media
had received much interest particularly in commercial applications. This study focused on the physical and hydraulic
characteristics of cocopeat perlite mixture as a growing media in containerized plant production. Perlite was added to
cocopeat at a ratio of 3 cocopeat: 1 perlite. Bulk density, particle density, porosity, particle size distribution, water holding
capacity, wettability and hydraulic conductivity of the media were evaluated. About 82.93% of the total particles were
in the range between 0.425 and 4 mm in diameter at a bulk density of 0.09 g/cm3. Total porosity (79%) and wettability
improved with the incorporation of perlite to cocopeat. This study showed that water holding capacity was very high at
912.54% whereas the saturated hydraulic conductivity was low at 0.1 cm/s. The results showed that adding perlite to
cocopeat had improved the physical and hydraulic characteristics of the media.
Keywords: Bulk density; cocopeat; hydraulic conductivity; perlite; water holding capacity
Media tanaman yang diketahui baik dalam budaya tanaman tanpa tanah ialah bahan berasaskan kelapa dikenali
sebagai cocopeat di Malaysia. Ia mesra hijau dan mampu menggantikan gambut untuk pengeluaan tanaman di dalam
bekas. Bahan tanaman serbaguna ini telah menarik minat pelbagai pihak terutamanya dalam aplikasi komersial.
Kajian ini memfokuskan kepada sifat zikal dan hidraulik campuran perlite dan cocopeat sebagai media tanaman di
dalam pengeluaran tanaman dalam bekas. Perlite telah ditambah kepada cocopeat pada nisbah 3 cocopeat: 1 perlite.
Ketumpatan pukal, ketumpatan zarah, kadar keliangan, pengasingan saiz zarah, daya pegangan air, kebolehbasahan
dan kekonduksian hidraulik telah dikaji. Purata 83% daripada jumlah zarah berada dalam julat lingkungan antara
0.425 dan 4 mm diameter untuk ketumpatan pukat 0.09 g/cm3. Jumlah kadar keliangan (79%) dan kebolehbasahan
telah meningkat dengan penambahan perlite kepada cocopeat. Kajian ini telah menunjukkan daya pegangan air adalah
sangat tinggi iaitu 912.54% sementara kadar kekonduksian hidraulik adalah rendah 0.1 cm/s. Keputusan kajian telah
menunjukkan penambahan perlite kepada cocopeat meningkatkan ciri zikal dan hidraulik media.
Kata kunci: Cocopeat; daya pegangan air; kekonduksian hidraulik; ketumpatan pukal; perlite
Substrates or growing media is dened as solid materials
other than soil, which can be in the form of mixtures
or alone. These media should guarantee better rooting
conditions and provide anchorage for the root system,
supply water and nutrients to plants and suitable aeration
environment to roots (Gruda et al. 2013, 2006) . A wide
selection of growing media is available and the choice
depends on grower’s nancial and technical implications
(Gruda et al. 2013). However, most growers use substrates
that are locally available as it is cheap and reliable. In
tropical and subtropical area, coir which is a natural ber
material extracted from coconut husk are most popular.
This coconut husk contains brous material known as coir
that contains thick mesocarp of the coconut fruit (Meerow
1997). From the coconut husk, long bers of coir are
extracted and used for manufacturing products like brushes,
mattress stufng and seats. The process of extracting long
coir ber will leave behind waste product namely short coir
ber and dust. Hume (1949) in his paper mentioned that
this short coir ber is a mass of tiny, brown and irregular
shape bits known as coir dust. Later he suggested that coir
dust was renamed to cocopeat as this material has many
characteristic of horticultural peat. This coconut coir dust or
cocopeat is widely used for containerized growing medium
for the production of ornamental potter plants (Bagci et al.
2011; Scagel 2003; Tariq et al. 2012) and other horticultural
species (Ayesha et al. 2011; Erwan et al. 2013; Rubio et
al. 2011; Tehranifar et al. 2007).
Cocopeat is a suitable growing media with acceptable
physical and chemical attributes such as pH, electrical
conductivity, bulk density and others (Abad et al. 2002).
However cocopeat has a very high water holding capacity
which causes poor aeration in the root zone. This will later
affect the oxygen diffusion to the roots. Depending on the
handling and processing technique, the physical properties
of cocopeat can easily affect the air capacity and water
retention (Abad et al. 2002). Incorporation of coarser
material into cocopeat media will solve this problem and
improve aeration (Yahya et al. 2009). Perlite is recognized
as media additive to increase aeration and draining of
a media. It has large particles and low water holding
capacity hence is most suitable for mixing with cocopeat.
The physical shape of perlite will create passage forms
which consequently balance the moisture retention and
aeration in the root zone. In order to obtain the optimum
growing media condition, incorporation of 1 part of perlite
to 3 parts of cocopeat was most recommended (Cho et al.
2006; Mobini et al. 2009). Addition of 25% perlite into
cocopeat has improved aeration level in the media and
signicantly increased the growth and yield of potato
(Solanum tuberosum L.) (Mobini et al. 2009).
The possibility of combining cocopeat and perlite
mixture in a ratio of 3:1 to be used as growing media was
examined in this study. Physical properties of this mixture
including its bulk density, particle density, porosity, particle
size distribution, water holding capacity, wettability
and hydraulic conductivity was investigated. Thus, the
objectives of this study was to establish and categorized
the physical properties of cocopeat perlite mixture (3
cocopeat: 1 perlite) and its applicability as a growing media
in containerized crop production.
The study on physical characteristics was carried out at
the Soil and Water Engineering Laboratory, Faculty of
Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor,
Malaysia. The media chosen was a ratio of 3 cocopeat: 1
perlite (by volume). Mixture was prepared in a large tank
and mixed proportionally. A growing container 2 m long,
0.2 m high and 0.3 m wide was placed on a raised bench.
The mixture was then placed into the growing container
and compacted lightly by hand. As much as ve samples
of the media were collected for the bulk density, particle
density and porosity analyses, while three samples were
collected for the particle size distribution, water holding
capacity, wettability and hydraulic conductivity analyses.
The results for each characterization were obtained from
the mean procedure of samples used.
Evaluation of bulk density was done by adapting the
method by De Boodt et al. (1973) and Yahya et al. (2009)
using core rings. Core rings were pushed into the media
until it fully penetrated and excess media at the top and
bottom of the ring was cut. After recording their weights,
core rings together with media were oven dried at 105°C for
24 h. The internal dimension of the core ring was measured
to determine bulk density using the following formula,
b = Wb – Wr / (πh d2/4),
b is the bulk density; Wb is the weight of media
and core ring after oven dried (g); Wr is the weight of the
core ring (g); h is the height of the core (cm); and d is the
core diameter (cm).
The particle density was determined using the pycnometer
method. Five to ten grams of oven dried media was
inserted into a dry and weighed S.G. bottle and weighted
again. Deaired distilled water was added into the bottle
until sample was covered. The bottle was placed inside a
desicator and vacuumed until ‘boiling’ stops and relled
with deaired distilled water. In order to obtain mass of
bottle with oven dried sample and water, the bottle stopper
was rst tted and outside bottle was dried. The weight of
bottle and water was also measured by weighing the bottle
lled with deaired distilled water. Particle density can be
calculated using the following formula,
s =
w Ms/Mdw ,
s is the particle density;
w is the density of water
(g/cm3); Ms is the mass of oven dried media (g); and Mdw
the mass of water displaced by media (g).
Porosity was determined using the following formula,
φ = 1 – (
where φ is the porosity;
b is the bulk density; and
s (g/
cm3) is the particle density. Bulk and particle densities
were determined earlier thus porosity can be determined.
Particle size analysis was determined using different sieve
sizes and an electromagnetic vibratory shaker (Unit Test
Scientic (UTS) Malaysia). It was used to separate the
different particle size fractions of the media. The sieves
size were 9.5, 6.3, 5.6, 4, 2, 1.4, 0.6, 0.425, 0.3, 0.25 and
0.125 mm. The media was shacked for 10 min and media
left in each sieve was calculated using the formula, percent
passing = Percent arriving - percent retained.
The water holding capacity is dened as the total amount
of water a media can hold. Determination of water
holding capacity was done by adapting the method used
by Shinohara et al. (1999) and followed by Harding and
Ross (1964). By using ltered funnel with the lower part
plugged with stopper, media samples were saturated in
water at a ratio of 1 media: 2 water and left overnight.
After water was left to drain for 3 h, the remaining media
was oven-dried for 24 h at 105°C. Water holding capacity
can be calculated using the following formula,
WHC = (Mw/Ms) × 100,
where WHC is the water holding capacity; Mw is the mass
of water retained in the sample (g); and Ms is the mass of
oven dried sample (g).
Evaluation of wettability was done following the method
described by Yahya et al. (2009). Measurements were taken
by soaking the pots lled with 1 L media sample in standing
water of 2 cm deep in plastic trays. Water was added to the
tray whenever the 2 cm water level decreased. Wettability
of the media was monitored every hour for the duration of
6 h using an electronic balance. Moisture content absorbed
by the media was determined by subtracting the wet weight
of the media with the dry weight and graph of moisture
content against time can be plotted.
Hydraulic conductivity (k) is the measurement of how
ease water can flow through pore spaces in a media
while saturated hydraulic conductivity (ks) describes
the movement of water through saturated media. Higher
values of k refer to permeable material that allows water
to ow easily while lower values means less permeable
material and restrict water ow. Hydraulic conductivity
at saturation was determined by using the constant head
method as described by Klute and Dirksen (1986) using
the permeameter device. This method allows water to
ow through a column of cylindrical media sample under
constant head condition. At the same time, discharge was
monitored through the media over a period of time. With
the known discharge, time and measured length and cross
sectional area of the sample, hydraulic conductivity can
be calculated using the following formula,
k = Q/(I A t),
where Q is the amount of water (cm3) measured in the
graduate cylinder according to time t (s); I is the hydraulic
gradient; and A is the sample cross section area (cm2).
Cocopeat perlite mixture were sieved to separate their
particles at twelve fractions (<0.125, 0.125 - 0.25, 0.25
- 0.3, 0.3 - 0.425, 0.425 - 0.6, 0.6 - 1.4, 1.4 -2, 2.0 - 4.0,
4.0 - 5.6, 5.6 - 6.3, 6.3 - 9.5 and >9.5 mm) as shown in
Figure 1. Most of the mixture particles were in the range
between 0.425 and 4 mm in diameter (82.93%). Among
these particles, perlite was only found in sieves size 1.4, 2
and 4 mm. More than 90% of the cocopeat particles were
from pith tissues which were less than 8 mm (Evans et al.
1996; Fornes et al. 2003). A similar result was obtained
by Noguera et al. (2003) with 90% of coconut coir dust
particles were less than 8 mm. Furthermore, long and short
bers were found in sieves size 9.5, 2, 1.4 and 0.6 mm.
Long and short bers were not found in sieves less than 0.6
mm. The length of the bers varied in each sieve according
to the sieve diameter. Sieve size 9.5 mm collected the
longest ber of 100 to 110 mm length while in sieve 0.6
mm collected the shortest ber from 10 to 20 mm.
The bulk density of the mixture was 0.09 g/cm3 (Table 1)
which is less than 1 g/cm3 thus can be categorized as light
media. This value was also obtained by Evans and Stamps
(1996) for cocopeat perlite mixture at 60:40 and 80:20.
FIGURE 1. Particle size distribution and standard deviation (SD) of cocopeat perlite
mixture (3:1). Data are mean ± SD (n=3 samples)
However, lower bulk density (0.05 g/cm3) was found by
Yahya et al. (2009) and higher bulk density (0.2 g/cm3)
from Cho et al. (2006) for the cocopeat perlite mixture
(3:1). The difference of bulk density values were due to
the variation of particle size distribution in the mixtures
(Yahya et al. 2009). In this study, particle size from 2 to 4
mm had the highest weight distribution of 32.17% which
leads to a higher bulk density compared to other studies.
Using light materials in the mixture also resulted in a low
particle density of 0.42 g/cm3 (Table 1). According to
Sudhagar & Sekar (2009) particle density is lower when
higher amount of cocopeat is available in the mixture. This
might be due to the lighter weight of cocopeat. Adding 1
part of perlite to 3 parts of cocopeat in the mixture resulted
to an acceptable porosity level of 79% (Table 1) which is
adequate for the root gas exchanges between the root zone
and the environment (Cho et al. 2006; Khalaj et al. 2011;
Mobini et al. 2009).
In this study, the water holding capacity was 912.54% of
dry weight (Table 1) comparable from studies of Evans
and Stamps (1996) but lower than Mobini et al. (2009)
and higher than Cho et al. (2006) for the cocopeat perlite
ratio at 3:1. Cocopeat is known for its high water holding
capacity and can be comparable to sphagnum peat which
normally holds 400% to 800% of its weight in water (Abad
et al. 2005; Evans et al. 1996). Evans et al. (1996) obtained
water holding capacities of coir dust samples ranged from
750% to 1100% of dry weight while Evans and Stamps
(1996) obtained 977% for 60:40 coir and perlite mixture.
Higher water holding capacity had resulted to a greater root
fresh weight, heights and shoot fresh weights of geranium,
petunia and marigold plant (Evans & Stamps 1996). For a
growing media mixture, increase in cocopeat will increase
the water holding capacity.
In this study, ks was 0.1 cm/s (Table 1). This value is
between the values obtained in other studies from 0.046 to
0.19 cm/s (Quintero et al. 2008, 2006; Raviv et al. 2001) for
cocopeat alone. Londra (2010) obtained a value of 0.185
cm/s for ks in 50% coir and 50% perlite. Comparing the
results obtain in this study and previous studies; it can be
said that the ks at 0.1 cm/s is acceptable and in the range
obtained by the previous studies. The hydraulic properties
and conductivity of a media is inuenced by the particle
size distribution. Clearly the media used in this study has
low ks which indicate water can retain much longer in the
Wettability determines the aptitude of a material to reduce
the surface tension of water in contact with the material
so that it can wet and spread over the surface. In soilless
culture, wettability has an important role to determine the
initial uptake of water by media and its consequence water
movement characteristic (Yahya et al. 2009). The capacity
of cocopeat perlite mixture to absorb water is represented
in Figure 2. For the rst 2 h of soaking, the media absorb
water drastically until it reached a peak at water content
119 mL. After 2 h of soaking, the water content still
increase by time but at a slower rate. The same pattern
was observed from the study of Yahya et al. (2009) with
cocopeat as base media. Moreover, studies from Abad et
al. (2005) and Mazuela et al. (2005) had shown that the
wettability absorption was less than 7 min for coconut
coir dust. This shows that cocopeat has a hydrophilic
characteristic originally contain in the media that highly
attract water (Cresswell 2002). Among the factors that may
affect wettability over time in cocopeat are its particle size,
pore spaces and amount of ber contain in it. Wettability
of cocopeat can be increased by manipulating the capillary
pores in the media using wetting agents such as sand and
perlite added into the media (Urrestarazu et al. 2008).
The increase interest in soilless media particularly cocopeat
for containerized plant production had emphasized the
importance of physical characteristics studies in order to
improve the utilization of this media. Among the physical
characteristics studied were bulk density, particle density,
porosity, particle size distribution, water holding capacity,
wettability and hydraulic conductivity. A percentage of
83.19% of the particles in the media were in the range
between 0.425 and 4 mm in diameter. The bulk and
particle densities of the media were 0.09 and 0.42 g/
TABLE 1. Physical characteristics of cocopeat perlite mixtures (3:1). For bulk density, particle
density and porosity the means and standard deviation are from ve different measurements
(n=5) while those of water holding capacity and hydraulic conductivity are
from three different readings (n=3)
Property Value
Bulk density (g/cm3)
Particle density (g/cm3)
Total porosity (%)
Water holding capacity (% wgt)
Saturated hydraulic conductivity (cm/s)
0.09 ± 0.01
0.42 ± 0.03
79 ± 0.02
912.54 ± 24.4
0.1 ± 0.004
cm3, respectively, which represent light materials. The
inclusion of perlite to cocopeat improved total porosity
at an acceptable value of 79%. Moreover cocopeat has a
very high water holding capacity of 912.54% which can
be related to the low saturated hydraulic conductivity of
0.1 cm/s. The wettability of cocopeat perlite mixture was
very high as the media continues to retain water over
time. These ndings provide useful information on the
properties of the mixture for containerized plant production
in soilless culture.
The authors wish to thank the Department of Biological
and Agricultural, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra
Malaysia for funding this project. High appreciation to the
staff and post graduate students from the Soil and Water
Engineering Laboratory, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti
Putra Malaysia for the assistance and technical lessons on
the handling of laboratory equipment.
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Wan Fazilah Fazlil Ilahi*
Department of Agricultural Technology
Faculty of Agriculture
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan
Desa Ahmad
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan
*Corresponding author; email:
Received: 20 October 2015
Accepted: 18 November 2016
... The study revealed that the number of leaves of plants is Environ. Sci., 7(1): 12-19 (2022) particles and low water holding capacity (Ilahi and Ahmad, 2017). Perlite is lightweight and floats. ...
... The poor water holding capacity compared to cocopeat might be the possible reason as perlite is used alone as a growing media. The perlite has large particles and poor water holding capacity (Ilahi and Ahmad, 2017). However, the problem can be solved by adding perlite to the cocopeat as it improves the physical and hydraulic characteristics of the media (Ilahi and Ahmad, 2017). ...
... The perlite has large particles and poor water holding capacity (Ilahi and Ahmad, 2017). However, the problem can be solved by adding perlite to the cocopeat as it improves the physical and hydraulic characteristics of the media (Ilahi and Ahmad, 2017). ...
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The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of growing media on the growth and yield of leafy vegetables in the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) of Hydroponic cultivation. This research was carried out for two months (Nov to Dec 2020) in the research house of Wind Power Nepal Pvt. Ltd, located at an altitude of 1310 meters above sea level. The experimental design used in this study was a factorial randomized block design (RBD) with two factors. The first factor was growing media; namely cocopeat, sponge, and perlite. The second factor was crop types namely lettuce and pakchoi that were harvested in 30 days. The data were subjected to the ANOVA technique in R-studio software version 4.0.0 and Fisher’s protected LSD test was used to separate the means. The highest plant yield (12.55 g) was obtained from plants grown in cocopeat in the NFT hydroponics system. The longest plant shoot height (9.69 cm) was obtained from plants grown in the sponge, while the lowest plant shoot height (8.85 cm) was observed in plants grown in perlite. The broadest plant leaf width (5.54 cm) was observed in plants grown in the cocopeat when compared to the sponge (4.93 cm) and perlite (4.32 cm) growing media. The results of this study showed that growing media cocopeat followed by sponge performed better as compared to perlite. The combination of the two factors showed an insignificant result in growth and yield parameters. For the hydroponics cultivation of lettuce and pakchoi, cocopeat followed by sponges should be used as a growing medium for better growth and yield.
... Media cocopeat ini dianggap lebih ramah lingkungan karena dapat dibuat dari serbuk sabut kelapa yang mudah tersedia serta harganya lebih murah sehingga lebih sesuai untuk jenis tanaman sayuran seperi selada, sawi, dan sejenisnya (Siswadi & Yuwono, 2013). Media cocopeat akan dapat berfungsi dengan baik apabila media tersebut diperkaya dengan nutrisi tanaman karena media cocopeat aslinya tidak mengandung zat hara, kecuali jika telah mengalami dekomposisi dan media ini telah banyak diuji pada beberapa tanaman sayuran (Ilahi et al. 2017;Cheon et al. 2021;Khoirunnisa et al. 2021;Liakuat et al. 2020), bahkan juga pada media tanaman keras (Cahyo et al. 2019). Pada sistem hidroponik, media cocopeat ini biasanya diberikan larutan nutrisi yang mengandung sejumlah unsur hara terlarut. ...
Abstrak. Larutan Hara AB Mix merupakan pupuk majemuk campuran larut air yang sering digunakan pada sistem media hidroponik. Efektifitas Larutan AB Mix ini sebagai sumber hara bagi tanaman sayur antara lain dipengaruhi oleh konsentrasi pemberian yang tepat. Percobaan ini dilakukan di dalam polybag menggunakan rancangan acak lengkap (RAL) yang terdiri atas 5 perlakuan konsentrasi larutan AB Mix yaitu: 0,25; 0,50; 0,75; 1,00; dan 1,25 g L-1 air dengan empat ulangan. Benih sawi hijau dibibitkan pada media rockwool selama seminggu dan setelah berumur 20 hari dipindahkan ke dalam polybag ukuran 15×21 cm yang telah diisi dengan media cocopeat. Pemberian larutan AB Mix dilakukan setiap hari bersamaan dengan penyiraman sampai tanaman berumur berumur 30 hari setelah tanam (HST). Sampel daun untuk analisis N,P, dan K diambil pada seluruh daun tanaman yang telah dipanen pada umur 30 HST. Daun tersebut sebelum dianalisis, dibersihkan dengan akuades dan kemudian dimasukkan ke dalam oven pada suhu 70 0C. Setelah kering digiling dan dihaluskan dengan mesin grinder dan kemudian disaring dengan ayakan ukuran 0,5 mm. Analisis kandungan hara N, P, dan K dilakukan menggunakan metode destruksi basah. Pemberian larutan AB Mix berpengaruh nyata (P0,05) terhadap bobot segar dan bobot kering tanaman sawi hijau serta dapat meningkatkan konsentrasi dan serapan N,P, dan K. Konsenrasi optimum larutan AB Mix diperoleh pada rentang 1.34 - 1.63 g L-1 air.Increased Uptake of Nutrients N, P, and K of Green Mustard Due to The Concentration of Nutrient Solution AB Mix in Cocopeat MediaAbstract. AB Mix Nutrient Solution is a water-soluble compound fertilizer that is often used in hydroponic media systems. The effectiveness of the AB Mix solution as a source of nutrients for vegetable plants is influenced by, among other things, the right concentration of administration. This experiment was carried out in polybags using a completely randomized design (CRD) consisting of 5 treatment concentrations of AB Mix solution, namely: 0.25; 0.50; 0.75; 1.00; and 1.25 g L-1 water with four replications. Green mustard seeds were seeded on Rockwool media for a week and after 20 days they were transferred to 15×21 cm polybags filled with cocopeat media. The AB Mix solution was given every day along with watering until the plants were 30 days old after planting (DAT). Leaf samples for analysis of N, P, and K were taken on all leaves of plants that had been harvested at the age of 30 DAP. Before being analyzed, the leaves were cleaned with distilled water and then placed in an oven at a temperature of 70 0C. After drying, it was ground and mashed with a grinder machine and then filtered through a 0.5 mm sieve. Analysis of the nutrient content of N, P, and K was carried out using the wet digestion method (Kalra 1998). The administration of AB Mix solution had a significant effect (P0.05) on the fresh weight and dry weight of mustard greens and could increase the concentration and uptake of N, P, and K on Cocopeat media. The optimum concentration of AB Mix solution was obtained in the range of 1.34 - 1.63 g L-1 of water.
... RDI treatments were created by reducing the maximum irrigation amount by 0%, 25%, 50%, and 75% according to reference evapotranspiration (ETo). The maximum irrigation amount (8 L day -1 , RDI1) as control was calculated according to Ilahi and Ahmad (2017) and observations of the growth power and phenological periods. Drippers that irrigate 4 L h -1 were controlled by computer system to adjust the irrigation time and amount. ...
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The aim of the research was to determine the impact of regulated deficit irrigations (RDIs) on the accumulation of chlorophyll, proline, and abscisic acid (ABA) in grapevines. Cuttings of Vitis vinifera L. cv ‘Adakarası,’ ‘Papazkarası,’ ‘Karasakız,’ ‘Karalahana,’ ‘Yapıncak,’ ‘Vasilaki,’ ‘Cabernet Sauvignon,’ and ‘Sauvignon Blanc’ were treated to different RDIs that were applied by reducing the maximum irrigation amount by 0%, 25%, 50%, and 75% according to reference evapotranspiration (ETo) under semi-controlled conditions over 2 years. ‘Karalahana’ and ‘Sauvignon Blanc’ cultivars reached the highest chlorophyl la (Chla) in the mean of 2 years. The highest total chlorophyll (Chltot) was determined in ‘Karalahana’ cultivar. The lowest Chltot was determined in ‘Adakarası’ cultivar. The proline with lower RDIs increased in 2019. In 2020, a relationship was discovered whereby, contrary to the previous year, RD4 indicated the least content of proline. The highest ABA among RDIs was determined in the RD4, but was not statistically significant. Leaf ABA was higher in 2019 in the mean of all cultivars and all RDIs. The impact of RDIs on ABA varied according to the cultivar and year. ‘Adakarası’ cultivar, like ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ cultivar, may adjust its metabolic process to a decrease in water supply. ‘Karasakız’ cultivar also appears to be promising in terms of drought resilience.
... Successful acclimatization in a mixture containing perlite was also reported for cabbage (soil:perlite, 3:1) and Chinese cabbage (perlite alone) (Gerszberg et al. 2015;Sivanandhan et al. 2019). Perlite is well-known for soil aeration and water absorption (Ilahi and Ahmad 2017), thus mixture with perlite is the easiest way to provide optimal conditions for microplantlets. In this experiment it also limited the occurrence of mildew due to the high humidity under the cover. ...
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Kale (Brassica oleracea convar. acephala var. sabellica) is one of the oldest Brassica vegetable varieties with the highest nutritional value and stress resistance. This work aimed to establish an efficient kale micropropagation protocol. Shoot tips were used as explants during axillary shoots multiplication. The most effective cytokinin (6 and 10 shoots per explant after the 1st and 2nd passage, respectively) was 2.5 mg dm⁻³ 6-benzylaminopurine. Rooting was the most effective on MS medium supplemented with 1.0 mg dm⁻³ indole-3-acetic acid (IAA; 95% rooted shoots). The highest survival rate during acclimatization to ex vitro conditions occurred when plantlets were planted in a soil and perlite mixture. No changes in DNA content were detected using flow cytometry. This paper additionally emphasizes problems associated with the abnormal development of some multiplied Brassicaceae shoots. Nevertheless, the results confirmed that kale micropropagation was successful without any phenotypic aberration.
... Although this medium has several positive attributes such as good aeration, less compactness, good porosity and ideal pH and EC for plant growth, frequent watering is needed due to its poor water holding capacity. CCD is a material with higher water holding capacity, which will effectively improve water holding capacity of media mixtures (Fazlililahi and Ahmad, 2017). Improved CPL medium by overcoming minor weaknesses may offer good hope for vegetable farmers while minimizing the problems associated due to accumulation of pine leaves on the forest floor of main vegetable growing areas of Sri Lanka. ...
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Different soilless media are used in vegetable nurseries for high quality seedling production. In the current research, potential of incorporating crushed pine leaves (CPL) into coconut coir dust (CCD) as an economical and sustainable media alternative for vegetable nursery trays, was investigated. CPL was used as mixtures with CCD at the ratios of 4:0, 3:1, 2:2, 1:3 and 0:4 (Treatment 1-5). Suitability of each treatment as soilless medium was investigated by evaluating their physical and chemical properties as well as biodegradability. Growth performances of the seedlings grown in the treatments were evaluated using brinjal, capsicum, ‘elabatu’ (Solanuminsanum), knolkhol and tomato. The highest water holding capacity, pH and bio-degradability (6.21ml/g; 7.38; 12.6%) were observed in CCD and lowest values were in CPL (1.30ml/g; 5.18; 8.6%). The highest air porosity and bulk density were in CPL (36.7%, 0.32g/cm3) and the lowest were in CCD (2%, 0.23g/cm3). Mixing of these two materials brought those parameters to moderate values which were appropriate for vigorous plant growth. Capsicum, knolkhol and tomato showed higher seedling vigour index, growth rate and root lengths in T2 and T3 mixtures. Brinjal showed the highest values of growth rate and root length in T3 and T4, and seedling vigour index in T3. ‘Elabatu’ showed highest values of growth rate and root length in T4 and T5, and seedling vigour index only in T4. The result concludes that, CPL can be used in nursery medium without any harm to the plants but incorporation of CPL with CCD improves the properties of growth media and assures better seedling growth.
... Two main factors to support quality plant development were good chemical and physical properties of cocopeat. (Awang et al., 2009;Nazari et al., 2011;Paramanandham et al., 2013;Ilahi & Ahmad, 2017;Udayana et al., 2017;Xiong et al., 2017) The increase in demand for young coconut has contributed to increased residual products such as coconut husk. Based on production in 2018, as much as 44% of coconut husk is unutilized and disposed in open field (Tapsir & Mohd Hafizudin, 2018). ...
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Fiber and cocopeat are waste products from coconut husks that can be turned into value added products. Fiber and cocopeat from old coconut husks are well known in coconut industry in the world. This paper described fibre strength from young coconut husks, nutrient content and water-holding ability of young coconut cocopeat compared to old coconut cocopeat. The strength of fiber was determined by using Instron Universal Testing Machine. The results showed that mean load at break for young coconut fiber was 13.76 N while mean load at break for old coconut fiber was 14.93 N. Maximum tensile stress for young coconut fiber was 1.55 MPa and 1.76 MPa for old coconut fiber. The nutrient contents were determined for young cocopeat and old cocopeat resulted as phosphorus (372.79 ppm, 339 ppm), potassium (6829.68 ppm, 10040.46 ppm), calcium (508.74 ppm, 578.40 ppm), magnesium (468.67 ppm, 715.60 ppm) and sodium (1579.70 ppm, 3917.60 ppm). The pH value was 6.55 and 5.39 respectively. The ash contents were 2.62% for young cocopeat while 4.06% for old cocopeat. For water holding ability test, moisture content of each sample from young coconut cocopeat and old coconut cocopeat was determined by using soil moisture meter. After seven days with water added 500 ml two times/day, results showed that water holding ability for peat moss was the best while young cocopeat was better than the old cocopeat. All the results showed that fiber and cocopeat from young coconut husk have high potential for sustainable production in the coconut industry.
Despite their extensive use in wastewater treatment, biochar/layered double hydroxides (BC/LDHs) may serve as novel growing media (GM) amendments for horticultural farming. In the present study, GM was supplemented with BC/LDHs at three application rates [0%, 2.5%, and 5.0% (wt/wt)] denoted as BC/LDHs0, BC/LDHs2.5, and BC/LDHs5.0, respectively, and successive changes in the physiochemical properties of GM were evaluated. The experimental results indicated that at the end of the incubation period, GM was vastly stimulated after BC/LDH amendments, particularly in the case of BC/LDHs5.0, where the pH (7.05) and electrical conductivity (0.43 dS/m) were in accordance with the optimal criteria for soilless cultivation. Moisture content, bulk density, total porosity, and water retention were also improved after BC/LDH remediation although there were insignificant differences among individual dosages for the last two indices. Although increased amendment levels did not benefit total carbon and nitrogen, the maximum efficiency that was reflected in an enhancement of at least 86% in phosphorus, magnesium, and aluminum contents was derived from BC/LDHs5.0. Nevertheless, due to an overriding concern over aluminum interference, BC/LDHs2.5 was recommended given its non-significant difference with non-amendment. Such positive effects of BC/LDHs, on a wide range of GM quality indicators, signify their potential in amendment applications. This study not only provides an alternative approach for the reuse of plant-essential nutrients, but also a means to facilitate sustainable adsorbent waste management, through the extended applicability and validity of BC/LDHs and their utilization in agricultural systems.
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Growth media have important effects on the development of ornamental plants. Many organic and inorganic materials are used in the as growing media (GM) of plants. The present study was carried out in Atatürk University controlled greenhouses condition. In the study, 11 different media created with sand, soil, peat, perlite, and coconut peat and their different mixtures were used as growing media. Mixing medium on a volumetric basis (V:V), respectively: Mix 1: coconut peat+perlite+peat (1:1:1), mix 2: coconut peat + perlite+ soil (1:1:1), mix 3: coconut peat + peat + soil (1:1:1), mix 4: coconut peat + sand + soil (1:1:1), mix 5: perlite + sand + soil (1:1:1), mix 6: peat + sand+soil (1:1:1). Our results showed that GM had a positive effect on the plant growth and flower parameters (flower number, stem diameter, flower stem length, flower diameter, flower stem thickness, plant wet and dry weight, flower wet and dry weight, root length parameters), chlorophyll reading value (SPAD), and chemical properties of plant leaves. In the study, it was determined that the plant growth and development were better by using peat + sand + soil (1:1:1) mixtures that can be suggested as useful growth media for Zinnia elegans plants.
This paper presents the establishment of a solar-powered aquaponics prototype as a sustainable, cost effective and environmentally sound approach for food production. In this study, a prototype bench top aquaponics rig with an integrated 20 W solar panel were fabricated for the cultivation of red Hybrid Tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) and leaf mustard (Brassica juncea). The size of the fish tank is about 29.5L and serves as the base for the setup. Additionally, the hydroponic grower compartment (0.45 m (L) × 0.32 m (W) × 0.13 m (H)) was stacked on top of the fish tank and was filled with LECA media bed for the plant growth. Two important operating parameters were studied. First, the amount of energy produced by the solar panel and the energy consumption by the water pump used in the setup. Secondly, the resultant effects from fish cultivation and plants growth on the water qualities and nitrification efficiency of the aquaponics unit. The aquaponics unit was operated for a month and the values of pH, temperature, and ammonia level were measured to be within the range of 6.4–7.2, 27.1–31.7 °C, and 1 mg·L⁻¹, respectively. Survival rate for fish was about 75% with specific growth rate (SGR) of 3.75% per day and food conversion ratio of about 1.15. A slight nutrient deficiency was evident and plants showed a healthy growth with height gain as high as 5 cm was achieved. Despite raining season, our data shows that the energy produced via 20 W solar panel enabled the unit to run at night without depending on local electricity for nearly two hours. Clearly, a larger solar panel is needed for longer operation. Nevertheless, the study has proven the potential of operating a low cost aquaponics setup using renewable energy for a sustainable food production method.
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This research report is about the potential of coconut coir dust (CD) amended with oil palm frond (OPF) compost soilless growing media for cauliflower cultivation. Five different soilless growing media comprising of CD alone and as mixtures of CD and peat [CDP]; CD and OPF compost A (CDC a); CD and OPF compost B (CDC b); CD and OPF compost C (CDC c) were evaluated in a tropical humid planthouse. The treatment CDC a provided optimum plant growth conditions of cauliflower throughout the growing period due to superiority in physiological traits (stomatal conductance, photosynthesis rate and chlorophyll content in leaves) and higher rate of nutrients uptake resulting maximum total dry mass production thereby economic yield i.e., production of biggest curd (302 g/plant). Moreover, Plants grown on CDC a media mature six days earlier than the control plants. Therefore, plants grown in soilless growing medium, CDC a might suitable growing medium for commercial cultivation of cauliflower in tropical conditions.
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Organic food is getting much preference worldwide because they are free of diseases pure and possess good physiochemical features. Taking the beneficial impact of organic production, into account, this study was conducted under a poly tunnel system using five organic media mixtures including. T0: (Control) Soil + Sand (1: 1), T1 Soil + Silt + Farm Yard Manure (1: 1: 1), T2: Soil + Silt + Leaf Manure (1: 1: 1), T3: Soil + Silt + Poultry Manure (1: 1: 1) and T4: Soil + Silt + Coconut Coir Dust (1: 1: 1). Effects of these growing media on the reproductive growth parameters and subsequently on the quality of parameter of its fruit strawberry (Fragaria annanasa Duch.) cv. “Chandler” were recorded by using randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replicates. Result showed that different reproductive growth parameters of the strawberry plant were also affected by the different growing media. It was observed that coconut coir dust based medium (T4) proved to be the best medium in many aspects. Treatment T4 produced favorable effects on other relevant growth stages. Its influence was also positive on the average number of trusses with (4.33), average number of flowers per truss (6.33), average number of flowers (96), flower size (1.90 cm), average number of fruit set (16.00), average number of fruits (72.96) and fruit size (3.01 cm). Improvement in the fruit weight was observed on T3 (10.0 g). Effect of T4 growing medium was also prominent on fruits color with maximum value of luminance, L* (32.67), redness, a* (29.00), chromaticity, C* (26.00) with low value of b* (7.500) and hue angle, h° (14.00) due to which fruits were more bright and reddish in color. Moreover it also improved the ascorbic acid contents (68.00 mg 100-1 ml) in fruits. The growing medium, T1 improved the total soluble solids (6.26%) of the fruits with an additional improvement in total sugars (15.92%). A significant effect on total sugars was also induced by T4 (15.22%) in strawberry fruits
Chemical and physical properties of coconut-fiber were compared with those of rockwool and two other organic substrates. Each substrate was immersed in water or nutrient solution, and the water holding capacity and the chemical composition of drained solution were determined. Although the initial water holding capacity was much higher in rockwool than in other substrates, EC, pH and elemental composition of the drained solution were not different. The water holding capacity of coconut-fiber substrate much increased with use. Growth, yield and fruit quality of tomato grown on coconut-fiber were no different from those grown in rockwool. Excess supply of nutrient solution is essential when coconut-fiber substrate is used for the first time, which may be managed more easily in recirculating systems. The bark or rice husk as substrates for tomato were also discussed.
For effective irrigation and fertilization management, the knowledge of substrate hydraulic properties is essential. In this study, a steady-state laboratory method was used to determine simultaneously the water retention curve, θ(h), and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity as a function of volumetric water content, K(θ), and water pressure head, K(h), of five substrates used widely in horticulture. The substrates examined were pure peat, 75/25 peat/perlite, 50/50 peat/perlite, 50/50 coir/perlite, and pure perlite. The experimental retention curve results showed that in the case of peat and its mixtures with perlite, there is a hysteresis between drying and wetting branches of the retention curve. Whereas in the case of coir/perlite and perlite, the phenomenon of hysteresis was less pronounced. The increase of perlite proportion in the peat/perlite mixtures led to a decrease of total porosity and water-holding capacity and an increase of air space. Study of the K(θ) and K(h) experimental data showed that the hysteresis phenomenon of K(θ) was negligible compared with the K(h) data for all substrates examined. Within a narrow range of water pressure head (0 to -70 cm H2O) that occurs between two successive irrigations, a sharp decrease of the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity was observed. The comparison of the K(θ) experimental data between the peat-based substrate mixtures and the coir-based substrate mixture showed that for water contents lower than 0.40 m3·m-3, the hydraulic conductivity of the 50/50 coir/perlite mixture was greater. The comparison between experimental water retention curves and predictions using Brooks-Corey and van Genuchten models showed a high correlation (0.992 ≤ R2 ≤ 1) for both models for all substrates examined. On the other hand, in the case of unsaturated hydraulic conductivity, the comparison showed a relatively good correlation (0.951≤R2≤0.981) for the van Genuchten-Mualem model for all substrates used except perlite and a significant deviation (0.436≤R2≤0.872) for the Brooks-Corey model for all substrates used.
Water-holding capacity of substrates increased as the proportion of sphagnum peat and coir increased, and coir-based substrates had greater water-holding capacities than comparable peat-based substrates. There were no significant differences between coir and peat-based substrates with respect to bulk density, percent pore space and percent solids. Air-filled pore space and water-filled pore space decreased and increased, respectively, as the proportion of peat and coir increased. ‘Pink Elite’ geranium plants grown in coir-based substrates had greater root fresh weights than those grown in sphagnum-peat based substrates. Greatest root fresh weight occurred in an 80% coir and 20% perlite substrate. Days to flower, height, shoot fresh weight and number of axillary shoots were not significantly different between substrates. ‘Janie Bright Yellow’ marigold and ‘Blue Lace Carpet’ petunia plants had increased heights and shoot fresh weights when grown in coir-based substrates as compared with sphagnum peat-based substrates. Greatest heights and shoot fresh weights of petunia and marigold occurred in an 80% coir and 20% perlite substrate. Days to flower were reduced for marigold plants grown in coir-based substrates.
The experiment was carried out during 2003-2004 in the research glasshouses of the Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. The design of the experiment was factorial based on completely randomized design with twenty-one treatments and four replicates. Three cultivars were 'Camarosa', 'Gaviota' and 'Selva'. The pot and tube system were used and the pots were filled with 1) peat 67% + sand 33% (v/v), 2) sand 100%, 3) perlite 100%, 4) peat moss 40% + perlite 60%, 5) peat moss 100%, 6) cocopeat 40% + perlite 60% and 7) cocopeat 100%. In general vegetative growth including runner, leaf and crown production in plant was higher in media with peat and cocopeat compared with sand and perlite 100% and 'Gaviota' and 'Camarosa' had more vegetative growth than 'Selva'. The time of flowering was earlier in 'Selva' and 'Camarosa' than in 'Gaviota' and in sand than in media containing peat however time of fruiting was earlier in 'Camarosa' than in the two other cultivars. 'Camarosa' in cocopeat 40% + perlite 60% produced the highest number of fruits and yield per plant. The yield in substrates with peat or cocopeat was higher than in substrates without peat or cocopeat. The highest number of malformed fruits was observed in sand 100% for 'Camarosa'. The soluble solids of fruits were different with different cultivars and different substrates. It looks like 'Camarosa' in cocopeat 40% + perlite 60% is proper for glasshouse production under pot and tube system.
Physical properties differed significantly among five Philippine- produced coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) coir dust sources. Bulk densities ranged from 0.04 to 0.08 g · cm-3. Air-filled pore space, water-filled pore space, and total pore space ranged from 9.5% to 12.6%, 73.0% to 80.0%, and 85.5% to 89.5% (v/v), respectively. Total solids accounted for 10.5% to 14.5% of total volume, and water-holding capacities ranged from 750% to 1100% of dry weight. Significant differences existed in particle size distribution, with the largest differences occurring for particle sizes <8.0 mm and 0.25 to 0.50 mm in diameter. Chemical properties were determined for 12 sources from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, or Indonesia. The pH and electrical conductivities ranged from 5.6 to 6.9 and 0.3 to 2.9 mS · cm-1, respectively, and were significantly different among sources. No significant differences occurred among samples with respect to Fe, Mn, Zn, B, Cu, NH4- N, and Mg concentrations. Coir dust samples contained Fe, Mn, Zn, B, and Cu at 0.01 to 0.07 mg · L-1. The levels of NH4-N and Mg were 0.1 to 0.2 and 1.0 to 7.4 mg · L-1, respectively. Significant differences occurred between sources for Ca, Na, and NO3-N, with levels (mg · L-1) ranging from 1.0 to 24.3, from 22.3 to 88.3, and from 0.4 to 7.0, respectively. The widest ranges occurred in K (19 to 948 mg · L-1) and Cl (26 to 1636 mg · L-1). Sources differed with respect to cation exchange capacities, with values ranging from 38.9 to 60.0 meq/100 g.
This research project was conducted to evaluate the use of different waste materials as potting media for the dwarf variety Dahlia hortensis 'Figaro.' A total of 10 treatments were used where each treatment, consisting of 9 plants, was replicated 3 times. The results associated with plant growth parameters indicated that the maximum values for plant height, number of side shoots per plant, number of tubers per plant, flower diameter, and least days to flower emergence were observed in media containing coconut coir; the maximum corm weight per plant, however, was found in T-8, where rice hull was added to silt. The number of flowers per plant was increased in T-9, where silt, coconut coir, dust, sewage sludge, spent mushroom compost, and rice hull were used together in equal proportions. The media containing sewage sludge alone and in combination with silt showed minimum results for these parameters. Sewage sludge, with its higher pH, produced the least results for all plant growth parameters when 50% or more sewage sludge was added to the potting media.
Selected physical properties of 13 coconut coir dusts from Asia, America, and Africa were compared to physical properties of sphagnum peat. All properties studied differed significantly between and within sources, and from the peat. Coir dusts from India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand were composed mainly of pithy tissue, whereas most of those from Costa Rica, Ivory Coast, and Mexico contained abundant fiber which was reflected by a higher coarseness index (percentage by weight of particles larger than 1 mm in diameter). Coir dust was evaluated as a lightweight material, and its total porosity was above 94% (by volume). It also exhibited a high air content (from 24% to 89% by volume) but a low easily available and total water-holding capacity which ranged from <1% to 36% by volume and from 137 to 786 mL·L-1, respectively. Physical properties of coir dust were strongly dependent on particle size distribution. Both easily available and total water-holding capacity declined proportionally with increasing coarseness index, while air content was positively correlated. Relative hydraulic conductivity in the range of 0 to 10 kPa suction dropped as particle size increased. Coir dusts with a particle size distribution similar to peat showed comparatively higher aeration and lower capacity to hold total and easily available water. An air-water balance similar to that in peat became apparent in coir dust at a comparatively lower coarseness index (29% vs. 63% by weight in peat). Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that particles with diameters in the range of 0.125 to 1 mm had a remarkable and highly significant impact on the physical properties studied, while particles <0.125 mm and >1 mm had only a slight or nonsignificant effect.