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Seaweed extract benefits petunia, tomato transplants

Protocol for substrate drenches, foliar spray recommended to improve postharvest life

Date:
October 28, 2015
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
A study investigated the effects of two seaweed extract application methods (foliar spray or substrate drench) and rate on growth and postharvest drought tolerance of petunia and tomato transplants. Foliar sprays significantly affected growth of petunia and tomato, but did not improve drought tolerance of either. Applications of substrate drenches were recommended for improving postharvest life of petunia and tomato transplants, and foliar applications were recommended to increase plant growth.
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Seaweed extracts are used widely in agriculture and horticulture production systems. Benefits of the extracts can include early seed germination and establishment, improved crop performance and yield, increased resistance to biotic and abiotic stress, and enhanced postharvest shelf life. A study in the August 2015 issue of HortTechnology determined the effects of rockweed extract, applied as a drench or foliar spray, on plant growth and drought tolerance of tomato and petunia transplants.

According to study authors Yuqi Li and Neil Mattson, rockweed (RWE) concentrate contains macro and micronutrients, amino acids, vitamins, cytokinins, auxin, and abscisic acid-like growth substances, which affect the properties of growing media, plant growth, and crop yield. To determine if rockweed could be beneficial to petunia and tomato, the researchers tested RWE applications on transplants in greenhouse experiments at Cornell University.

"In this study, drenches significantly affected substrate pH and EC and several measured elements. RWE drench increased substrate Na+, K+, Cl, and NO3−N. The opposite trends were found for Ca2+ concentrations," the authors said. Analyses showed that RWE foliar sprays were not effective for improving drought tolerance of petunia and tomato, whereas substrate drenches significantly improved drought resistance of both.

"Results of the study suggested that RWE substrate drenches at 5-10 mL·L−1 are appropriate for the improvement of postharvest life of petunia and tomato transplants; however, monitoring of substrate pH should be done," said the authors. They added that rockweed foliar sprays can improve growth of both plants.


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Materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yuqi Li, and Neil S. Mattson. Effects of Seaweed Extract Application Rate and Method on Post-production Life of Petunia and Tomato Transplants. HortTechnology, August 2015

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Seaweed extract benefits petunia, tomato transplants: Protocol for substrate drenches, foliar spray recommended to improve postharvest life." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151028131014.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2015, October 28). Seaweed extract benefits petunia, tomato transplants: Protocol for substrate drenches, foliar spray recommended to improve postharvest life. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 25, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151028131014.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Seaweed extract benefits petunia, tomato transplants: Protocol for substrate drenches, foliar spray recommended to improve postharvest life." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151028131014.htm (accessed May 25, 2017).

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