Effects of Vermicompost and Beneficial Microbes on Biomass and Nutrient Density in Purple Lady Bok Choy (Brassica rapa var. chinensis) in A Vertical Hydroponic Grow Tower System
Indoor food production in vertical hydroponic systems can be done year-round in any climate, has less negative environmental impacts compared to industrial agriculture and is a way of increasing the nutritional value of crops. Indoor hydroponic systems make it easy to control the precision of additives and amendments, such as fertilizers and vermicompost tea, to nutrient solution reservoirs. Vermicompost tea is known to contain beneficial microorganisms and can help increase the biomass, nutrient density, and overall health of the plants. Microorganisms and plants have co-evolved and is an essential relationship that deserves recognition and further research. The goal of the research presented in this paper was to better understand if vermicompost tea and its associated microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, nematodes, and protozoa, would increase biomass and nutrient density of Purple Lady Bok Choy (Brassica rapa var. chinensis) in vertical hydroponic systems. Statistical analyses were performed to compare the biomass and macro- and micronutrients of three different treatments to one another and a control. There was a significant difference between the mean leaf and root biomass among varying concentrations of vermicompost tea solutions and added inorganic hydroponic fertilizer. The nutrient density for both macro- and micronutrients also differed significantly due to different concentrations of vermicompost tea, suggesting that beneficial microbes may help plants uptake and absorb nutrients in a more efficient manner depending on the concentration of vermicompost tea and hydroponic fertilizer.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Chelsea Pearson, Rochelle Gawel, Donna M. Maki
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