(Freshplaza)--Citrus tree propagation in a cocopeat hydroponic growing system emerged from the idea to get a plant that does not suffer stress in the transplant from the nursery to the field. "Today this practice is being implemented by more citrus nurseries in The USA," said Uri Roudman from Pelemix. "The catalyst for the use of coir is the citrus greening disease that is threatening the US citrus production."
Spreading of the disease in Florida and California has called for rapid action by the agricultural and plant protection agencies and today all commercial nurseries in the USA are required to grow indoors in controlled greenhouse environments providing isolation from contamination for new trees.
This new growing system has challenged the nursery growers to rapidly adapt to the new situation and growing conditions, the first challenge is how to grow a good quality tree in this new environment.
Coir seemed to be a substrate that could help them to propagate a tree with following properties.
- Excellent root health
- No stress when transferred to the field and no post – planting stress.
- Less plantation losses due to lower pressure coming from transport, handling, planting and plant acclimatization.
- High uniformity in the nursery and in the field.
- A robust root ball (filled absorbent hairs that enshrine the coir) that can be planted at any time of year.
- Ideal for replanting and dubbing, done at any time of the year.
- Minimum stress during transport because the root ball - which still contains water and nutrients – makes reserves available to the plant and allows the plant to be fed for a considerable period of time.
- Exportable product. Coir that makes up the root ball plant passes phytosanitary requirements of customs.
- The plant can stay longer "above ground" due to the autonomy that provides the root ball, so incidence involving plantation problems (rains that preclude, lack of labor, mechanical failures, ... ) are lower with this type of plant.
- It avoids the typical “J” rooting that takes place when it’s in a pot. Once planted in the field, the root grows quickly in all directions.
Gradually this system was improving on the one hand, the culture technique (tillage adjustment, crop cycle and especially the nutrient solution at each stage of the crop), and on the other hand, the formats and grain size of substrate that were adapted to get a product which, not only has advantages for the end customer, but also provides great advantages for the nursery.
- Drastically reduced the crop cycle in the nursery. There are cases of getting the citrus seedling in less than 6 months.
- In the same area, in the same period of time one can produce larger a quantity of plants.
- Losses are reduced. The pattern has almost no stress on the transplant from bedding plants to the coir.
- Graft yield increases. With fertilization control we have the ability of controlling the grip of the grafts.
- Reduces the typical diseases of soil.
- Improves the homogeneity of the plant.
- It increases performance in obtaining high-quality plant.
- Due to the short production time, “work on request” is now a possibility.
Based on experience gained regarding the citrus cultivation kit, Pelemix LTD. has developed the cultivation kits for olive trees and fruit trees tropical and ornamental trees with the same advantages obtained in citrus.
Published on: 08/27/2013