The Influence of Growing Medium and Harvest Time on the Biological Value of Cherry Fruit and Standard Tomato Cultivars
The objective of this study was to examine some quality traits of tomato fruits, concerning chemical composition, in relation to the type of growing medium and harvest time. Cherry (‘Dasher’ and ‘Organza’) and standard (‘Admiro’ and ‘DRW 7594’) tomato cultivars were grown in a greenhouse with controlled climate and drip fertilizing system, in three different growing media. Environment friendly media - coconut fiber and wood fiber were compared to rockwool, commonly used as a standard horticultural medium. The type of tomato cultivar as well as harvest time significantly influenced fruit quality. The highest fruit quality was obtained from red cherry ‘Dasher’ F1 cultivar in the July harvest. The content of macronutrients in tomato fruit were significantly depend on growing media. The higher content of phosphorus was obtained in tomato fruits from plants cultivated on coconut fiber and nitrates from rockwool. The content of sugars, TSS and ascorbic acid in tomato fruit mostly depended on the growing medium. The most total sugars had fruits when plant cultivated on coconut fiber. Coconut fiber, wood fiber and rockwool can be used as the alternative media for different soilless growing systems, without a significant change of the taste quality of tomatoes.
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