Full Length Research Paper
Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is one of the most important agricultural products for export in Iran. According to published statistics by FAO in 2008, more than 244000 ha of farm lands in Iran have been allocated to palm cultivation. Large amounts of palm wastage are thrown away without any usage annually. By contrast, cocopeat, which is produced from coconut trees, is imported for different purposes per annum. Thus, in order to find an alternative compound to cocopeat, an experiment was conducted with different combinations of palm leaf petioles (date-peat), cocopeat and perlite in hydroponic culture beds for strawberry under controlled conditions. The results showed that the best combination was achieved when a mixture of two parts of perlite, one part date-peat and one part cocopeat resulted in increased fruit yield, fruit number, chlorophyll content and leaf area. Additionally, the highest vitamin C content was observed in 3: 1 ratio of perlite and cocopeat treatment. On the other hand, application of three parts of date-peat + one part of cocopeat and also three parts of cocopeat + one part of date-peat, led to increased total soluble solids however there was no significant difference between mixtures. Nowadays, the growth medium in hydroponic bed mainly consists of mixture of cocopeat and perlite. Presented results suggest that palm wastages (date-peat) could be a good alternative to be partly substitute coconut fiber for strawberries and possibly other hydroponic crops.
Key words: Cocopeat, date-peat, perlite, strawberry, hydroponic culture.
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