Compatibility of biocontainers in commercial greenhouse crop production

Andrew Koeser, Gary Kling, Candice Miller, Daniel Warnock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite consumer interest in biocontainers, their use in commercial greenhouse production remains limited. Previous research indicates that a perceived incompatibility of biocontainers with current production systems may be a barrier to their widespread adoption. This article investigates two potential areas of concern for growers looking to adopt biocontainers as part of their production process: 1) the ability of biocontainers to withstand the rigors of a semimechanized commercial production process, and 2) biocontainer performance under three different irrigation methods (i.e., hand, ebb-and-flood, and drip irrigation). In the two studies presented here, 'Florida Sun Jade' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) was evaluated to match measures of container resiliency with plant performance. Results indicate that plants grown in biocontainers were of equal size and quality as those grown in conventional plastic containers within each of the irrigation types tested. However, some biocontainers were more prone to damage during crop production, handling, and shipping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalHortTechnology
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • Drip irrigation
  • Ebb-and-flood
  • Mechanized production
  • Overhead irrigation
  • Pots
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture

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