Date palm waste compost: a promising alternative for coconut fiber as growing media of melon
Nadia Elabed [Technical Center of Protected and Geothermal Crops, Gabès, Tunisie]Faten Bouaziz [Faculty of Sciences, Department of Life Sciences, University of Gabes, Tunisie]Meriam Bouri [Yeditepe University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Genetics and Bioengineering, Istanbul, Turkey]Asma Boukhris [Department of biology, Faculty of sciences of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia] Samir Aydi [Faculty of Sciences, Department of Life Sciences, University of Gabes, Tunisie]Mohamed Sadok Belkadhi [Technical Center of Protected and Geothermal Crops, Gabès, Tunisie]
The main objective of this research was to compare the effect of local farm resources, date palm waste compost, as growing media, with the imported substrate, coconut fiber, on the fruit yield and some growing indices of melon plants, under hydroponics culture system. The experiment was carried out in a completely randomized blocks in four replications, comparing the following substrates: date palm trunk compost (DPT), date palm waste (70%) and animal manure (30%) compost (DPAM), coconut fiber (CF), and soil as control, respectively. Although there was no significant difference between different treatments in the fruit yield, the pH of the juice, and the firmness of fruits, the substrates induced a significant enhancement in fruit weight, plant length, and TSS compared to the soil control. While coconut fiber was the best substrate in enhancing fruit weight (1392 g) and TSS (12 °Brix), the compost of date palm trunk had the best promoting effect on the number of leaves and plant length with a difference of 63 cm compared to the control. Our results revealed that substrates based on date palm wastes, especially trunk compost, could be promising less-costly alternatives to the imported coconut fiber substrate in soilless cultures.
Keywords: local farm resources, soilless culture system, substrate