Phosphorus, Potassium and Nitrate Contents in Fruit of Pickling Cucumbers Grown in a High Tunnel
Pickling cucumbers are highly important both for fresh consumption and for canning industry. This study aimed to compare differences in yield and quality of eight pickling cucumber cultivars, including ‘Cor 12004’, ‘IGG 2010’, ‘IGG 2020’, ‘SM 5322’, ‘SM 5323’, ‘Zayin 201’, ‘Zayin 175201’ and ‘Trilogy’. The cucumber cultivars were laid out in a high tunnel crop and evaluated for vegetative traits (i.e. vine length, nodes per vine and branches per vine), yield attributes (i.e. fruits per main stem, average weight of fruit and fruits weight per plant) and fruits quality components (nitrate, phosphate and potassium mg kg-1). The results showed significant differences (P<0.05) in vegetative traits and yield attributes among cultivars. The analysis of correlation coefficients revealed that total yield (kg ha-1) was positively correlated with two out of three vegetative traits (with exception nodes per plant) and with all yield attributes. The highest total yield (101.17 t ha-1) was reached by ‘SM 5322’ cultivar, followed by the ‘IGG 2010’ and ‘SM 5323’ cultivars. The nitrates content in fruits, assessed on three categories of length (6-9 cm, 9-12 cm and >12 cm), revealed a declining value with increase in the cucumber length. The study findings suggest that irrespective of the cultivar, the amount of nitrate was higher in shorter cucumbers (6-9 cm length) although all
recorded values (between 192.7 and 364.3 mg kg-1 fresh matter) being under maximum accepted limit concentrations. The amount of phosphate was higher in medium to long cucumbers, while the amount of potassium was higher in shorter cucumbers.
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