Waste Nutrient Solution as an Alternative Fertilizer in Curled Mallow Cultivation

  •  Chungkeun Lee    
  •  Dong Sub Kim    
  •  Yurina Kwack    
  •  Changhoo Chun    


To determine the feasibility of reusing waste nutrient solution as an alternative fertilizer for vegetable production, we investigated the growth and shoot nutrient content of curled mallows (Malva verticillata L.) irrigated with tap water (pH 7.8, EC: 0.5 dS·m-1), nutrient solution (pH 5.7, EC: 2.7 dS·m-1) and waste nutrient solution (pH 5.0, EC: 2.2 dS·m-1 in average) collected from plant factories. Three waste nutrient solutions were applied in sequential order to a waste nutrient solution treatment and mineral compositions of irrigation solutions were analyzed. We measured the total number of leaves, fresh and dry weight, chlorophyll content (SPAD value) and total phenolic content of curled mallow shoots and analyzed shoot and soil nutrient content using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES). Curled mallows were harvested twice during the cultivation. Curled mallows irrigated with waste nutrient solutions had a similar fresh weight (yield), total phenolic content and number of leaves compared to those grown with fresh nutrient solution, and had higher fresh and dry weight, chlorophyll content (SPAD value) and percentage dry weight compared to those grown with tap water upon first and second harvest. The dry weight of curled mallows grown in waste nutrient solution was lower than that of plants grown in nutrient solution on first harvest, but there was no significant difference between the waste nutrient solution and nutrient solution groups on second harvest. Curled mallows irrigated with nutrient solution and waste nutrient solution showed similar mineral content. These results suggest that waste nutrient solution in curled mallow cultivation could be reused and provide more efficient and sustainable nutritional solutions that improve the productive yields of crops in the agriculture sector.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.