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Vertemate con Minoprio, Italy

Martinetti L.,University of Milan | Ferrante A.,University of Milan | Bassoli A.,University of Milan | Borgonovo G.,University of Milan | And 2 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2012

Perilla frutescens (L.) Britt., widely used in Asian countries both as culinary and medicinal plant, is reported to be very rich in phenolic compounds that are beneficial for human health. Since perilla is almost unknown in Italy, we investigated the suitability of this species to be grown in our environments. At first, we estimated the antioxidant capacity and the phytochemical content of different cultivars, in order to explore the existing variability. Two red-leaf ('Aka Shiso', Tokita, and 'Purple Zi Su', Agrohaitai) and three green-leaf cultivars ('Ao Shiso', Tokita, 'Qing Su', Agrohaitai, and 'Korean perilla' of Kitazawa Seed) were sown in greenhouse in April 2008 and plants were transplanted in open field about one month later. At the marketing maturity stage (about 60 days after transplant) we detected the fresh yield, dry matter percentage, and the content of chlorophyll a+b, total phenols, anthocyanins, carotenoids, perillaldehyde and perillaketone, which are responsible for the typical flavour and are involved in the chemesthetic mechanisms of taste perception. All the cultivars performed very well and showed high antioxidant capacity, even if some differences among cultivars arose. We conclude that perilla has good prospect of becoming an innovative and functional leafy vegetable in Italy.

Piatti R.,Fondazione Minoprio Centro MiRT | Amoroso G.,Fondazione Minoprio Centro MiRT | Frangi P.,Fondazione Minoprio Centro MiRT | Fini A.,University of Florence
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2011

Water is a primary resource and its availability for ornamental industry will soon be reduced because of increasing costs and because of competition with other sectors. In addition, in nursery production a noteworthy amount of fertilizers is leached off in the environment with water, causing pollution of the superficial water bodies. Technologies able to rationalize both the irrigation and the fertilization, like closed-loop or capillary mat systems, are a possible solution to reduce both water use and fertilizer leaching. The aim of this study was to test different irrigation systems for nursery ornamental crops, analyzing also the problems linked to reuse of drained solutions. A traditional irrigation system (OI - overhead irrigation) was compared with two zero-runoff systems: A closed system (WR - overhead irrigation with recycling of runoff) and a sub-irrigation system with capillary mat (CM). For each system a 300 m 2 tunnel covered with an anti-hail net was used. About water consumption, CM allowed 26% water savings, while the WR system allowed the saving of 20% of the water. No differences in plant quality were observed among irrigation systems. In the zero-runoff systems economic and ecological benefits are clear. In particular, the system equipped with capillary mat showed the best performances.

Piatti R.,Fondazione Minoprio Centro MiRT | Frangi P.,Fondazione Minoprio Centro MiRT | Amoroso G.,Fondazione Minoprio Centro MiRT
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2011

Current container-grown plant production practices utilize high volumes of both irrigation and fertilization to maximize plant growth. Inefficiencies of these management practices may lead to high chemical externalities, with environmental damage. Moreover in the upcoming future the water availability for nursery irrigation is destined to decrease. As a consequence the nursery industry must increase water use efficiency for plant production. In order to test different nursery management systems an experiment was conducted at Fondazione Minoprio in 2006. Nine thousand plants of three cultivars of Rosa hybrida ('Cubana', 'Innocentia' and 'Pink Emily') were cultivated in 1,5 L containers. Three different nursery management systems, realized in three nurseries of 300 m 2 each-one, were compared. The first nursery was managed in a traditional way: overleaf irrigation with static sprinklers and without water recovery. Plants were fertilized with a controlled-release fertilizer added to the growing medium. The second nursery was a closed-loop system: overleaf irrigation with static sprinklers and recovers of the excess of solution in a 50 m 3 artificial basin for reuse. Plants were fertirrigated. The third nursery was realized with a high water retention mat (Aquamatâ„¢), in which the nutrient solution is served out directly in the mat and released to plants by capillarity. Water consumption for each nursery was recorded weekly during the trial and at the end of the experiment, and both shoot and root biomasses were measured. For each cultivar shoot biomass resulted higher where the retention mat was used, while no differences were observed between traditional and closed-loop management. Greater root biomass was observed where the traditional management was used. The closed-loop system allowed 11% of water saving, while the sub-irrigation system allowed saving 41% of water if compared to the traditional system.

Amoroso G.,Fondazione Minoprio Centro MiRT | Piatti R.,Fondazione Minoprio Centro MiRT | Frangi P.,Fondazione Minoprio Centro MiRT
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2010

Ground-cover roses combine the appeal and the beauty of rose flowers with the adaptability and tolerance of cover shrubs. Rose cultivars are usually bred in northern Europe, where growing conditions are dissimilar to those prevailing in southerly latitudes such as northern Italy. This latitude difference creates acclimatization problems for growers. The aim of this trial, set up at Fondazione Minoprio (Vertemate con Minoprio, Como), was to collect data concerning the performance of some widely-used ground-cover rose cultivars in Italy over a period of three years. In late spring 2003, 47 cultivars of ground-cover roses were planted; all the plants were mulched with a polypropylene sheet and covered with a 10.0 cm layer of pine bark. No irrigation, pruning and disease control were applied in order to simulate urban conditions. Height and ground covering percentage were measured every two months. Plant phenology, health status and bloom index (flower area per ground unit) were recorded weekly. The results presented are divided into the different flower colour classes. No differences emerged among white flower roses for ornamental value and ground cover capacity whilst yellow coloured roses suffered heavy defoliations due to black spot, with the exception of 'Sunny Rose'. Orange flowered roses were also susceptible to black spot, with the exception of 'Alfabia' that flowered continuously throughout the season. Among the pink roses, the cultivars 'Heidetraum' and 'Satina' produced the highest ornamental value when compared with the other cultivars. The most interesting red flower cultivar was 'Toscana' which was characterized by good disease tolerance, good ground covering capacity and by an appreciable dwarf size. In the purple-coloured group 'Knock Out' showed the best performance and ground covering ability; the cultivar was also characterized by long-lasting flowering (from May to November) and by an extended leaf persistence (until December). This trial confirmed that, in low-maintenance urban settings, disease tolerance is the most important feature, as affected plants show reduced growth and flowering, thus presenting a poor quality.

Frangi P.,Fondazione Minoprio Centro MiRT | Amoroso G.,Fondazione Minoprio Centro MiRT | Piatti R.,Fondazione Minoprio Centro MiRT
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2012

Peat is the predominant constituent of growing media for production of container-grown ornamentals. However, its extraction from peat bog may lead to severe environmental consequences. For this reason, there is increasing pressure in Europe to reduce peat extraction and to find alternative growing media. The use of fiber obtained from two fast-growing species of Poaceae (Arundo donax L. and Miscanthus sinensis Anderss. 'Giganteus') as constituents of growing media for containerized plant production was evaluated in this experiment in order to reduce the amount of peat in the mixes. One-year-old plants of Prunus laurocerasus L. 'Rotundifolia' and Viburnum tinus L. 'Eve Price' were cultivated in substrates containing 0, 25, 50 and 75% (V/V) of fiber obtained from extrusion of shredded culms of A. donax and M. sinensis, mixed with peat and pumice. Tested substrates were analyzed for chemical and physical traits at the beginning and at the end of the trial, while plant height increase and shoot dry biomass were measured at the end of the trial. A significant reduction in plant growth (height and biomass) was observed in the two species when A. donax and M. sinensis fiber increased in the growing medium. Higher pH values and lower nutrient content were evident in experimental treatments at the end of the trial in comparison with peat-based substrate.

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