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Electronic Journal of Polish Agricultural Universities (EJPAU) founded by all Polish Agriculture Universities presents original papers and review articles relevant to all aspects of agricultural sciences. It is target for persons working both in science and industry,regulatory agencies or teaching in agricultural sector. Covered by IFIS Publishing (Food Science and Technology Abstracts), ELSEVIER Science - Food Science and Technology Program, CAS USA (Chemical Abstracts), CABI Publishing UK and ALPSP (Association of Learned and Professional Society Publisher - full membership). Presented in the Master List of Thomson ISI.

Volume 10
Issue 1
Topic:
ELECTRONIC
JOURNAL OF
POLISH
AGRICULTURAL
UNIVERSITIES
. , EJPAU 10(1), #16.
Available Online: http://www.ejpau.media.pl/volume10/issue1/art-16.html


 

ABSTRACT

A field experiment done in the years 2002-2005 evaluated the effect of the manner of setting up the plantation (from seed sowing directly to the ground – control object; from seed sowing directly to the ground with a covering of agrotextiles; from seedlings obtained in a foil tunnel; from seedlings produced in multi-cell-trays in a foil tunnel) on the yielding of the fresh weight of the overground parts and the roots of marsh mallow and on the content of mucus in the raw material in the first and second years of the vegetation of plants.

A greater fresh weight of the overground parts and the roots was produced by the plants cultivated from the seedlings as compared to direct sowing; however, the best yield-forming effects were achieved planting the seedlings produced in multi-cell trays (a significant increase of the yields compared to the control was 59% and 14%, respectively, in the first year, and 72% and 37% in the second year of vegetation. The greatest content of mucus was found in the roots from the cultivation from seed sowing directly to the ground with a covering of agrotextiles. However, considering the yield of mucus, the greatest amount of the studied compounds was obtained in the objects with the seedlings from a tunnel (one-year-old plants) and with the seedlings produced in multi-cell trays (two-year-old plants).

Key words: .

INTRODUCTION

Marsh mallow finds wide application in medicine and it is an important raw material for the pharmaceutical industry. The confirmed medicinal effect is attributed first of all to mucus substances present in the roots and the leaves. In contemporary medicine they are used in the production of preparations improving metabolism and medicines protecting the mucous membranes of the digestive tract and upper air passages [1, 6].

The method that is nowadays recommended for setting up a plantation of marsh mallow is the spring sowing of seeds directly to the ground; less frequently a plantation is established from seedlings [3]. The accessible literature on the agrotechnology of this plant lacks information concerning the effect of the manner of cultivation on the yield and the content of active substances in raw materials, which poses new research tasks. It follows from the studies conducted on other plant species that an important factor of increasing the yield and improving the quality is planting seedlings produced in multi-cell trays as well as the use of polypropylene agrotextiles to cover the soil directly after the seed sowing [9, 11, 12]. The purpose of the present paper was to establish the most effective method of setting up the plantation of marsh mallow and to perform a chemical analysis of the obtained material.

MATERIAL AND METHODS

Results of the studies were based on a field experiment done in the years 2002-2005 at the Experimental Station in Zamosc on brown soil of loess origin. The soil was characterized by a neutral reaction, mean content of humus and magnesium and a very high content of phosphorus and potassium. The following manners of setting up the plantation were compared: 1) seed sowing directly to the ground (control object); 2) seed sowing directly to the ground with a covering of agrotextiles; 3) planting the seedlings in a foil tunnel; 4) planting the seedlings produced in multi-cell trays in a foil tunnel. The experiment was set in a scheme of random blocks in four replications on plots of the area of 20 m2. Every year the plots were divided into two, assigning one part to a two-year-old plantation used in the next year. Mineral fertilization was used in doses (in conversion to 1 ha): 70 kg N, 25 kg P and 90 kg K. The seedlings were obtained sowing the seeds in a heated foil tunnel (the second 10-days’ period of March) on the substrate of peat and to multi-cell trays filled with the same substrate. The seed sowing directly to the ground took place in the middle of April. Directly after the sowing the plots were covered with polypropylene agrotextiles, which were taken off at the moment when the plants reached the height of about 15 cm. The seedlings were planted to the ground at the beginning of May. The same spacing of plants, 50×40 cm, was used in all objects.

In the first 10 days of October the overground part of the plants was cut off and the roots were dug out, converting the obtained yields of fresh weight to hectare. The percentage proportion of leaves, stems and fruit in the fresh weight of the overground parts was determined in 20 plants from each object. After the roots were dried at the temperature of about 40°C, the drying index was calculated and next the content of mucus was established in the material by means of the scales method [10]. The theoretical yield of mucus from a unit of the area was calculated on the basis of the yield of the dry weight of roots from 1 hectare and the percentage content of mucus substances in the material. The numerical data were analyzed statistically and the smallest significant differences were calculated using Tuckey’s confidence intervals with a 5% error.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The manner of establishing the plantation significantly differentiated the yield of the fresh weight of the overground parts of marsh mallow (tab. 1). In the first year significantly higher yields were obtained in the objects with the planted seedlings than with seed sowing directly to the ground, which was similar to the experiment with basil conducted by Ziombro and Sas-Golak [14]. Kordana and Mordalski [4] also showed that taking into consideration the yield of pale purple coneflower and gypsywort, planting the seedlings is a better way of establishing a plantation. In the present experiment the greatest yield-forming effect as compared to the control object (mean 59%) was obtained planting the seedlings produced in multi-cell trays. On the other hand, the smallest effect on the value of the studied features was exerted by the use of agrotextiles. Although the covered plants created a greater weight of the overground parts (mean about 9%), the obtained differences were statistically insignificant.

Table 1. Yields of fresh weight of overground parts of marsh mallow depending on the manner of setting up the plantation (t·ha-1)

Manner of setting up the plantation

One-year-old plants

Two-year-old plants

2002

2003

2004

mean

2003

2004

2005

mean

Sowing to the ground – control

25.9

21.1

21.0

22.7

41.0

41.7

36.1

39.6

Sowing to the ground + agrotextiles

29.9

24.1

20.3

24.8

43.7

48.9

38.7

43.8

Seedlings from a tunnel

35.7

28.5

31.9

32.0

45.1

52.1

33.3

43.5

Seedlings from multi-cell trays

42.2

30.8

35.4

36.1

46.1

53.3

35.6

45.0

Mean

33.4

261

27.2

28.9

440

49.0

35.9

43.0

NIR 0.05

 

Manner of setting up the plantation (A)

     

3.3

     

3.9

Years (B)

     

2.6

     

3.0

Interaction (A x B)

     

ns

     

8.7

In the second year of the cultivation all manners of setting up the plantation, as compared to the control, significantly increased the yield of the fresh weight of the overground parts; however, the best was the cultivation from seedlings produced in multi-cell trays (a 14% increase of the yield, on average). It should be mentioned that the overground parts of older plants were characterized by a much greater proportion of lignified stems (mean 75%) and at the same time by half as high proportion of leaves as compared to the plants from one-year-old plantations (fig. 1).

Figure 1. Percentage usage of stems, leaves and fruits of the fresh weight of the overground parts of marsh mallow (means in the years 2002-2005): 1 – sowing to the ground (control), 2 – sowing to the ground + agrotextiles, 3 – seedlings from a tunnel, 4 – seedlings from a multi-cell trays, 5 – mean

The ways of establishing the plantation significantly modified the yield of the fresh weight of marsh mallow roots (tab. 2). The fact deserves mentioning that statistically significant differences were not shown only in a two-year-old plantation between the object with agrotextiles and the one with the seedlings obtained in a tunnel. Distinctly the most positive effect on the yields of the fresh weight of roots was exerted by the cultivation from the seedlings produced in multi-cell trays. The discussed manner of setting up the plantation, both in the first and second years of cultivation, caused a 15% significant increase of the roots yield as compared to the object where the seedlings were produced in a tunnel. According to Sugier [11], planting the seedlings from multi-cell trays is the most recommended method of establishing the plantation of common dandelion. A similar opinion is expressed by Winiarska [13] on the basis of a field experiment with cardoon. A significant increase of the yields in comparison to control plants was also found out in the object with agrotextiles. According to literature, agrotextiles create a positive microclimate for the plants, which is characterized first of all by greater humidity and temperature of the air and the soil in comparison to the uncovered ground [2, 7, 8]. A high yield-forming efficiency of this technology of cultivation was shown in the studies of Słodkowski [9] and Wadas [12], who obtained an increase of the yield of beetroot and potato bulbs, respectively by 46% and 13%. In the present experiment agrotextiles significantly increased the yields of the root fresh weight by 14% and 12%, respectively, in the first and second years of vegetation.

Table 2. Yields of fresh weight of the roots of marsh mallow depending on the manner of setting up the plantation (t·ha-1)

Manner of setting up the plantation

One-year-old plants

Two-year-old plants

2002

2003

2004

mean

2003

2004

2005

mean

Sowing to the ground – control

17.1

13.5

11.9

14.2

19.4

16.4

17.9

17.9

Sowing to the ground – agrotextiles

20.6

15.4

12.7

16.2

22.2

18.2

19.4

19.9

Seedlings from a tunnel

25.6

19.0

19.1

21.2

29.0

21.0

14.0

21.3

Seedlings from multi-cell trays

30.7

20.2

22.2

24.4

32.0

22.8

19.0

24.6

Mean

23.5

17.0

165

19.0

25.7

19.6

17.6

20.9

NIR 0.05

 

Manner of setting up plantation (A)

     

2.0

     

1.5

Years (B)

     

1.6

     

1.2

Interaction (A x B)

     

4.6

     

3.4

The examined factor had a small influence on the degree of drying of the fresh root weight of marsh mallow (tab. 3). In the case of one-year-old plants the drying index was on average 3.2 and it ranged from 3.0 (in the object with the seedlings from a tunnel) to 3.4 (in the object with the seedlings from multi-cell trays). On the other hand, on two-year-old plantation this index reached the mean values from 3.0 to 3.2.

Table 3. Index of drying of fresh root weight of marsh mallowdepending on the manner of setting up the plantation

Manner of setting up the plantation

One-year-old plants

Two-year-old plants

2002

2003

2004

mean

2003

2004

2005

mean

Sowing to the ground – control

3.3

2.7

3.6

3.2

2.6

4.0

3.0

3.2

Sowing to the ground + agrotextiles

3.0

2.6

3.8

3.1

2.4

3.7

2.9

3.0

Seedlings from a tunnel

3.0

2.5

3.5

3.0

2.4

3.9

2.7

3.0

Seedlings from multi-cell trays

3.3

2.8

4.0

3.4

2.4

3.9

3.0

3.1

Mean

3.2

2.7

3.7

3.2

2.5

3.9

2.9

3.1

The yields of overground parts and roots depended on the course of weather conditions to a large extent (tab. 4). Warm and wet weather in the period of the plants’ intensive growth in 2002 clearly favoured the formation of the vegetative mass. As a result, significantly higher yields of the overground parts and the roots were obtained on the one-year-old plantation in comparison to the other years. The worst atmospheric conditions were observed in the year 2005. A clear shortage of humidity in the period between June and September and a relatively high temperature of the air had a negative effect on vegetation, and, as a consequence, on the obtained yields.

Table 4. Mean air temperature and sums of atmospheric rainfalls (according to the Meteorological Station in Zamosc)

Month

Mean air temperature (°C)

Sums of atmospheric rainfalls (mm)

2002

2003

2004

2005

2002

2003

2004

2005

April

9.5

7.8

9.6

13.9

34.8

36.7

46.3

45.4

May

17.6

17.1

13.5

10.6

11.8

11.4

50.1

98.2

June

18.3

18.2

18.1

17.2

146.3

45.0

34.9

69.5

July

21.7

20.5

19.4

22.8

135.6

14.7

145.0

33.6

August

20.5

20.7

19.7

17.5

14.5

10.8

71.9

52.7

September

13.4

12.0

14.2

16.3

51.3

0.8

36.3

15.8

Mean / Sum

16.8

16.1

15.8

16.4

49.3

349.4

384.5

315.2

The chemical analyses of the roots showed that both in the first and second years of vegetation the greatest amount of mucus was gathered in the plants cultivated with the use of agrotextiles (tab. 5). The smallest amount of the studied compounds was observed in the roots of plants obtained from the seedlings produced in multi-cell trays. On the other hand, independently of the manner of setting up the plantation, a greater proportion of active substance was found in the two-year-old material (on average 8.91% and 8.31% in the first year of the cultivation). The obtained results are similar to those achieved by Kostujak and Steindel [5], according to whom the roots of older plants are more valuable in respect of the content of mucus.

Table 5. Mucus content in roots and theoretical yield of mucus depending on the manner of setting up the plantation (mean in the years 2002-2005)

Manner of setting up the plantation

One-year-old plants

Two-year-old plants

mucus content
%

mucus yield
kg·ha-1

mucus content
%

mucus yield
kg·ha-1

Sowing to the ground – control

8.37

348.2

8.94

490.8

Sowing to the ground + agrotextiles

8.77

432.6

9.65

628.2

Seedlings from a tunnel

8.35

550.4

8.76

611.5

Seedlings from multi-cell trays

7.75

531.6

8.27

660.3

Mean

8.31

465.7

8.91

597.7

Because of differentiated yields of roots, the theoretical yield of mucus from an area unit was adopted as the measure of the effectiveness of the applied factor. It was found out that all manners of setting up the plantation clearly increased the mucus yield in comparison to the control object. In the first year of vegetation the cultivation from the seedlings produced in a tunnel was the best, while in the second year it was the cultivation from the seedlings planted from multi-cell trays.

CONCLUSIONS

  1. The manner of setting up the plantation significantly differentiated the yields of marsh mallow. A greater fresh weight of the overground parts and the roots was obtained from the seedlings as compared to seed sowing directly to the ground.

  2. The best yield-forming effects were achieved in planting the seedlings produced in multi-cell trays. A significant increase of the yields of overground parts and roots as compared to the control object was 59% and 14%, respectively, in the first year of vegetation, and 72% and 37% in the second.

  3. The use of agrotextiles after the seed sowing significantly increased the yield of the fresh weight of roots and had a positive effect on the accumulation of mucus in the material.

  4. The greatest theoretical yield of mucus in the first year of vegetation was obtained in the object with the seedlings in a tunnel, while in the second – planting the seedlings produced in multi-cell trays.

  5. The obtained results justify the purposefulness of introducing the technology of seedling production in multi-cell trays as well as the use of agrotextiles to cover the soil directly after sowing the seeds.


REFERENCES

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  2. Cerne M., 1994. Different agrotextiles for direct covering of pickling cucumbers. Acta Hort. 371, 247-252.

  3. Kordana S., Kordana T., 1999. ABC uprawowych roslin zielarskich [arcydzięgiel litwor, babka lancetowata, jeżówka purpurowa, prawoslaz lekarski, rzewień dłoniasty] – ABC of the cultivated herb plants [garden angelica, narrowleaf plantain, eastern purple coneflower, marsh mallow, turkey rhubarb). Wiad. Ziel. 3, 16-21 [in Polish].

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  5. Kostujak K., Steindel H., 1958. Dynamizm gromadzenia się sluzu w Radix althaeae [Dynamism of mucus accumulation in Radix althaeae]. Biul. IRL 4, 41-49 [in Polish].

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  9. Słodkowski P., 2000. Wpływ stosowania osłon w uprawie buraka ćwikłowego na zbiór pęczkowy [Effect of covering in the cultivation ofbeetroot for bunches]. Annales UMCS, Sec. EEE, 8, Supl., 227-231 [in Polish].

  10. Strzelecka H., Kamińska J., 1982. Chemiczne metody badań roslinnych surowców leczniczych [Chemical methods of studies on medicinal plants]. PZWL, Warszawa, 36-37 [in Polish].

  11. Sugier D., 2004. Wpływ rozstawy rzędów oraz sposobu założenia plantacji na plonowanie mniszka lekarskiego (Taraxacum officinale Web.) [The effect of row arrangement and plantation establishment on the yielding of common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Web.)]. Annales UMCS, Sec. E, 59, 2, 535-541 [in Polish].

  12. Wadas W., 2000. Zastosowanie osłon z włókniny polipropylenowej w uprawie ziemniaka wczesnego [The use of polypropylene covers in the cultivation of early potato]. Rocz. AR Pozn., Ogrodn. 31, 1, 533-537 [in Polish].

  13. Winiarska S.. 2005. Wzrost i rozwój karczocha zwyczajnego (Cynara scolymus L.) w zależnosci od metody zakładania plantacji [Growth and development of artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) depending on the method of plantation establishment]. Herba Pol. 51, Supl. 1, 76-77 [in Polish].

  14. Ziombra M., Sas-Golak I., 2000. Wpływ sposobu i terminu uprawy na plon i zawartosc olejków eterycznych w zielu bazylii [Effect of establishing date and cultivation method on the yield and essential oil content in basil herb]. Rocz. AR Pozn., Ogrodn. 31, cz. 1, 579-583 [in Polish].

 

Accepted for print: 16.01.2007



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