According to study authors Yuqi Li and Neil Mattson, rockweed (RWE) concentrate contains macro and micronutrients, amino acids, vitamins, cytokinins, auxin, and abscisic acid-like growth substances, which affect the properties of growing media, plant growth, and crop yield. To determine if rockweed could be beneficial to petunia and tomato, the researchers tested RWE applications on transplants in greenhouse experiments at Cornell University.
“In this study, drenches significantly affected substrate pH and EC and several measured elements. RWE drench increased substrate Na+, K+, Cl−, and NO3−−N. The opposite trends were found for Ca2+ concentrations,” the authors said. Analyses showed that RWE foliar sprays were not effective for improving drought tolerance of petunia and tomato, whereas substrate drenches significantly improved drought resistance of both.
“Results of the study suggested that RWE substrate drenches at 5-10 mL·L−1 are appropriate for the improvement of postharvest life of petunia and tomato transplants; however, monitoring of substrate pH should be done,” said the authors. They added that rockweed foliar sprays can improve growth of both plants.
The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortTechnology electronic journal website.