Successful pilot aeroponic turmeric cultivation in Flanders

In November 2021, bio turmeric grown on an aeroponic pilot installation was harvested in Flanders.

In the context of the Interreg Northwest Europe project CurCol, PCG investigates the regional cultivation of the turmeric plant for coloring purposes. PCG built a pilot aeroponic installation. The empty aeroponic installation was filled (at the top) with a cocomat and coco coir dust. On 19 May 2021, pregerminated turmeric rhizomes were planted in the substrate and they were covered with clay grains (to prevent the substrate from drying on top). The object of this trial was to test the aeroponic cultivation of turmeric in Flanders.

On 15 November and 2 December 2021 the turmeric was harvested. PCG harvested at two different times because, based on the literature, we expected a difference in yield between a longer cultivation period and a shorter one. The rhizomes and roots were washed to prevent rot and mold during storage. The average yield of the turmeric of is 82 ton/ha. Per plant, the average yield was 894 grams of rhizomes at the first harvest. At second harvest, the average yield per plant was 753 grams of rhizomes. This is the yield of fresh, washed rhizomes. It is clear that a two week longer cultivation period did not result in a higher yield. Next to that, we could observe much more stems (average 8 stems) and leaf mass than in a classical soil culture (average 4 stems). Presumably, the specific control of the nutrients in the aeroponic system resulted in vegetative growth rather than generative growth.

For more information please contact
Ellen Dendauw


Figure on the right: Turmeric plants growing on an aeroponic pilot installation.

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