Bull. Spec. CORESTA Congress, Brighton, 1998, p. 112, APOST13

Influence of aqua terra hydrogel on growth, development and yield of light cigarette tobacco

University of Agriculture, Lublin - Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Zamosc, Poland.
The aim of introductory field and pot experiments which were carried out in Zamosc in the years of 1995-1997 was to study the influence of Aqua Terra hydrogel on the growth, development and yield of light cigarette tobacco. Hydrogels are substances used in gardening to increase the water-capacity of soil.In the case of the pot experiment the biggest increase in the mass and volume of roots was observed when 10 grams of hydrogel was added to 8 l light soil (medium sand). Biometrical features of plants were modified largely by the type of soil, however plants growing in pots with hydrogel addition tended to increase in the size and number of leaves as well as in their height. In the field experiment hydrogel was applied in two doses of 3 and 10 grams, which were mixed with soil at the depth of up to 15 cm in the radius of 15 cm around the plant. 83% of seedlings took root in the case of control plots and 96-97% in the case of plots with hydrogel addition. There was a considerable growth in the mass and volume of the root system of plants growing in plots with hydrogel addition. Supplementary watering applied during the vegetation period also increased considerably the yield and quality of material. It caused a 23,3% growth in the dry mass of leaves and at the same time a 12.5% drop in the proportion of high grade leaves (I - III). Watering gave better effects in the case of plots with no hydrogel addition. Therefore it can be concluded that addition of hydrogel guarantees better conditions for the growth and development of tobacco plants. Although the addition of hydrogel caused a drop in the quality of leaves, it also brought about a considerable increase of yield. In effect the commercial value of tobacco leaves, which characterizes the crop's yield and quality, was higher.