Out-of-season green bean production with LED lights and a soilless growing system

Green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is one of the most important sources of vegetable proteins in the world and it is cultivated all year round, but the light availability during the dark season limited its growth. Nevertheless, recent studies conducted on greenhouse horticulture demonstrated that, with the application of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as supplementary light (SL) technology, it is possible to overcome this limitation.

Consequently, during the experiment conducted, two cultivars of green bean (‘Saporro’ and ‘Maestrale’) were grown with a soilless system in a cold greenhouse during the fall-winter period. To increase the photoperiod and the daily light integral (DLI), early in the morning, four hours of red (R), blue (B), and red+blue (R+B) supplementary light were supplied by LEDs at 180 μmol·m−2·s−1 (PPFD) at plants level. Plants grown under LEDs improved the yield and the gas exchange system compared with the plants grown under natural light; when Blue light was supplied as a sole source of SL, it increased the dry matter content and the brightness (L*) of the pods.

Between the cultivars, ‘Maestrale’ produced 20 g∙plant−1 of pods more than ‘Saporro’ but the latter’s color was brighter (L*) and greener (a*), and ‘Saporro’ also showed the highest photosynthetic efficiency (ΦPSII). In conclusion, ‘Maestrale’ and ‘Saporro’ obtained encouraging out-of-season yields under different LED spectra, but among those Blue light seems to improve overall crop performances and pods quality.

Read the complete research at www.mdpi.com.

Signore, A.; Leoni, B.; Palmitessa, O.D.; Santamaria, P. Soilless System with Supplementary LED Light to Obtain a High-Quality Out-of-Season Production of Green Beans. Agronomy 2021, 11, 1999. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11101999 

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