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Evaluation of the different LED irradiators when growing red mustard

This research studied the optimization of light spectrum and intensity used for red mustard growing. Notably, most of the studies devoted to red mustard growing were conducted on micro-greens, which is not enough for the development of methods and recommendations for making the right choices about the irradiation parameters for full-cycle cultivation.

In this study, researchers tested four models of LED with different ratios of blue, green red, and far red radiation intensity: 12:20:63:5; 15:30:49:6; 30:1:68:1, in two values of photon flux density (PFD)—120 and 180 µmol m−2 s−1—to determine the most effective combination for red mustard growing. The study was conducted in a container-type climate chamber, where the red leaf mustard was cultivated in hydroponics. On the 30th day of cultivation, the plant’s morphological, biochemical, and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters and reflection coefficients were recorded.

The results indicated that the PFD 120 µmol m−2 s−1 had a worse effect on both mustard leaf biomass accumulation and nitrate concentration (13–30% higher) in the plants. The best lighting option for growing red mustard was the blue-red spectrum, as the most efficient in terms of converting electricity into biomass (77 Wth/g). This light spectrum contributes to plant development with a larger leaf area (60%) and a fresh mass (54%) compared with the control, which has a maximum similarity in spectrum percentage to the sunlight spectrum.

The presence of green and far red radiation with the blue-red light spectrum in various proportions at the same level of PFD had a negative effect on plant fresh mass, leaf surface area, and photosynthetic activity. The obtained results could be useful for lighting parameters’ optimization when growing red mustard in urban farms.

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