Laboratory of Hydroponics & Aromatic Plants

Objectives
  • The aims of this sector are:
  • The study, evaluation and adaptation of different hydroponic systems for vegetable and flower production under the Greek conditions.
  • The evaluation and application of local materials as substrates for hydroponics.
  • The study of the nutrient requirements and the suitable environmental conditions for soilless culture.
  • Study of the ecophysiology of aromatic-medicinal plants of Crete; evaluation of local populations and introduction into organic cultivation.
  • Evaluation and introduction to cultivation of wild vegetable species.
  • Study of growth and yield of non-food plant species.

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Results

The main up to date achievements:

  • The NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) system has been studied and adapted to the Greek conditions.
  • The nutrient requirements of various crops (tomato, cucumber, pepper, melon, strawberry, lettuce, carnation) have been determined according to the growth stage and the season of the year, in order to design the appropriate nutrient solutions for each case.
  • A system of low cost and high efficiency for lettuce cultivation with NFT was developed.
  • Local materials (pumice, zeolite, perlite) were evaluated as substrates and a soilless culture system of low cost and satisfactory performance was developed.
  • Demonstration glasshouses with hydroponic systems were established at the island of Syros, in collaboration with the Greek Center of Productivity (ELKEPA), and at Prolemais in collaboration with the Public Power Corporation (DEI).
  • The effect of various nutrients on the growth, yield and quality of aromatic plants (Rockrose, Cretan Dittany, Sage, Thyme, Savory, Mountain Tea, Basil) was investigated.
  • A demonstration cultivation of mountain tea was established in a 0.5 ha field at the upland of Omalos, Chania.
  • The agronomic and qualitative characteristics of various wild populations of economically important aromatic plant species were studied.
  • Studies on the performance of Guayule under the Cretan conditions were carried out.

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Research Projects
  • "Study and application of local materials as substrates for soilless culture in the greenhouses of Crete". Research, Regional Operational Programme for Crete-E.U.
  • "Planning, Installation and Management of a soilless culture greenhouse, heated by energy recovery from electricity power stations". Demonstration, Public Power Corporation.
  • "Cultivation of novel crops". Research, Agricultural Research Service of the Ministry of Agriculture of USA.
  • "Modeling of Mediterranean Ecosystems Dynamics". Research, E.U.
  • "European network for Strawberry evaluation". Cost 836,. Ε.U.
  • "Evaluation and Application of Environmentally Friendly Materials as Substrates for Soilless Cultivation of Greenhouse Crops". GSRT - Greek-Chinese S&T Cooperation.
  • "Evaluation and application of Soilless culture systems for ornamentals and vegetables in Greece". Ministry of Agriculture.
  • "Evaluation of various populations of selected aromatic plants in Epirus and other mountainous and marginal areas of Greece". Research Project financed by the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • "Natural products" Research, Agricultural Research Service of the Ministry of Agriculture of USA.

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Publications
  • Economakis, C.D., 1991. Effect of solution conductivity on growth and yield of lettuce in nutrient film culture. Acta Horticulturae 287 : 309-316.
  • Economakis, C.D.,1992. Effect of solution conductivity on growth and yield of Origanum dictamnus L. in Nutrient Film Culture. Acta Horticulturae 306 : 204-209.
  • Kanaan, S.S. and C.D. Economakis, 1992. Effect of climatic conditions and time of harvest on growth and tissue nitrate content of lettuce in nutrient film culture. Acta Horticulturae 323:75-80
  • Economakis, C.D., 1992. The influence of solution heating and intermittent solution circulation on tomatoes in Nutrient Film Culture.Acta Hort.323:81-87
  • Economakis, C.D., and C.E. Fournaraki, 1992. Growth and nutrient uptake of Origanum vulgare ssp hirtum in solution culture. Acta Hort. 331:345-350
  • Economakis, C.D. 1993. Effect of potassium concentration on growth and yield of Origanum dictamnus in solution culture. Acta Hort. 331:339-344.
  • Ghattas, E.N. and C.D. Economakis, 1992. The influence of plant density on growth and yield of tomatoes grown with NFT. Acta Hort. :165-172.
  • Economakis, C.D., 1992. The influence of solution heating and intermittent solution circulation on the production of flowers and fruits of tomatoes in Nutrient Film Culture. International Society for Soilless Culture, 8th International Congress on Soilless Culture. Proceedings :131-143.
  • Economakis, C.D., 1995. The effect of intermittent flow of the nutrient solution on yield of tomatoes grown with NFT. Proccedings of the 17th Scientific Congress of the Greek Horticultural Society, Vol. 5:252-255
  • Economakis, C.D. and R. Koleilat, 1996. Effect of Nitrogen concentration on growth, water, and nutrient uptake of lettuce plants in solution culture. 2nd Intern. Symposium on Irrigation of Horticultural Crops. Acta Hort. 449:223-228.
  • Economakis, C.D., 1996. Effect of root-zone temperature on growth and water uptake by lettuce plants in solution culture. 2nd Intern. Symposium on Irrigation of Horticultural Crops. Acta Hort. 449:199-203
  • Economakis, C.D. 1997. Effect of plant density on growth and yield of tomatoes in substrate culture. 18th Scientific Congress of the Greek Horticultural Society Vol 7: 335-338.
  • Demetzos, C., H. Katerinopoulos, A. Kouvarakis, N. Stratigakis, A. Loukis, C. Economakis, V. Spiliotis, J.Tsaknis. 1997. Composition and antimicrobal activity of the essential oil of Cistus creticus ssp. eriocephalus. Planta Medica 63:1-3.
  • Economakis, C. D. and Krulj, L., 1999. Effect of root-zone warming on strawberry plants grown with nutrient film technique (NFT). International Symposium on Growing Media and Hydroponics, Halkidiki, Greece, 31 August-6 September. Acta Horticulturae 548:189-195.
  • Economakis, C. D., A. Daskalaki, A. Bitsaki, 1999. Effect of the nutrient solution potassium concentration on tomatoes grown on new or reused pumice. International Symposium on Growing Media and Hydroponics, Halkidiki, Greece, 31 August-6 September. Acta Horticulturae 548:511-515.
  • Economakis, C.D., C. Demetzos, T. Anastasaki, V. Papazoglou, M. Gazouli, A. Loukis, C. Thanos, C. Harvala, 1999. Volatile constituents of Bracts and Leaves of wild and cultivated Origanum dictamnus L. Planta Medica, 65: 189-191.
  • Economakis, C.D., T. Anastasaki, V. Papazoglou, C. Demetzos, A. Loukis, 1997. Volatile components of hydroponically cultivated plants of Origanum dictamnus L.: qualitative and quantitative analysis of leaves and bracts using GC and GC-MS. Proceedings of the 45th Annual Congress of the Society for Medicinal Plant Research, Sept. 7-12th, 1997, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Economakis, C. D. 1999. Tomato cultivation on differentiated particle size pumice and on perlite. 19th Congress of the Greek Horticultural Society. Heraklion 25-27 October 1999. Vol. 6 .
  • Economakis C., Demetzos, C., Anastassaki T., Papazoglou V., Gazouli M., Loukis A., Thanos C. A., Harvala C., 1999. Volatile constituents of bracts and leaves of wild and cultivated origanum dictamnus, Planta medica, vol. 65, n2, 189-191
  • Demetzos C, Perdetzoglou D, Gazouli M, Tan K, Economakis C., 2000. Chemical analysis and antimicrobial studies on three species of Ferulago from Greece Planta medica, vol. 66 (6): 560-563 AUG 2000
  • Economakis, C.D and M. SAID, 2000. Effect of solution temperature on growth and shoot nitrate content of lettuce grown in solution culture. 2nd Balcan Symposium on Vegetable and Potatoes. Thessaloniki 11-15 October 2000. Proceedings on the Balcan Symposium on Vegetable and Potatoes 411-415
  • Economakis, C.D, and L. KRULJ, 2000. Water and nutrient uptake by strawberry plants grown with the nutrient film technique (NFT) under different minimum solution temperature. 2nd Balcan Symposium on Vegetable and Potatoes. Thessaloniki 11-15 October 2000. Proceedings on the Balcan Symposium on Vegetable and Potatoes. p. 405-410
  • Economakis, C., Skaltsa, H.,Demetzos,C., Socovic, M., Thanos,C., 2002. Effect of phosphorus concentration of the nutrient solution on the volatile constituents of leaves and bracts of Origanum dictamnus. J. of Agric. Food Chem. 50:6276-6280.
  • Karioti, A., Skaltsa, H.,Demetzos,C., Perdetzoglu, D., Economakis, C. and SALEM, A. 2003. Effect of phosphorus concentration of the nutrient solution on the volatile constituents of leaves and bracts of Salvia fruticosain solution culture. J. Agric. Food Chem. 51:6505-6508.
  • Economakis, C.D., and A.A., Daskalaki, 2003. Effect of potassium nutrition on yield and quality of tomato plants grown with Nutrient Film Technique under sodium chloride saline conditions. Acta Hort 609:337-339
  • Economakis, C, Karioti, A., Skaltsa, H., Perdetzoglu, D. and Demetzos, C., 2005. Effect of solution conductivity on the volatile constituents of Origanum dictamnus L. in nutrient film culture. J. Agric. Food Chem. 53:1656-1660.
  • Τzortzakis N.G. and C.D. Economakis, 2005. Shredded Maize Stems as an Alternative Substrate Medium: Effect on Growth, Flowering and Yield of Tomato in Soilless Culture. Journal of Vegetable Science ISSN 1548-1689 Vol: 11 Issue: 2
  • Tzortzakis, N.G., Economakis, C.D. 2007. Antifungal activity of lemongrass (Cympopogon citratus L.) essential oil against key postharvest pathogens. Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies 8 (2), pp. 253-258
  • Tzortzakis, N.G., Economakis, C.D. 2008. Impacts of the substrate medium on tomato yield and fruit quality in soilless cultivation. Horticultural Science, Vol. 35, Issue 2, 83-89
  • Τzortzakis, N.G., Economakis, C.D. 2008. Shredded maize stems as an alternative substrate medium. International Journal of Vegetable Science 13 (4), pp. 103-122
  • Tzerakis, C., Savvas, D., Sigrimis, N. 2011. Responses of cucumber grown in recirculating nutrient solution to gradual Mn and Zn accumulation in the root zone owing to excessive supply via the irrigation water. J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 2012, 175, 125–134
  • Chondraki S., Tzerakis C., Tzortzakis N. 2012: Influence of sodium chloride and calcium foliar spray on hydroponically grown parsley in nutrient film technique system. Journal of Plant Nutrition, 35:10, 1457-1467
Personnel

Costas Tzerakis
Agronomist
Head of the Lab

Tel: +30-28210-83448
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Louiza Mikalef
Agr. Techologist

Tel: +30-28210-83433
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