The effect of different silicon fertilizers on the greenhouse cucumber production

A. van Winkel, J.D. Hofland-Zijlstra, C. Blok, A. Erstad-van der Vlugt, K. Erstad, C. van der Burg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review


The advantage of silicon for plants is well documented in literature as an improved resistance against fungi, in particular mildew. ELKEM Norway produces a silicon rich material, Solarite, which when present as very fine particles, is readily soluble and can neutralize acidity. In cooperation with Jiffy Norway Solarite was added to peat slabs. Common rockwool was added as a reference treatment. A mildew tolerant and a mildew sensitive variety of cucumber were planted on various slab types. Solarite resulted in a level of silicon of 0.5 mmol in the 1:1.5 extract. This resulted in a reduced incidence of naturally occurring mildew of 26% of the reference. The mildew tolerant variety showed less than 5% of mildew incidence. The silicon levels in the 1:1.5 extract reached with a common silicon source, micro crystalline silicon, were 0.2 mmol.l-1 and resulted in a mildew incidence of 63% of the reference. As reported by others, we found a yield reduction of 5% due to the use of silicon. In conclusion Solarite is an effective way to raise the silicon content and reduce mildew incidence in mildew sensitive higher yielding varieties. This must be traded off against the convenience of mildew resistant lower yielding varieties.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Symposium on Growing Media and Soilless Cultivation, 16 May 2014, Leiden, The Netherlands
EditorsC. Blok, E. van Os, W. Voogt
Place of PublicationLeuven
ISBN (Print)9789462610217
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventGroSci2013 International Symposium on Growing Media and Soilless Cultivation - Leiden, Netherlands
Duration: 17 Jun 201321 Jun 2013


ConferenceGroSci2013 International Symposium on Growing Media and Soilless Cultivation


  • Mildew
  • Sphaerotheca fuliginea


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