Revista Chapingo. Serie horticultura
Print version ISSN 1027-152X
GUERRERO-LAGUNES, Luz Adela et al. Thyme hydroponics crops effect (Thymus vulgaris L.) on essential oil quality and yield. Rev. Chapingo Ser.Hortic [online]. 2011, vol.17, n.2, pp. 141-149. ISSN 1027-152X.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) is an aromatic plant, whose consumption is increasing at rates that are two or three times the world's population growth, which is generated for the essential oil use in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Under this perspective and with the need for obtaining higher yields of essential oil than those obtained in open fields, the aim of the present work is to evaluate both essential oil quality and yield of thyme cultivated in a greenhouse under an open hydroponic system. Three growing densities were evaluated: D1, D2 and D3 (14, 28 and 71 plants·m-2, respectively) and two concentrations of the Steiner nutrient solution (S1: 100 % and S2: 50 %). A 3x2 factorial experiment with four replicates was used for each treatment. The results show that higher values for plant height were presented with S1 D2, and S2 D1, for the stem diameter with S1 D2 and S1 D3; no statistical difference was presented among the treatments for fresh and dry weight, although the largest number of leaves was presented with S1 D2 and S2 D1; the largest area leaf was only reached with S1 D2. In the analysis of the oils four components were identified (ρ-cymene, α-terpinene, carvacrol and thymol) of which the most abundant was thymol with 23.331 %. The use of hydroponic crops allows cultivation of high sowing density species and to obtain a high quality product, recommending S1 D2 as the best treatment where thyme ideal growth is obtained in all the variables.
Keywords : Aromatic plants; sowing density; essential oil.