Navigation Links
For peat's sake: Alternative growing media
Date:9/4/2009

TURIN, ITALYPeat, or semi-decayed vegetation matter, has been used by commercial growers and amateur gardeners since the middle of the 20th century. Peat is added to potting soil to help retain moisture and provide additional nutrients. As the demand for peat grew, acres of peat bogs were being drained and destroyed. Now, concerns about the environmental impact of extracting peat from wetlands are mounting. And as peat supplies are reduced, the cost naturally increases. Diminishing supplies and environmental and economical concerns are encouraging researchers to find viable alternatives to this popular growing medium.

A recent research study led by Federica Larcher and Valentina Scariot of the University of Turin's Department of Agronomy evaluated five materials as partial peat substitutes. The results, published in HortScience, show these alternatives have potential.

The study focused on growing camellia, a woody plant that prefers acidic soils and is often grown in containers for decorative purposes. Three varieties of camellia ('Charles Cobb's', 'Nuccio's Pearl', and 'Dr. Burnside' ) were tested using a combination of peat and the following peat alternatives: green compost such as grass clippings and leaves, pumice, coconut husks broken down into fibers, composted coconut "peat", and pine bark. Each variety was also grown using the standard commercial Sphagnum peat as a control.

Plant growth and the ornamental quality of each plant was evaluated during each phase of cultivation, potting, before repotting, before and after branching and at the end of the experiment. "The alternative growing media testedperformed as well or better than the standard substrate," the study reports. However, green compost was the exception. Plants grown in green compost had the lowest evaluations in all categories. Green compost also increased pH levels with negative effects on plants.

The impact of the different growing media seemed to be most notable during the first 2 months. After that time, no relevant differences were noticed. "Overall, coconut fibers and pine bark resulted in being the most suitable partial peat substitutes," stated Larcher, adding that none of the plants grown in any mixture showed signs of malnutrition or toxicity at any point during the study.

Coconut fibers are recommended as the best option considering technical and economic factors. The study recommends that adjusting fertilization and irrigation practices to make the most of coconut fiber and peat mixtures will help reduce the costs and losses for nurseries.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Biologists discover link between CGG repeats in DNA and neurological disorders
2. GEN reports on alternative feedstocks for ethanol production
3. Capillary mats labor-saving, economical alternative to hand watering
4. Methyl bromide alternatives for California strawberry nurseries
5. A natural, alternative insect repellent to DEET
6. Methyl bromide alternatives indicated for North Carolina tomato production
7. Vidalia onions: Alternative to hand-transplanting proven effective
8. Parasite-resistant peppers green alternatives to chemical pesticides
9. During exercise, the human brain shifts into high gear on alternative energy
10. Alternative to burning: environmentally sound disposal for wood chips
11. CSHL team traces extensive networks regulating alternative RNA splicing
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
For peat's sake: Alternative growing media
(Date:5/16/2017)...  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an innovative ... verification solutions, announced today they will participate as a ... thru May 17, 2017, in Washington D.C.,s ... Identity impacts the lives of billions ... evolving digital world, defining identity is critical to nearly ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, has developed ... the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ® , ... showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big Sight April ... Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of the M820 ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... ... at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ... the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... “There is an increasing consumer call ... synthetic ingredients,” said Matt Hundt, President of Third Wave Bioactives. “Combining the strong ... know-how of Biorigin will allow us to bring truly novel fermented ingredient technologies ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... ... applications in the clinic is here. The team at Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. utilized ... medium for clinical studies. , Dr. Travis Antes, head of analytical development ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... USA (PRWEB) , ... August 09, 2017 , ... ... partnered with four international biomedical optics laboratories — the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, ... Medical Laser Center Lübeck and the Beckman Laser Institute at University of California, ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 10, 2017 , ... CNA Finance Chief Research Analyst, ... on Next Group Holdings, Inc. and see's significant opportunity in the company's plans ... cannot engage in traditional banking services. According to industry estimates, approximately 103 million ...
Breaking Biology Technology: