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:4/11/2017)... , Apr. 11, 2017 Research and ... Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a ... report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on ... covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for ... Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window ... imaging data, the first application of deep learning to ... stem cell lines and a growing suite of powerful ... for these and future publicly available resources created and ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... , April 3, 2017  Data captured ... engineering platform, detected a statistically significant association ... prior to treatment and objective response of ... potential to predict whether cancer patients will ... treatment, as well as to improve both pre-infusion ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The CRISPR-Cas9 ... overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The simplicity of ... performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, such as ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ., ... a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with Dr. ... best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase in ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Tbilisi, Georgia (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... disaster, taking the lives of over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living ... the greenovative startup Treepex - based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has unveiled ... bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to new ... , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking classes ...
Breaking Biology Technology: