Water content in culture related to physical characteristics of growing media
The techniques for measuring water content in the root environment have improved in the last years. Nowadays reliable and affordable sensors are available. The main question when using these sensors concerns the position in the container and how to interpret the outcomes. RHP has applied water content sensors in various objects in practice. Horizontal positioning of sensors showed to give useful detail information of water uptake per layer in containers. For all objects also the physical characteristics of the growing media were measured in the laboratory. These combined observations gave a base for interpretation of the water content measured in the root environment. A clear relation between the water retention curve (pF curve) as analysed in the laboratory and the water content measurements in practice was found. These, in relation with known limit values for oxygen diffusion, facilitate an interpretation of the water content as measured in practice to perform an optimal irrigation strategy.
Verhagen, J.B.G.M. 2017. Water content in culture related to physical characteristics of growing media. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1168:107-112
potting soil, growing media, water content measurement, sensor, physical characteristics