Commercial and organic wastes-based growing media for Physalis seedlings growth

P.M. Peche, L.P. Botelho, D.L. Carmo, R.V. Balbi, F.B.M. Souza, C.A. Silva, R. Pio
When combined properly, organic wastes can improve the nutrient status and physical properties of growing media. Humified organic material can also replace peat and may improve conditions for nutrient and water retention for Physalis seedling growth. Properties of six commercially available growing media and three growing media based on organic waste (OWS, constituents: peat, eucalyptus biochar, chicken manure and vermiculite) were examined. Attributes of Physalis grown under greenhouse conditions were determined. Chemical and physical properties of the growing media were analyzed, as well the stem diameter (DC), plant height, root dry mass (RDM), shoot dry mass (SDM) and total dry mass (TDM) of the Physalis plants. All OWS showed a high electrical conductivity (EC), high Na contents and increased availability of nutrients as compared to the commercial growing media. The amount of organic matter (OM) of some commercial substrates is higher than the contents found in OWS. The Mn and Zn contents in plants grown in the tested OWS were above the content considered optimal for seedling growth. Due to the proportion of chicken manure in OWS, the EC, K-, P-contents in substrates are higher as compared to commercial substrates, although the bulk density is lower. Plants grown in OWS showed increased height, stem diameter and larger roots, shoots and a higher total dry matter content in comparison to seedlings grown in commercial substrates. Compared to CS, OWS show a higher pH, EC and nutrient content. Based on the germination data, two phases in seedling production are proposed: use of CS for seed germination and use of OWS to further grow the germinated plantlets.
Peche, P.M., Botelho, L.P., Carmo, D.L., Balbi, R.V., Souza, F.B.M., Silva, C.A. and Pio, R. 2017. Commercial and organic wastes-based growing media for Physalis seedlings growth. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1168:213-220
peat, biochar, eucalyptus sawdust, chicken manure, plant growth, vermiculite residues, OWS

Acta Horticulturae