OVERVIEW OF NEW QUALITY CONTROL PROCEDURES IN CONTAINER GROWING SUBSTRATES FOR YOUNG PLANT PRODUCTION
Substrate testing procedures have mainly focused on potted plant production. However, the propagation industry has specific substrate testing needs for production in shallow trays and the use of stabilized substrates. The objective was to develop quality control procedures for propagation substrates for young plant production of seedling plugs and vegetative cuttings. Protocols include substrate-pH and electrical conductivity (EC) tests, particle size distribution, porosity, compaction, tray filling, wettability, moisture level, and other tests to ensure consistent and high quality crop production. Quality control procedures cover both loose-filled substrates and stabilized substrates including paper-wrapped pots (such as Ellepot® and Fertiss®), and peat-polymer substrates. The procedures were developed based on surveys with 37 commercial propagation substrates in addition to research-formulated substrates. These test procedures are being published in both the form of bulletins and video-training modules and are being tested on site by growers, growing substrate and fertilizer companies.
Huang, J. and Fisher, P.R. (2014). OVERVIEW OF NEW QUALITY CONTROL PROCEDURES IN CONTAINER GROWING SUBSTRATES FOR YOUNG PLANT PRODUCTION. Acta Hortic. 1034, 263-268
particle size distribution, porosity, compaction, settling, moisture, wettability, stabilized substrates