Evaluation of potting media for rapid growth of mango nursery plants

I. Ul Haq, A. Ghaffar, H. Umar, I.S.E. Bally
In Pakistan, mango nurseries are currently located in the traditional way, in the soil under trees in mango orchards. This method is responsible for the young plants being contaminated with many of the diseases present on mature trees. To produce clean and healthy plants, Pakistani mango nurseries must change their practices to isolate the nurseries from orchards and use clean potting media. In this study, a range of ingredients with fine and coarse texture were combined into 12 different media and tested for plant survival (%), plant height (cm), stem diameter (cm) and the physical and chemical properties of each potting medium. The potting medium that achieved maximum seedling survival (94%) contained bagasse (70%), silt (25%) and coconut fiber (5%) (by volume). This medium also achieved maximum plant height (60 cm) and maximum stem girth (1.2 cm) of seedlings after 1 year. The physical and chemical properties of this leading potting medium were 38% water-holding capacity (WHC), 13% air-filled porosity (AFP), 1300 µS cm-1 electrical conductivity (EC) and pH 7.8 after 4 months of seed germination. When farmyard manure (FYM) was used at any level (20 to 50%) with any other potting medium component, it caused seedling death within 3-4 months of seed germination. This research was conducted under the ACIAR-funded Pakistan-Australia Agriculture Sector Linkages Program (ASLP). The result of this research has led to the first recommendation of an evaluated potting medium for use in the mango nursery sector in Pakistan.
Ul Haq, I., Ghaffar, A., Umar, H. and Bally, I.S.E. (2017). Evaluation of potting media for rapid growth of mango nursery plants. Acta Hortic. 1183, 133-138
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1183.18
bagasse, coir, clean plants, physical, chemical properties

Acta Horticulturae