Analysis of water retention capacities of various compost and its relationship to strawberry moisture level

A. Elanchezhian, F. Khan, J.K. Basak, J. Park, F.G. Okyere, Y.J. Lee, H.T. Kim
Addition of compost in soil, improves the physical and chemical properties of the soil. Water retention capacity of the soil is one important physical characteristic of soil that helps to maintain sustainable plant productivity and it is influenced by the type of soil. Excessive soil moisture promotes root rot whereas insufficient soil moisture results in drought stress in plants particularly on heavy soils. Proper irrigation of strawberries is essential to maintain healthy and productive planting. The objective of this study is to analyze physical characteristics of soil and water retention related to various compost types and its relationship to the moisture level of plants. The medium used for this research was poultry manure and sawdust combination mixed with sandy loam soil. The compost was mixed in three proportion (15% (T2), 30% (T3), and 45% (T4) poultry manure compost) where sandy loam soil (T1) (without compost) was used as the control. Strawberry plants were grown in these media for 90 days. All plants were irrigated with the same amount of water for 15 min every day and the soil water content was measured using a soil moisture sensor. The moisture content of the plant was measured every week using the fresh-dry weight method. T4 media had the highest water retention rate (42%) followed by T3 (38%) and T2 (36.2%). T1 recorded the lowest water retention amount. Likewise, the moisture level of plants, it was observed that strawberry plants in T4 had the highest water content (87.9%) followed by T3 (86.8%). It can be concluded that compost medium T4 had high water retention properties that were suitable for strawberry plant growth. However, for T1 and T2, due to the cohesive forces between soil particles, water retention capacity was low and the moisture level of the plants was also low.
Elanchezhian, A., Khan, F., Basak, J.K., Park, J., Okyere, F.G., Lee, Y.J. and Kim, H.T. (2020). Analysis of water retention capacities of various compost and its relationship to strawberry moisture level. Acta Hortic. 1296, 899-906
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1296.114
chicken manure compost, control soil, plant moisture, water retention capacity

Acta Horticulturae