PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF SEDGE PEAT-BASED MEDIA AND THEIR RELATION TO PLANT GROWTH
The physical and chemical properties of a highly-decomposed sedge peat from the fens of Cabanes-Torreblanca, Castellón, Spain, were critically studied. Both raw material and the well-structured peat which results from partially air-dried peat showed adequate total pore space. However, raw material had a poor aeration, whereas the well-structured peat showed a high air capacity. Furthermore, this highly decomposed peat held relatively large amounts of hardly available water and experienced shrinkage after it had dried-out. This peat originally contained a high quantity of soluble salts and the amount of naturally -occurring available nutrients was low, especially in the case of mineral nitrogen and phosphorus. Taking these results into account the research continued improving such properties. The peat was first thoroughly leached and it was then blended with 40% by volume of undecomposed Sphagnum peat. Additional nutrients were added as a controlled-release base fertilizer. Manipulation of the peat resulted in an acceptable available water holding capacity in conjunction with good aeration, reduced shrinkage, moderate electrical conductivity and optimum available-nutrient levels. Experiments conducted in pots with Begonia, Pelargonium x hortorum and Tagetes showed that all the plant species tested grew in these improved composite mixes better than in the fertilized control mix composed of 2/3 Sphagnum peat 1/3 perlite.
Abad, M., Noguera, V., Martínez-Corta, J., Martínez-Herrero, M.D. and Fornes, F. (1989). PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF SEDGE PEAT-BASED MEDIA AND THEIR RELATION TO PLANT GROWTH. Acta Hortic. 238, 45-56