R. Sheldrake Jr, J.W. Boodley
The Cornell peat-lite mixes or lightweight media were primarily developed for container growing of spring bedding plants and annuals. The difficulty of obtaining a supply of good topsoil from year to year has caused many greenhouses plant producers severe problems. The use of standardized media of known composition would eliminate the problems caused by unknown factors that are obtained with questionable topsoil.

Experimental trials with the mixes have been conducted for four years in the Departments of Floriculture and Vegetable Crops at Cornell. Of the many possible combinations of media that have been tried, a few have been selected as being outstanding in their capacity to support growth equal to, or better than that obtained in excellent soil media.

The components of the mixes were selected because they are readily available in uniform conditions, and because they have certain chemical and physical characteristics that are important to the growth of plants. No substitutions of different types of peat moss or different proportions of materials should be made. Imported sphagnum peat moss is preferred to the domestic peat mosses. Domestic peat moss types frequently contain large quantities of nutrients or other materials is unknown amounts and are usually too decomposed to provide the necessary structural and water drainage capacities. Imported sphagnum rarely requires steaming.

Sheldrake Jr, R. and Boodley, J.W. (1966). PLANT GROWING IN LIGHTWEIGHT ARTIFICIAL MIXES. Acta Hortic. 4, 155-157
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1966.4.32

Acta Horticulturae