STUDIES ON THE FEASIBILITY OF COMPOSTED AGRICULTURAL CAST-OFFS AS GROWING MEDIA

Liu Qingchao, Wang Kuiling, Liu Qinghua, Zhang Qixiang, Pan Huitang, Liang Shule, Yue Momo
Peat is widely used as a growing medium in greenhouse production, but heavy exploitation of peat will seriously destroy the ecological environment. It is necessary to find new material to substitute for peat. In this paper, the feasibility of composted peanut hull, soybean stalk, sawdust, coconut coir, maize core and lees from wine as growing media is reported for studies commencing in 2002. The physical characteristics of those materials were primarily suitable for growing media. Due to the accumulated organic acid, the pH of the lees was very low (pH 3.85). The soluble salts in peat were higher than all the other materials. The cation exchange capacity (CEC) of peat was 95.81 cmol·kg-1, but the CEC of the sawdust was 26.92 cmol·kg-1. The total organic matter and cellulose content in the materials were higher than those in peat, while the contents of Ca, Mg, Fe and Mn were lower. All materials, especially the lees, have excellent buffering capacity. The germination indices (GI) of three herbaceous flower species when soaked with the extracts of coconut coir, peanut hull and sawdust were similar to that of peat or even higher. Cyclamen persicum, Euphorbia pulcherrima and Impatiens hawkeri grew better in those materials in pot than that in peat. This shows that most agricultural cast-offs investigated in this trial were excellent substitutes for peat.
Liu Qingchao, , Wang Kuiling, , Liu Qinghua, , Zhang Qixiang, , Pan Huitang, , Liang Shule, and Yue Momo, (2008). STUDIES ON THE FEASIBILITY OF COMPOSTED AGRICULTURAL CAST-OFFS AS GROWING MEDIA. Acta Hortic. 767, 65-72
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2008.767.5
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2008.767.5
agricultural cast-off, soilless culture, substitute medium
English

Acta Horticulturae