MICROBIOLOGICAL VARIATION IN SELF-HEATED AND NON-SELF-HEATED SPHAGNUM PEAT AND ITS EFFECT ON GROWTH OF PLANTS
Light Sphagnum peat has proved to be one of the best and most reliable substrates for plants in greenhouses when aiming for higher yields. When the peat raw material is stored and harvested under unfavourable conditions, self-heating may sometimes occur. Heated peat samples and heating of peat were studied in different parts of a selected peat stockpile over a period of 1 year. Peat samples were used to determine the content of fungi, bacteria and other microbes from different areas and at different times from various parts of the pile. The effect of the same peat samples on plant growth were determined using lettuce, radish and cucumber as test plants. The temperature in the different parts of the pile ranged from 1060°C. Great variations were observed, particularly in fungi populations. The test plants grew equally well in all samples except for the peat that had initially self-heated and then cooled. The results are discussed from the point of view of the peat substrate industry.
Tahvonen, R. and Kemppainen, R. (2008). MICROBIOLOGICAL VARIATION IN SELF-HEATED AND NON-SELF-HEATED SPHAGNUM PEAT AND ITS EFFECT ON GROWTH OF PLANTS. Acta Hortic. 779, 75-78
lettuce, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, microbes, temperature, growing media