In Finland, where one third of the land is peat, it is natural that great attention is paid to the use of it. Peat became of especially great interest after the second world war. At this time research work to find out chemical and physical properties of peat were begun, the work, which later on led to the fast generalization of peat culture in the whole country. So the method was found out by pure theoretical research work. It therefore differs on its some essential parts from other usual culture methods. This concerns both the fertilization as well as watering of peat. In the following the water economy of the method so called basin peat culture will be discussed.

A prerequisite for intensive culture is, that the entire water requirement of the plants is satisfied. Lack of turgidity results in an immediate reduction of growth - a fact, that has been confirmed by numerous authors. Particularly during periods of heat, when radiation energy is strong, any decrease in turgidity is accompanied by a diminution of stomatal aperture. If the water supply is restricted, as it is in many parts of the world, the situation becomes dangerous. The yield in such places is inevitably low in proportion to the amount of radiation energy, temperature and length of the growing season. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that all the available water can be utilized as effectively as possible.

In intensive greenhouse culture water intake is generally assured. Large quantities of water are given. This involves certain drawbacks - particularly the leaching of nutrients. In warm periods, as much as 60–80% of the nitrogen given and almost the same quantity of potassium is lost by leaching.

Leaching is a detriment in itself, but a greater disadvantage is, that leaching of nutrients leads to their uneven distribution, which causes uneven growth and reduces the overall yield. It also diminishes the reliability of soil analyses and so prevents any accurate estimation of the fertilizer requirement.

All these factors have made water-saving an absolute requisite in intensive culture. The very intensiveness of the cultivation necessitates satisfying the entire water requirement of the plants.

To develop a method of culture that saves water but still meets the needs of intensive culture, the following basic requirements come to the fore:

PUUSTJARVI, V. (1968). BASIN PEAT CULTURE. Acta Hortic. 8, 43-44
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1968.8.6