ALTERNATIVE GROWING MEDIA TO PEAT OBTAINED FROM TWO FAST GROWING SPECIES OF POACEAE

P. Frangi, G. Amoroso , R. Piatti
Peat is the predominant constituent of growing media for production of container-grown ornamentals. However, its extraction from peat bog may lead to severe environmental consequences. For this reason, there is increasing pressure in Europe to reduce peat extraction and to find alternative growing media. The use of fiber obtained from two fast-growing species of Poaceae (Arundo donax L. and Miscanthus sinensis Anderss. ‘Giganteus’) as constituents of growing media for containerized plant production was evaluated in this experiment in order to reduce the amount of peat in the mixes. One-year-old plants of Prunus laurocerasus L. ‘Rotundifolia’ and Viburnum tinus L. ‘Eve Price’ were cultivated in substrates containing 0, 25, 50 and 75% (V/V) of fiber obtained from extrusion of shredded culms of A. donax and M. sinensis, mixed with peat and pumice. Tested substrates were analyzed for chemical and physical traits at the beginning and at the end of the trial, while plant height increase and shoot dry biomass were measured at the end of the trial. A significant reduction in plant growth (height and biomass) was observed in the two species when A. donax and M. sinensis fiber increased in the growing medium. Higher pH values and lower nutrient content were evident in experimental treatments at the end of the trial in comparison with peat-based substrate.
Frangi, P., Amoroso , G. and Piatti, R. (2012). ALTERNATIVE GROWING MEDIA TO PEAT OBTAINED FROM TWO FAST GROWING SPECIES OF POACEAE. Acta Hortic. 927, 967-972
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.927.119
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.927.119
Arundo donax, container production, Miscanthus sinensis, ornamental shrubs, peat replacement
English

Acta Horticulturae