Quality of Peat-Based Growing Media — What is the Current Status?
Kai Lønne Nielsen, Inge Ulsted Sørensen and Lars Porskjær Christensen
German experiments have shown that the physical characteristics of peat-based growing media only play a minor role for the growth of a large range of potted plants produced in Northern Europe during normal cultivation conditions (Scharpf, 1997). During Winter and Spring 1999 no correlation was observed between the physical characteristics (water retention and particle size distribution) of peat-based growing media and the quality of the potted plants produced by several growers in Denmark. Pilot studies at the Department of Horticulture, indicated that incorporation of activated alumina (Compalox®, Alusuisse Martinswerk GmbH, Germany) in peat-based growing media, improved root growth compared to the same media without activated alumina. Incorporating small amounts of activated alumina (approximately 2 %) does not affect the physical characteristics significantly, hence improved root growth cannot be due to changed physical characteristics of the growing media, such as
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