Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Effect of Wood Chips as a Component of Soilless Media on Growth and Nutrition of Food and Ornamental Crops

Class

Article

College

College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

Faculty Mentor

Bruce Bugbee

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Peat is the central component of the soil-less media mix that is used in all greenhouse crop production but it is harvested in Canada and shipped to greenhouses across North America. Wood chips provide a local, low-cost alternative to peat, but observations by growers indicate potential growth reductions from the addition of wood to peat-based media. Here I report the effects of the addition of wood chips to peat-based media. The study included four treatments: two standard controls (peat/vermiculite: 50/50 and 75/25) and two treatments with wood chips (peat/wood chips: 50/50 and 75/25). Each media treatment included three species (sunflowers, soybeans, and cucumbers). The following growth parameters were measured at harvest on day 26, which was October 24, 2017. Fresh mass in the treatments with wood chips reduced growth by 78% in cucumbers and 48% in sunflowers, but there was not statistically significant effect on the soybeans. The detrimental effect of wood chips appears to vary with species.

Location

The South Atrium

Start Date

4-12-2018 12:00 PM

End Date

4-12-2018 1:15 PM

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Apr 12th, 12:00 PM Apr 12th, 1:15 PM

Effect of Wood Chips as a Component of Soilless Media on Growth and Nutrition of Food and Ornamental Crops

The South Atrium

Peat is the central component of the soil-less media mix that is used in all greenhouse crop production but it is harvested in Canada and shipped to greenhouses across North America. Wood chips provide a local, low-cost alternative to peat, but observations by growers indicate potential growth reductions from the addition of wood to peat-based media. Here I report the effects of the addition of wood chips to peat-based media. The study included four treatments: two standard controls (peat/vermiculite: 50/50 and 75/25) and two treatments with wood chips (peat/wood chips: 50/50 and 75/25). Each media treatment included three species (sunflowers, soybeans, and cucumbers). The following growth parameters were measured at harvest on day 26, which was October 24, 2017. Fresh mass in the treatments with wood chips reduced growth by 78% in cucumbers and 48% in sunflowers, but there was not statistically significant effect on the soybeans. The detrimental effect of wood chips appears to vary with species.