Modern Potting Composts: A Manual on the Preparation and Use by A. C. Bunt

By A. C. Bunt

The final 20 years have noticeable swift advances within the expertise used to supply pot crops. Glasshouses designed and oriented to offer greatest mild transmission, absolutely automated heating and ventilating platforms, carbon dioxide enrichment of the ambience, managed photoperiods utilizing automated blackouts and incandescent lamps which permit crops comparable to chrysanthemum to be flowered at any time of the yr, mist propagation concepts, chemical progress regulators which keep an eye on the peak of vegetation, computerized watering and feeding platforms, etc.: those are just the various advancements that have reworked pot plant tradition. There have additionally been many adjustments within the composts and platforms used to develop the crops. Mineral soils, which shaped the root of the toilet Innes Composts, at the moment are both too dear or too tricky to procure in compatible caliber and enough volume. therefore the grower has been compelled to hunt different fabrics corresponding to peat, perlite, vermiculite, plastic foam, shredded bark, and so forth. New kinds of fertilisers, new equipment of warmth sterilisation and new chemical sterilising brokers also are being used.

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3 Increasing the depth of the container reduces the amount of water retained and increases the air capacity of the compost. and container depth will, of course, depend upon the pore size distribution in the compost. 5 FORMULA nON OF COMPOSTS: PHYSICAL PRINCIPLES From the practical viewpoint, the most important physical properties of a compost will be its total pore space, the air capacity, the amount of water available at low tensions or stress and its bulk density. It is often difficult to achieve all of the desired physical properties by using only one material and frequently mixtures are made of two or more materials.

Sutton (1960); (4) Puustjiirvi (1968); (5) Bunt,A. C. and P. Adams(1966); (6) Joiner, J. N. and C. A. Conover (1965). Anion Exchange Capacity 63 determination is made and the standard procedure is to report the value for pH 7. 1. Whilst pot plants can be grown satisfactorily in a wide range of materials irrespective of their cation exchange capacities, management and plant nutrition are always easier when the compost has a reasonable exchange capacity. 2 ANION EXCHANGE CAPACITY In addition to the cations, plants also require the negatively charged anions, such as nitrate (NO;), chloride (CI -), sulphate (SO; -) and phosphate (H 2 PO;).

The total soil moisture stress (TSMS) comprises the matric tension or soil water tension and the solute stress or osmotic tension: TSMS = matric tension + solute stress Both the matric tension and solute stress are very important in pot plant cultivation, but for the present we will consider only the matric tension. MATRIC TENSION The pore volume of a compost contains air and water which change in inverse proportions. After irrigation, the compost will be practically filled with water, and the water or matric tension will be very low, say, equivalent to 1 cm of water tension or 0ยท001 of an atmosphere.

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