Department of Horticultural Sciences, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Chungnam National University1
The physical properties of rooting media for the establishment of plugs in a greenhouse are modified according to variations in the greenhouse environment throughout the season. In this study, we established a standard for rooting media for the production of plug seedlings for each growing season (summer, winter and spring∙fall). Eight types of peatmoss (PM) and 4 types of perlite (PL) commonly used in Korea were collected and blended with the ratio of 7 parts PM to 3 parts PL (v/v) to make 32 different rooting media blends. We determined the total porosity (TP), container capacity (CC), air-filled porosity (AFP), pH, and electrical conductivity (EC) of the 32 media blends, and 6 media blends were selected for seasonal use. We also conducted additional analyses for plant easily available water (EAW), buffering water (BW), cation exchange capacity (CEC), and nutrient contents in the 6 media blends. The TP, CC, and AFP of the 32 media blends ranged from 64.7 to 96.0%, 42.9 to 90.1%, and 1.3 to 27.8%, respectively, indicating that the physical properties were strongly influenced by the type of PM and PL. The pH and EC of the PMs ranged from 2.96 to 3.81 and 0.08 to 0.47 dS∙m-1, respectively. However, after blending the PM with the PL the pH was raised and the EC was lowered The media blends selected for the summer growing season were Blonde Golden peatmoss (BG) + No. 1 perlite size < 1 mm (PE1) and Latagro 0-10 mm (L1) + No. 2 perlite size 1-2 mm (PE2). These two media blends had 89.8- 90.9% of TP, 80.8-81.3% of CC, and 9.0-9.7% of AFP. The media blends selected for the winter growing season were Sfagnumi Turvas (ST) + PE2 and Latagro 20-40 mm (L3) + PE2. These media blends had 79.9-86.7% of TP, 60.4-74.9% of CC, and 11.8-19.6% of AFP. The TP, CC, and AFP of two media blends, BG + No.3 perlite 2-5 mm (PE3) and Orange peatmoss (O) + PE3, selected for the spring and fall growing seasons, respectively, were 85.2-87.3%, 77.9%, and 7.4- 9.4%, respectively. The percentage of EAW of the media blends selected for the spring, summer, and winter growing seasons ranged from 24.2-24.9%, 22.0-28.6%, and 18.0-21.8%, respectively, but the percentages of BW were not significantly different among the selected root media blends. The pH, EC, and CEC of the 6 selected media blends ranged from 3.11-3.97, 0.06-0.26 dS∙m-1, and 97-119 meq·100g-1, respectively.