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Understanding Bark, Peat and Pumice in Your Soilless Substrate
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Understanding Bark, Peat and Pumice in Your Soilless Substrate

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  • peat vs pumice ** bark vs peat ** bark vs pumice NS
  • When water availability decreases, turgor potential typically decreases, thereby inhibiting cell elongation, leaf expansion, and plant growth. Kim, J. and M.W. van Iersel. 2009. Daily water use of abutilon and lantana at various substrate water contents. Proceedings of the SNA research conference 54: 12-16.

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  • 1. Understanding Bark, Peat, and Pumice in Your Soilless Substrate J.S. Owen Jr., M. Zazirska-Gabriel, and D. Sullivan Oregon State University, Aurora, OR J.E. Altland Application Technology Research Unit, USDA-ARS, Wooster, OH J.P. Albano US Horticultural Res. Lab, USDA-ARS, Fort Pierce, FL
  • 2. Douglas Fir Bark AGED FRESH Altland
  • 3. Data Collection
    • 3-inch cores
    • Porometers
      • Total porosity (TP)
      • Container Capacity (CC)
      • Air Space (AS)
      • Bulk Density (D b )
    • 15-bar plate (1.5 inch cores)
      • Unavailable water
      • Available water
  • 4. General Trends
    • Shrink
      • Aged 5.63 mm
      • Fresh 0.08 mm
    • Total porosity remained constant
  • 5. Year 1 Percent volume Fresh Aged Time (months) 46%»29% 59%»50% Air Space (AS)
  • 6. Percent volume Fresh Aged Time (months) 42%»58% 27%»34% Container Capacity (CC) Year 1
  • 7. Year 2 Percent volume Fresh Aged Time (months) 47%»59% 34%»47% Container Capacity (CC)
  • 8. Year 2 Percent volume Fresh Aged Time (months) Up to 80% unavailable water Container Capacity (CC) Up to 60% unavailable water
  • 9. Corresponding Research
  • 10.
      • Dougals fir bark (<3/8 in) (DFB) with:
        • 0, 15, 30, 45% (by vol.) screened pumice
        • 0, 15, 30, 45% (by vol.) sphagnum peat
      • Chemical Amendments
        • 15-9-12 CRF
        • Dolomite + Micromax
    • Physiochemical Analysis
        • Porometer
        • Particle size
        • Pourthru (pH and EC)
    Material & Methods
  • 11.
    • 2 (taxa) x 7 (substrate treatments)
    • Randomized complete block design
    • Weigela florida 'Polka' and
    • Azalea ‘Girard’s Fuchsia’
    • 4 containers per
    • 4 replications
    • 2 gallons containers
    Material & Methods
  • 12.
    • Crop Response
      • Root and shoot dry weight
      • 60 and 120 days
    • Water Relations
      • Water use efficiency of
      • productivity
      • Water use efficiency of
      • photosynthesis
      • Leaf area and length
    Material & Methods
  • 13. Initial physical properties
  • 14. Initial physical properties
  • 15. Initial physical properties
  • 16. Initial physical properties
  • 17. Weigelia crop response Peat
  • 18. Weigelia crop response Peat Peat Pumice Percent addition (by vol.) Dry weight (g) Significant (p < 0.05 ) linear and quadratic response for peat and pumice, respectively peat vs pumice ** bark vs peat ** bark vs pumice NS
  • 19. 45% Control (100% DFB) Percent addition (by vol.) 30% 15% Pumice Peat
  • 20. Water applied to Weigelia (0.2 LF) Significant (p < 0.05 ) linear response for peat. Peat Pumice Percent addition (by vol.) Water applied (L) peat vs pumice ** bark vs peat ** bark vs pumice NS
  • 21. Weigelia water status as ƒ(leaf length) *Significant (p < 0.05 ) linear and quadratic response for peat and pumice, respectively Peat Pumice Percent addition (by vol.) peat vs pumice NS bark vs peat ** bark vs pumice **
  • 22. Azalea crop response
  • 23. Azalea crop response Peat Peat Pumice Percent addition (by vol.) Dry weight (g) peat vs pumice NS bark vs peat ** bark vs pumice NS Significant (p < 0.05 ) linear response for peat.
  • 24. Azalea water use efficiency (WUE) Peat Pumice Percent addition (by vol.) WUE (g mL -1 ) peat vs pumice NS bark vs peat ** bark vs pumice NS Significant (p < 0.05 ) linear response for peat.
  • 25. 45% Control (100% DFB) Percent addition (by vol.) 30% 15% Pumice Peat
  • 26. Significance to Industry
    • Linear increase in air space and container capacity (0.6 to 1.3% vol. month -1 )
    • Water Management
    • (0.2L to 0.5L per 3.8L cont.)
    • Growth appears to correlate
    • with available water
  • 27. Jim Owen: 503.678.1264 or jim.owen@oregonstate.edu