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Growing media alternatives for forest and native plant nurseriesAuthor(s): Thomas D. Landis; Nancy Morgan
Source: In: Dumroese, R. K.; Riley, L. E., tech. coords. National Proceedings: Forest and Conservation Nursery Associations-2008. Proc. RMRS-P-58. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 26-31
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionThe choice of growing medium, along with container type, is one of the critical decisions that must be made when starting a nursery. The first growing medium was called "compost" and was developed in the 1930s at the John Innes Horticultural Institute in Great Britain. It consisted of a loam soil that was amended with peat moss, sand, and fertilizers (Bunt 1988). Soil was heavy and variable, however, so it was difficult to achieve consistency from batch to batch. In the 1950s, researchers at the University of California developed the first true artificial growing media using a series of mixtures of fine sand, peat moss, and fertilizers (Matkin and Chandler 1957). The Cornell "Peat-Lite" mixes, the predecessors of modern growing media, were developed at Cornell University in the 1960s using various combinations of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite (Mastalerz 1977). Following the publication of the first comprehensive manual for growing forest tree seedlings, a growing medium of 50% Sphagnum peat moss and 50% coarse vermiculite became the basic standard (Tinus and McDonald 1979).
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CitationLandis, Thomas D.; Morgan, Nancy. 2009. Growing media alternatives for forest and native plant nurseries. In: Dumroese, R. K.; Riley, L. E., tech. coords. National Proceedings: Forest and Conservation Nursery Associations-2008. Proc. RMRS-P-58. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 26-31
KeywordsSphagnum peat moss, vermiculite, compost, carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, coir, rice hulls, bark
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