Calculation of Growing Medium Bulk Volume Using Medium Height and Pot Dimensions

in HortScience
David R. HersheyDepartment of Horticulture, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

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One of the most important aspects of the physics of growing media in containers is the limited bulk volume of the medium (2,4). Bulk volume (BV) includes the volume of the medium solids and pore spaces (1). Despite the importance of BV in determining the amounts of air, water, and nutrients in the pot, BV is rarely specified in research articles involving plant growth in container media. Without BV, volumetric properties, such as bulk density (g/ml), container capacity (percent by volume), air-filled porosity (percent by volume) and fertilization and liming rates (kg/m3), cannot be converted to absolute amounts per pot. The purpose of this study was to develop equations to calculate BV using pot dimensions and medium height in the pot.

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Assistant Professor.

Received for publication 3 Aug. 1987. Scientific article no. A-4716, Contribution No. 7712 of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station. The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations, this paper therefore must be hereby marked advertisement solely to indicate this fact.

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