486 PB 128 GROWTH OF ANNUAL SPECIES IN COCONUT COIR SUBSTRATES

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Horticulture Building, Iowa State University. Ames, IA 50011
  • 2 Univ. of Florida, Central Florida Research and Education Center, 2807 Binion Road, Apopka, FL 43708

Helianthus annuus `Big Smile', Tagetes patula 'Bonanza Deep Orange' and Pelargonium × hortorum 'Pinto Rose' seedlings were transplanted into 12 cm (470 ml) pots containing substrates composed of 3 parts (v/v) vermiculite, 3 parts sand and 2 parts perlite. In addition, the substrates contained either 3 parts Florida peat, 3 parts coconut coir (coir), 6 parts coir or 12 parts coir, thus, resulting in 4 substrates. Dolomitic limestone, hydrated limestone, superphosphate, a microelement package and a 14-6.2-11.6 slow release fertilizer were added to the Florida peat-containing substrate. The same materials were added to the coir-containing substrates except that calcium sulfate (gypsum) was used in place of dolomitic and hydrated limestone. All materials were incorporated at rates required to obtain an initial pH of 5.5 to 5.8 and provide equal amounts of calcium, phosphorus and microelements. Data were taken 5 weeks after transplanting. Neither height, shoot fresh weights nor root fresh weights were significantly different between the substrates. Tagetes average heights were between 11.5 and 12.9 cm, while average shoot fresh weights were between 12.6 and 14.7 g and average root fresh weights were between 8.8 and 9.4 g. Helianthus average heights were between 18.4 and 19.9 cm, while average shoot fresh weights were between 29.7 and 31.9 g and average root fresh weights were between 19.6 and 22.3 g. Pelargonium average heights were between 11.9 and 13.4 cm, while average shoot fresh weights were between 13.8 and 15.3 g and average root fresh weights were between 3.4 and 3.7 g.

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