Shredded Tire Rubber as a Medium Amendment for Container-grown Greenhouse Plants

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  • 1 1Dept. of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS 39762
  • 2 2Dept. of Horticulture, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523

Media blends containing 25%, 40%, and 50% shredded tire rubber were compared to two commercial media, Baccto Grower's Mix and Ball Peat-Lite Mix, to evaluate its potential as a container medium amendment for container-grown greenhouse plants. Salvia splendens `Red Hot Sally' and Vinca rosea `Cooler Peppermint' grown in 25% rubber were marketable with growth similar to or superior to those grown in the commercial media. Exacum affine `Little Champ', Vinca rosea `Cooler Grape', Tagetes erecta `Discovery Yellow', and Begonia semperflorens `Vodka' grown in 25% rubber were of marginally acceptable quality. Plants grown in 40% or more rubber were shorter and chlorotic compared to those in the commercial media. Exacum affine grown in 40% or more rubber contained high levels of zinc, which may have been linked to the chlorosis and growth reduction. Rubber reduced media water-holding capacity, while cation exchange capacity and pH were not affected.

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