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M.T. Kelley, G.C. Elliott and R.J. McAvoy

Four different granulated rockwool (RW) aggregates were combined with peat at 15, 30, or 45 percent (v/v) RW resulting in twelve different peat:RW media. The RW aggregates used were either fine or coarse textured and absorbent or repellent to water. A soil based medium was used as a control. Bulk volume, bulk density, total porosity, water porosity (WP), and aeration porosity (AP) were determined for all media. Hybrid lily, cvs. `Enchantment' and `Jamboree', growth in these media were compared by measuring the dates of visible bud and anthesis, flower number, leaf number and area, plant height and dry weight of stems, leaves, and flowers. Physical properties of the RW media varied significantly from the soil based medium. Increasing the volume percent RW had a negative linear effect on WP but a positive linear effect on AP for all RW aggregates. Lily growth in the soil based medium was statistically similar to all RW media. The dates of visible bud and anthesis, as well as leaf number and area decreased linearly as the volume percent repellent coarse RW increased.

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G.C. Elliott, R.J. McAvoy and M. Abbott

Seedlings of Catharanthus roseus “Grape Cooler” was transplanted to cell packs of media: peat-vermiculite-perlite (MM220), peat-hydrophilic rockwool (ABS), and peat-hydrophobic rockwool (REP) and grown in subirrigation trays using 20N-4.4P-17K fertilizer at 50, 150 or 250 ppm N applied at each irrigation. Shoots of four plants in each of two replications were harvested 2, 3, 4 and 5 after transplant. Leaf samples from the third harvest were analyzed for essential elements. Electrical conductivity (EC) was measured in saturated media extracts at each harvest. Significant media by fertilizer interactions were obtained for fresh weight and leaf area at the final harvest. Greatest growth was obtained with 50 ppm N in ABS, but with 150 ppm N in MM 220 and REP. In tehse, growth was similar at 50 and 150 ppm N, but less growth REP than MM220 at 250 ppm. More growth was produced with ABS at 50 ppm N, but less at 150 or 250 ppm N. Leaf tissue N increased 38.5 to 54.5 mg g-1 dry wt. as fertilized increased 50 to 150 ppm, while other nutrients were not significantly affected. Media EC increased with time and fertilizer concentration, with EC in all media fertilized with 250 ppm N exceeding 4.5 dS m-1 at the final harvest.