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William R. Argo and John A. Biernbaum

Using incubation and container culture with subirrigation for up to 28 days, three experiments were conducted with six liming materials of different particle sizes and six blended preplant nutrient charge (PNC) fertilizers. Liming material, particle size, and incorporation rate had an effect on the initial pH (3.5 to 6.1) and the final stable pH (4.8 to 7.8) with one type of Canadian sphagnum peat that did not contain an incorporated PNC. Saturated media extract (SME) Ca and Mg concentrations were <25 and 15 mg·liter-1, respectively, for both pulverized and superfine dolomitic lime at incorporation rates up to 7.2 kg·m-3. For the blended PNC fertilizers in media containing lime, initial electrical conductivity (EC) and SME nutrient concentrations ranged from (EC) 1.0 to 2.9 dS·m-1, (mg·liter-1) 60 to 300 N, 4 to 105 PO4-P, 85 to 250 K, 120 to 400 Ca, and 60 to 220 Mg. However, within two days, the rapid stratification of fertilizer salts within the pot caused macronutrient concentrations to increase in the top 3 cm of root medium (top layer) by an average of 180% and decrease in the remaining root medium in the pot (root zone) by an average of 57% compared to that measured in the medium at planting. Nutrient concentrations in the top layer continued to increase even when those in the root zone fell below acceptable levels recommended for an SME. The importance of fertilizer salt stratification within a pot lies in the reduced availability of nutrients to the plant and illustrates the limited persistence of the PNC fertilizers. Testing nutrients in container media several days after planting rather than in freshly mixed media may be more representative of the starting point for a nutritional management program.

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William R. Argo

Maintaining medium pH and nutrient concentrations at levels acceptable for growth are important for producing vigorous transplants in the shortest time. Medium chemical properties, such as cation-exchange capacity, aeration, liming materials, preplant fertilizer, irrigation-water sources, water-soluble fertilizers, and plant species, interact to affect medium pH and nutrient management. However, these chemical properties do not affect medium pH or the nutrient supply simultaneously or with equal intensity. The objective of this review is to consider key chemical properties of container media and their affects on pH and nutrient management initially and over time.

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Kathryn M. Santos, Paul R. Fisher, and William R. Argo

macronutrients from lime and preplant nutrient charge fertilizers in peat-based root media J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 121 453 460 Argo, W.R. Fisher, P.R. 2002 Understanding pH management for container-grown crops 1st Ed Meister Willoughby, OH Biernbaum, J.A. Argo

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Yuqi Li and Neil S. Mattson

sludge, chicken manure, and cattle manure ( Ao et al., 2008 ; Hernández-Apaolaza et al., 2005 ). In addition, the limes and preplant nutrient charge fertilizers can be usually added in certain commercial substrates for requirement of plant growth ( Argo

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Youbin Zheng, Diane Feliciano Cayanan, and Mike Dixon

nutrient charge fertilizers in peat-based root media J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 121 453 460 Beytes, C. Hamrick, D. 2003 Ball redbook 17th Ed Ball Pub Batavia, IL Bowley, S. 1999 A

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Jong-Goo Kang and Marc W. van Iersel

lime and preplant nutrient charge fertilizers in peat-based root media J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 121 453 460 Bailey, D.A. Bilderback, T. 1997 Alkalinity control for irrigation water used in nurseries and greenhouses Hort. Info. Lflt. 558. North Carolina

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Kathryn M. Santos, Paul R. Fisher, Thomas Yeager, Eric H. Simonne, Hannah S. Carter, and William R. Argo

sites (leaf, cut stem, or callus) are important pathways for nutrient uptake or loss before root emergence. Literature Cited Biernbaum, J.A. Argo, W.R. Weesies, B. Weesies, A. Haack, K. 1995 Persistence and replacement of preplant nutrient charge

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Jacob H. Shreckhise, James S. Owen Jr., Matthew J. Eick, Alexander X. Niemiera, James E. Altland, and Brian E. Jackson

, and macronutrient management of container root media with impatiens J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 121 442 452 Argo, W.R. Biernbaum, J.A. 1996b Availability and persistence of macronutrients from lime and preplant nutrient charge fertilizers in peat