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Article

Substrate Stratification: Layering Unique Substrates within a Container Increases Resource Efficiency without Impacting Growth of Shrub Rose

1
Hammond Research Station, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Hammond Research Station, 21549 Old Covington Hwy., Hammond, LA 70403, USA
2
Application Technology Research Unit, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Anna Tedeschi
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1454; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11081454
Received: 7 June 2021 / Revised: 16 July 2021 / Accepted: 19 July 2021 / Published: 22 July 2021
Nurseries rely on soilless substrates to provide suitable growing media for container grown crops. These soilless substrates have been developed to readily drain water to prevent issues with waterlogging and associated soil-borne disease. A negative consequence of high porosity and subsequent drainage throughout the container profile is the required high or frequent irrigation rates with poor retention of applied nutrients. Substrates with relatively high levels of moisture and nutrient retention placed on top of a coarse and freely draining substrate could further optimize water and nutrient retention, while allowing for needed gas exchange for plant establishment and growth. Containerized Red Drift® rose (Rosa ‘Meigalpio’ PP17877) plants were grown under 16 mm or 12 mm daily irrigation, utilizing a traditional pine bark substrate or stratified substrates with either a conventional bark, bark fines, or a bark–peat mixture on top of a coarse bark within a container. The stratified substrates received 20% less controlled-release fertilizer; however, the fertilizer in the stratified treatments was concentrated in the upper strata only. During the first growing phase or season, plants grown in stratified substrates outperformed those grown in conventional, non-stratified bark substrates under normal irrigation. The stratified substrates did not reduce growth under reduced irrigation regimes. Overall, crop growth was equal or superior for stratified substrates when compared to the non-stratified controls, even with a 20% reduction of fertilizer. This research suggests that stratified substrate systems can be used to reduce fertilizer and irrigation rates while producing crops of similar or superior quality to conventionally grown containerized crops. View Full-Text
Keywords: Rosa; hydraulic distribution; irrigation; mineral nutrients; pine bark; sphagnum peat; substrate texture Rosa; hydraulic distribution; irrigation; mineral nutrients; pine bark; sphagnum peat; substrate texture
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fields, J.S.; Owen, J.S., Jr.; Altland, J.E. Substrate Stratification: Layering Unique Substrates within a Container Increases Resource Efficiency without Impacting Growth of Shrub Rose. Agronomy 2021, 11, 1454. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11081454

AMA Style

Fields JS, Owen JS Jr., Altland JE. Substrate Stratification: Layering Unique Substrates within a Container Increases Resource Efficiency without Impacting Growth of Shrub Rose. Agronomy. 2021; 11(8):1454. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11081454

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fields, Jeb S., James S. Owen Jr., and James E. Altland 2021. "Substrate Stratification: Layering Unique Substrates within a Container Increases Resource Efficiency without Impacting Growth of Shrub Rose" Agronomy 11, no. 8: 1454. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11081454

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