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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1146: III International Symposium on Organic Matter Management and Compost Use in Horticulture

Impact of peanut shell mixed with peat moss as an improved medium and its effect on growth characters of Petunia

Authors:   N.T. Shanan, E.I. El-Dardiry, M. Abd El-Hady
Keywords:   Petunia, pot medium, peanut shell, medium physical properties, flower waves
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1146.26
A pot experiment on Petunia spp. was carried out at the nursery of the Ornamental Horticultural Department, Agricultural Faculty, Cairo University, Egypt, throughout two successive seasons, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014. Peanut shell mixed with peat moss was used as a growth medium at different concentrations: 0, 30, 50 and 70%. The results showed that increasing the percentage of peanut shell in the pot medium above 50% had a noticeable effect on most of the studied properties. The highest values of pH and electrical conductivity in the pot medium were obtained with 70% peanut shell. Increased peanut shell was associated with progressive increasing in available water. Shoot fresh and dry weights of petunia plants reached their maximum values with peanut shell addition at 50%. There were highly significant positive correlations between N, P and K contents in plants, and the easily available water and water retained capacity. The greatest number of flowers was recorded at 50% peanut shell in both seasons. These numbers exceeded those of peat moss by 44%. The application of peanut shell in association with peat moss rather than their individual use was found to be a viable option for providing better aeration and water availability to plants as well as water buffering capacity of the medium, which has long been a challenge for pot culture.

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