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The physical properties of peat: a key factor for modern growing media

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Author(s): J-C. Michel

Journal: Mires and Peat
ISSN 1819-754X

Volume: 6;
Issue: 02;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: air volume content | water retention | wettability

ABSTRACT
This article identifies criteria for assessing the physical properties (water retention characteristics, wettability and physical stability) of growing media which influence the availability of air and water to plant roots. The various materials that are currently in use are assessed for these properties. The analysis of physical properties indicates that weakly decomposed (H1–H5, generally referred to as white) Sphagnum peat is still indispensable for soil-less horticulture. Whilst a number of materials can be used as peat additives, especially to improve aeration, no alternative products with equivalent physical properties are available at present.
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