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Quality of peat moss as a component of growing media Mofidpoor, Maryam

Abstract

Quality of growing media is crucial for plant health and growth in nurseries and green houses. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of peat moss source and length of storage time on the quality of peat moss. Nine bales of peat moss collected from upper, less decomposed layer of a bog near lake Winnipeg in Manitoba and nine bales of peat moss excavated from lower, more decomposed layer of a bog near Vilna, Alberta were sampled after one, three, and 10 months of storage. The Manitoba peat moss had larger particle size, greater gravimetric water content, and greater NH4-N content relative to the peat moss from Alberta. The Alberta peat moss had higher pH, EC, and N03-N content. Plant available water content was the same in both peat moss. Particle size was decreased at 10 months storage time in both peat moss (based on wet sieving method), NH4-N content was reduced at 10 months in the Manitoba peat moss, N03-N was increased at three months in the Alberta peat moss, and EC was increased at three months in both peat moss. The result of this study suggested that the growing media industry should store peat moss for less than 10 months and the available N should be monitored on a regular basis.

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