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Soil testing of horticultural substrates for cyclamen and poinsettia



Soil testing of horticultural substrates for cyclamen and poinsettia



Communications in Soil Science & Plant Analysis 14(7): 553-574



The 1:1.5 water, Spurway and saturated media extract procedures were evaluated for cyclamen and 1:1.5 water extract for poinsettia growing in bark, peat and peat plus soil using nutrient uptake as the criterion. The N, P and K desirable values (DV) to give maximum dry wt in 2 harvests and to give maximum growth rate for various growing periods, in samples taken at the start of the trial and midway through the trial, were determined using a quadratic function for both crops. The relationships between N, P and K uptake and the soil test values were generally very good, although the methods overestimated N uptake and underestimated P uptake in bark relative to peat. Underestimation of P uptake in peat plus soil was even greater. The initial desirable N soil test value in relation to midterm harvest (IDVM) for cyclamen in peat varied from 100-104 ppm for water, 303-312 ppm for saturated media and 44-46 for Spurway extraction. The midterm soil test value in relation to final harvest (MDVF) values varied from 125-136 ppm for water, 471-502 for saturated media and 44-53 ppm for Spurway extraction. Corresponding values in bark were generally higher. The IDVM and MDVF values using the water extract for poinsettia were 180-225 ppm and 155-215 ppm in peat and bark, respectively. It was not possible to determine P IDVM values for cyclamen due to the poor fit of the response curve. The P MDVF values in peat for cyclamen were 8.1-8.8 ppm for water, 24.5-26.7 ppm for saturated media and 3.2-3.5 ppm for Spurway extraction. The corresponding values in bark were about half of those values and even lower in peat plus soil. The P MDVF values in peat for pointsettia were 14-19 ppm and in bark, 4-4.5 ppm for the water extraction. It was not possible to determine K desirable values for cyclamen because of lack of adequate plant response from K application. K IDVF and MDVF values for poinsettia in peat were 100-136 ppm and 80-126 ppm, respectively. The DV obtained using growth data were broadly similar to those using plant dry wt. The desirable plant nutrient levels for maximum dry wt of cyclamen at final harvest varied from 1.9-2.4% for N, 0.10-0.17% for P and 1.0-1.7% for K. The DV values for pointsettia at mid harvest were 3.6-4.6% N, and at final harvest 2.7-3.6% N and 0.18-0.37% P.

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Accession: 001252696

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DOI: 10.1080/00103628309367389



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