Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2012, 60, 163-170
Published online 2013-03-30

The effect of clay amendment on substrate properties and growth of woody plants

Tomáš Meisl1, Martin Dubský2, František Šrámek2, Tomáš Nečas3

1Katedra zahradnictví, Česká zemědělská univerzita v Praze, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Praha 6 - Suchdol, Czech Republic
2Výzkumný ústav Silva Taroucy pro krajinu a okrasné zahradnictví, v. v. i., Květnové náměstí 391, 252 43 Průhonice, Czech Republic
3Ústav ovocnictví, Mendelova univerzita v Brně, Valtická 337, 691 44 Lednice, Czech Republic

This work deals with the effect of two clay products differing in particle size distribution on properties of growing substrate and on growth of containerized woody plants in substrates amended with these clay products. Fine and coarse clay were added to a peat substrate, each at two rates. The peat substrate without clay was used as a control. The substrates were tested in experiments with two woody ornamentals (Thuja occidentalis ’Smaragd’ and Prunus cistena). Chemical and physical properties of the substrates were measured according to European Standards before planting. Proportion of water categories differing in availability to the plants were calculated from retention curves measured on the sand box. Properties of substrates in containers with and without plants were evaluated in the same way at the end of the culture. Clay addition changed chemical and physical properties of the tested substrates in terms: available nutrients content, particle density, bulk density, total pore volume, easy available water, water buffering capacity, air capacity, and shrinkage. The effect of fine clay was much stronger. In comparison with the clear effect of clay addition on the substrate chemical and physical properties, the effect on the growth and quality of model woody plants was not so explicit.


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