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St Bonaventure, Canada

Nemati M.R.,Fafard et Freres Ltd. | Fortin J.-P.,Fafard et Freres Ltd. | Masse J.,Fafard et Freres Ltd.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2013

The physical and hydrodynamic properties of a substrate play a key role in irrigation management in horticulture. After irrigation, a high-performance substrate should provide an adequate amount of water and air to a plant to ensure its optimal growth. However, some producers do not pay enough attention to the quality of the substrate. When working with insufficiently aerated, low-quality substrates, they try to adapt irrigation methods in order to produce high-performance plants similar to those produced in well-aerated substrates. As a result, these producers try to adjust the amount of water during irrigation according to the quality of the substrate. The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of substrate quality on the growth and development of two popular greenhouse species (the New Guinea impatiens and the geranium) with respect to the impact of irrigation management. According to our results, the use of a well aerated substrate combined with an appropriate irrigation method resulted in earlier plant maturity. This method reduces the duration of plant growth and hence decreases energy costs by reducing the greenhouse heating period. The number of heating days saved by using high-quality substrates depends on irrigation management and was about 23 to 25 days for geraniums and 17 to 22 days for New Guinea impatiens. The production of plants in well-aerated substrate improved performances in terms of growth and development parameters, and resulted in highperformance plants. Source


Fortin J.-P.,Fafard et Freres Ltd. | Nemati M.R.,Fafard et Freres Ltd. | Marchand-Roy M.,Fafard et Freres Ltd.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2013

Two rehabilitation experiments were performed following peat extraction on a bog peatland in Saint-Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada. In 2000, first experiment was started in order to determine the optimal rate of fertilization for small fruits and forest trees at planting period. The treatments consisted of a short-rotation intensive culture of willows (Salix vinimalis L.), two cultures of small fruits; black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa (Michx.) Ell.) and northern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.), as well as tree plantations of red maple (Acer rubrum L.), tamarack (Larix laricina (Du Roi) Koch.), black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.), jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) and hybrid poplar (Populus spp.). Plant performance was assessed after 1 year (willows) or 9 years by measuring survival, total height, annual growth, leaf nutrient concentration and when applicable, biomass or fruit yield. In almost all trials, adding nutrients at establishment increased plant survival and growth. Only the blueberry showed better survival without fertilizer whereas the hybrid poplar trial failed completely. After 9 years, tamarack and black chokeberry showed the best plant survival and growth compared to the conventional plantations. Otherwise, fruit yields were very low. In 2009, willows (at 15,000 per hectare) and Switchgrass were planted. The treatments consisted of two residual peat depths (30 and 60 cm) in which two levels of fertilizer were tested (control and 100 kg ha-1 of N (12.8-2.7-10.2)). The willows establishment was comparable to the other intensive cultures, when the peat depth was over 30 cm and nutrients were added at establishment. Switchgrass did not survive over the winter. Further experiments are planned to assess the success of short-rotation intensive culture of willows on cut-over peatland. Source

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