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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Application Technology Research » Research » Research Project #442919

Research Project: Chemical and Physical Properties of Novel Potting Substrates from Wood-Based Biochar and Their Impacts on Fungus Gnats

Location: Application Technology Research

Project Number: 5082-21000-001-067-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 18, 2022
End Date: Oct 17, 2023

The objective is to develop new container potting substrates derived partly from wood-based biochar, and determine the impacts of these potting substrates on plant growth and infestation from fungus gnats.

Three different textures of biochar, either amended with wood vinegar or not (to stabilize pH) will be mixed with varying ratios of peat moss, pine bark, and coir. The chemical and physical properties of the substrates will be determined. Long-term stability of the substrate mixtures will be determined with an accelerated incubation study. Phytotoxicity, seed germination, and plant growth studies will be conducted to document crop response and correlation to measured chemical and physical properties.