Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Horticulture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/3/2012
Publication Date: 12/1/2012
Citation: Locke, J.C., Altland, J.E. 2012. Use of ground wheat straw in container nursery substrates to overwinter daylily divisions. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 30(4):207-210.
Interpretive Summary: Pine bark and sphagnum peat moss are, by volume, the primary components of substrates used in production of containerized herbaceous perennials. The cost of both of these materials has continued to rise over the past few years and availability fluctuates depending on external market forces. This study was designed to determine if other, lower cost, locally available resources such as ground wheat straw and horse manure compost could be substituted for part of the volume of the aforementioned components in container media used to establish and overwinter daylily divisions. The study demonstrated that successful daylily propagation and overwintering could be achieved in non-traditional growing media utilizing locally available components to substitute for more expensive components such as pine bark and peat moss. Results indicated that although production procedures may need to be modified slightly, the success of the approach warrents further evaluation for the production of herbaceous perennials.
Technical Abstract: Wheat (Triticum sp.) straw is being evaluated as a potential component in soilless container mixes either alone or combined with compost to replace a significant portion of the substrate currently supplied by pine bark and peat moss. The objective of this study was to evaluate wheat straw and horse manure compost, locally available resources, as components of container media for establishing and overwintering daylily (Hemerocallis fulva cv. Stella D'Oro). A standard commercial, sphagnum peat-based substrate was amended with either wheat straw, horse manure compost or a combination of the two and evaluated. Stella D'Oro daylily divisions were grown in each substrate mix and overwintered in an unheated structure for eight months. Physical properties of the mixes were determined to be within production standards and media shrinkage was minimal. Daylilies in all substrate combinations were of comparable vigor to the non-amended substrate when growth resumed in the spring.