2023-03-15Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/horticulturae9030384
Influence of Sheep’s Wool Vegetation Mats on the Plant Growth of Perennials
Vegetation mats for horticulture and landscaping usually consist of coconut fibre and straw. They have hardly any available nutrients and serve only as a carrier material for plant growth. Water capacity is low. By incorporating raw sheep‘s wool, nutrients, such as nitrogen, potassium, and sulphur can positively influence the nutrient content of the carrier material. Water storage and water holding capacity are increased by the wool. In this study, three different thick-layered vegetation mats with different proportions of sheep’s wool and coir fibres were developed for the pre-cultivation of perennials. The focus is on the evaluation of sheep’s wool as a carrier material compared to pure coconut fibre as well as the plant growth of the eight perennial species used (Achillea clypeolata ‘Moonshine’, Achnatherum calamagrostis ‘Algäu’, Anaphalis triplinervis, Aster dumosus ‘Prof. Anton Kippenberg’, Aster dumosus ‘Silberball’, Centranthus ruber ‘Coccineus’, Coreopsis verticillata, Salvia nemorosa ‘Rosakönigin’). The vegetation mats with sheep’s wool contained 230, 241, and 308 g nitrogen (N)/m2 and the coir mats contained 75 g N/m2. The water content ranged from 16.0 to 22.1 vol% for the sheep’s wool mats and 12.6 vol% for the coir mat at pF1 (is equal to matrix potential at −10 hPa). The air content ranged from 71.9 to 77.0 vol% for the sheep’s wool mat and 79.4 vol% for the coir mat at pF1. On all vegetation mats containing sheep’s wool, the overall impression of the perennials was better than in the control. Especially good were Asters. At the end of the trial, the assessment scores of Asters on the sheep’s wool mats were two scores higher than on the coir mat. Aster dumosus ‘Prof. Anton Kippenberg’ achieved an average plant height between 35.8, 35.8, and 36.5 cm on the sheep’s wool mats and 14.4 cm on the coir mat. Aster dumosus ‘Silberball’ yielded 41.3, 42.3, and 44 cm on the sheep’s wool mats and 26.7 cm on the coir mat. No significant differences regarding plant height between the different variants of sheep’s wool mats emerged. Therefore, these mats can be used as alternative planting concepts for landscaping.
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