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Conference paper2021Peer reviewed

Methods for measuring nutrient mineralization in growing media with organic fertilizers incorporated

Bergstrand, Karl-Johan; Asp, Håkan


The use of organic nutrient sources is mandatory when producing plants according to organic standards. As the nutrient release from organic fertilizers is depending on microbial processes, they are in turn affected by factors such as moisture content, temperature, and pH. This makes mineralization hard to control and predict, and lacking synchronization between mineralization and crop demand is a major problem when using organic fertilizers (Bi et al., 2010; Burnett et al., 2016; Rosen and Allan, 2007) affecting crop productivity and potentially leading to decreased nutrient use efficiency and leaching. This fact invokes the need for analytical methods offering possibilities to predict nutrient availability during the crop cycle. However, as of today, there is a lack in standardized methods for characterization of nutrient release patterns from organic fertilizers. Also methods for analysis of horticultural growing media are not internationally standardized (Baumgarten, 2005), although incubation methods for N analysis have been suggested (Thorup-Kristensen, 1994). There are numerous different extraction methods for analysis of growing media which will provide fundamentally different values. Also for plant analysis, a number of different methods such as total analysis, plant sap analysis, and non-invasive optic methods are applied to scrutinize plant nutrient status. In the this paper, an attempt was made to track nutrient uptake from organically bound, to plant available in the peat-based growing medium, to uptake in the plant using different analysis methods. The overall objective was to develop a protocol to assess nutrient release from organic fertilizers.


Capsicum annuum; fertilization; nutrient analysis; organic production

Published in

Acta Horticulturae
2021, number: 1317, pages: 87-92 Title: Proceedings of the II international symposium on growing media, soilless cultivation, and compost utilization in horticulture
ISBN: 978-94-62613-13-3
Publisher: International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS)


II international symposium on growing media, soilless cultivation, and compost utilization in horticulture, 21-0822-210827, Ghent, Belgium