University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


Greenhouse and growth chamber experiments are conducted worldwide in efforts to produce solutions that would increase yields of agronomic crops. However, the results of those experiments vary due to the many growth media being used. An experiment was conducted in the fall of 2010 to identify a broadly acceptable growth media that would produce uniform stands and optimum results in greenhouse and growth chamber settings. A total of six growth media were tested on cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) at the Arkansas Agricutural Research and Extension Center’s Altheimer Lab in Fayetteville. The plants grown in each medium were harvested six weeks after planting and the measurements performed included plant height, plant dry matter, leaf area, and nutrient analysis. The results indicated that a positive, significant difference (P < 0.05) existed between “Sunshine” mix (MIX1) and the other media. Plants grown in MIX1 experienced greater plant height, dry matter, leaf area, and also experienced higher leaf tissue levels of N, P, and S. “Sunshine” (Mix1) is a readily available growth medium that produces optimum plant growth and uniform results in growth chamber and greenhouse experiments.