Murray State University

Poster Title

Marketing Feasibility Studies of Different Substrate Mixes for Residential Use: A Comparison of Retail-Available Growing Mixes for Residential Bedding Plant Production

Institution

Murray State University

Abstract

Three different retail-available growing mixes were tested for germination rates, leaf chlorophyll levels and root:shoot ratios. Ferry-Morse Seed Company is preparing a marketing campaign for these substrates and wanted to know how the mixes would perform for the home gardener. Zinnia elegans ‘Giant Cactus’ seeds were planted in six-pack (806s) cell trays. The trays were placed on bottom heat for 10 days. Next, the trays were moved to a growing bench and germination percentages were calculated. Significant differences were found in germination percentages for the following mixes: Ferry-Morse Seed Starter Mix 79.2%, Jiffy Professional Seed Starter Mix 85.4% and Jiffy Professional Seed Starter Mix Plus 43.8%. Chlorophyll level readings were taken randomly from the top leaves of ten plants from each mix. Though no significant differences were shown, visual chlorosis on Ferry-Morse Seed Starter Mix treatment would not be favorable for consumer quality ratings. No significant differences were found between fresh and dry shoot and root weights. When assessing visual consumer quality, Jiffy Professional Seed Starter Mix had the most vigorous plants and the most blooms of any treatment. Ferry-Morse Seed Starter Mix, besides being chlorotic, also had the shortest plants with only a few blooms. Based on the results of the three treatments, a recommendation to Ferry-Morse Seed Company was to promote the use of Jiffy Professional Seed Starter Mix.

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Marketing Feasibility Studies of Different Substrate Mixes for Residential Use: A Comparison of Retail-Available Growing Mixes for Residential Bedding Plant Production

Three different retail-available growing mixes were tested for germination rates, leaf chlorophyll levels and root:shoot ratios. Ferry-Morse Seed Company is preparing a marketing campaign for these substrates and wanted to know how the mixes would perform for the home gardener. Zinnia elegans ‘Giant Cactus’ seeds were planted in six-pack (806s) cell trays. The trays were placed on bottom heat for 10 days. Next, the trays were moved to a growing bench and germination percentages were calculated. Significant differences were found in germination percentages for the following mixes: Ferry-Morse Seed Starter Mix 79.2%, Jiffy Professional Seed Starter Mix 85.4% and Jiffy Professional Seed Starter Mix Plus 43.8%. Chlorophyll level readings were taken randomly from the top leaves of ten plants from each mix. Though no significant differences were shown, visual chlorosis on Ferry-Morse Seed Starter Mix treatment would not be favorable for consumer quality ratings. No significant differences were found between fresh and dry shoot and root weights. When assessing visual consumer quality, Jiffy Professional Seed Starter Mix had the most vigorous plants and the most blooms of any treatment. Ferry-Morse Seed Starter Mix, besides being chlorotic, also had the shortest plants with only a few blooms. Based on the results of the three treatments, a recommendation to Ferry-Morse Seed Company was to promote the use of Jiffy Professional Seed Starter Mix.