The soil solution and the mineral constituents of the soil

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Hall, A. D., Brenchley, W. E. and Underwood, L. M. 1914. The soil solution and the mineral constituents of the soil. The Journal of Agricultural Science. 6 (3), pp. 278-301.

AuthorsHall, A. D., Brenchley, W. E. and Underwood, L. M.

Solutions were made by extracting the soils from certain of the Rothamsted plots on which wheat and barley had been grown for 60 years and upwards. Wheat and barley were grown in these solutions, which were renewed fortnightly. The comparative growth in the solutions was closely parallel to the growth of the crop on the plots in the field and corresponded to the composition of the solutions. The composition of the solutions as regards phosphoric acid and potash corresponded to the past manurial treatment of the soils and to the amount of phosphoric acid and potash they now show on analysis. Growth in the soil solutions agreed with the growth in artificial culture solutions containing equivalent amounts of phosphoric acid and potash. Growth in the soil solutions from imperfectly manured plots was brought up to the level of that in the solutions from completely manured plots on making up their deficiencies in phosphoric acid and potash by the addition of suitable salts. The phosphoric acid and potash content of the soil solutions was of the same order as the phosphoric acid and potash content of the natural drainage water from the same plots.Wheat grew as well as barley in the solutions of the wheat soils, and vice versâ. In a similar set of solutions from the same soils the growth of buckwheat, white lupins and sunflowers corresponded with that of wheat and barley. Boiling effected no alteration in the nutritive value of the soil solutions.In nutritive solutions of various degrees of dilution the growth of plants varied directly, but not proportionally, with the concentration of the solution, though the total plant food present in the solution was in excess of the requirements of the plant. When the nutrient solution was diffused as a film over sand or soil particles, as in nature, there was no retardation of growth due to the slowness of the diffusion of the nutrients to the points in the liquid film which had been exhausted by contact with the roots. Growth in such nutrient solutions forming a film over sand particles was much superior to the growth in a water culture of equal concentration, but the growth in the water culture was similarly increased if a continuous current of air was kept passing through it.

Year of Publication1914
JournalThe Journal of Agricultural Science
Journal citation6 (3), pp. 278-301
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderRothamsted Research
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)

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