Expanded rice husk (ERH) is different from commercial rice seedling media in chemical and physical properties such as pH, permeability, and water content. This study was conducted to test a possibility of improving rice seedling growth by improving the texture of ERH as a rice seedling medium. The seedling media used were a commercial seedling medium (CSM), rice husk, and ERH 1, 2, 3, and 4 with different expansion degrees. The pH of the ERHs ranged from 6.3 to 6.8. As the expansion rate increased, ERH particle sizes decreased, and water permeability and absorption rates improved. No significant differences in shoot dry weight and rate of maturity were found among the seedlings cultivated in the different ERH media. However, the mat formation of seedling roots became loose as the expansion rates were decreased. Further studies are necessary to determine the cause of poor root growth in ERH media.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION