Soil moisture and tulip root growth in the cooler

October 2016 issue of the Cornell Flower Bulb Research Program Research Newsletter:

In this experiment, we prepared planting mix (Lambert LM-111) to different levels of moisture, relative to the water content of the mix at container capacity (which we designated at 100%). Knowing how much water was contained in the pot at container capacity (essentially, once the pot has stopped dripping after thorough watering, which was 100% water holding capacity), we prepared mixes with 15, 30, 45 and 60% of the moisture present at container capacity. We planted bulbs into these mixes (6” pots), then, (importantly!) did not water them in. The controls were watered in, and served as the 100% moisture controls. For this experiment, the crates containing the planted bulbs were wrapped in plastic film to maintain soil moisture in the pots. The results were striking.

Read the whole article. Starts on page 3.