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Title: The effect of soil properties on the production of horticultural crops in the north of Scotland
Author: Shiel, Robert S.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3405 7230
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1978
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The purpose of this study was to determine which soil properties have the greatest effect on the production of horticultural, crops in the north of Scotland. The growth and management requirements of crops were found to vary so greatly that the effects of soil properties on crop production were considered on a crop-by-crop basis. Soil properties affecting nutrition, and temperature were found to have little effect on crop growth. The soil moisture deficit in the north of Scotland is relatively low and will not restrict crop growth as frequently or as severely as in major British horticultural districts. Organic matter content and rooting depth were found to have the greatest effect on available water content. Near Aberdeen a soil depth of 300 mm was found by experiment to be sufficient for the growth of lettuce, strawberries and carrots. Root growth in the north of Scotland is frequently restricted to this depth by the presence of pans or horizons of high bulk density. Freely-drained soils were found to be suitable for all crops, but imperfectly-drained soils can be used for crops such as calabrese, which have a short growing.season. Low soil temperatures and soil capping may affect the establishment of some crops. Machinery use in the north of Scotland is difficult because of stones and wet soil conditions, especially in autumn. Soil properties such as available water content and ease of cultivation cannot be considered in isolation; climatic and topographic factors must also be taken into account. A soil which is suitable for production of a crop in one district may not be suitable in a location with a different climate. The existing schemes of land and soil classification are of restricted value in selecting suitable soils for production of specific horticultural crops. A more satisfactory method is described, which is flexible enough to apply to any crop and allow for changes in methods of production.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available