Volume 4 Part 1 Article 14: Casing Soil Moisture Studies

Volume 4 Part 1 Article 14
Year 1960
Title: Casing Soil Moisture Studies
Authors: E. Reeve, R.W. Backes and J. M. Schramer


Moisture content of the casing soil has long been considered an important factor in mushroom production. Growers are still guided largely by experience as the exact soil moisture conditions for optimum production has not been described quantitatively. The literature on a quantitative approach to the problem is limited.

Several years ago studies were initiated at West Chicago in an attempt to determine whether electrical resistance units (1) or tensiometer (2, 3) could be used to follow casing soil moisture in situ. Results from exploratory tests established the fact that (1) the moisture content of casing soil in “normal” production was higher than the range over which gypsum and nylon resistance units function, (2) vacuum gauge tensiometers were sluggish and difficult to maintain in operation, (3) mercury manometer tensiometers under close attention reflected the moisture condition in the immediate vicinity fairly accurately, and (4) a procedure of taking small soil samples periodically and drying to constant weight in an oven was accurate and reproducible. The purpose of this paper is to briefly summarize results obtained from specific watering trials made in connection with these studies.

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