Hydraulic properties of horticultural substrates

  • Uwe Georg Schindler Mitscherlich Academy for Soil Fertility (MITAK)
  • Frank Eulenstein Mitscherlich Academy for Soil Fertility (MITAK)


One main criterion for evaluating the suitability of horticultural substrates for horticultural applications is their capability to store and transport water. The basic substrate hydraulic variables which provide this information are the water retention curve and the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity function. Substrate shrinkage and water repellency are of similar importance. A set of 36 commercial horticultural substrates was selected and the hydraulic properties (water retention curve, unsaturated hydraulic conductivity function, capillary rise and shrinkage) were measured with the Extended Evaporation Method (EEM). Additionally, the water drop penetration time was determined as a measure of wettability. Here the raw data are presented. Data access under DOI 10.4228/ZALF.2015.278.