Islamic Azad University of Isfahan
Background Physical properties of substrates considered appropriate for plant growth at planting may change over time in containers as a result of several processes. Changes include air space reduction, shrinkage of the substrate, organic matter decomposition, and physical breakdown of particles. The objective of this research was to evaluate the physical properties of date palm waste as culture media and its effect on number and yield of tomato fruit. Results The experiment was conducted as factorial in a completely randomized block design with 9 treatments and 3 replications. Treatments included three sizes (S1 =.5, S2 = 0.5–1, and S3 = 1–2 cm) and three composting times (C1 = 0, C2 = 3, and C3 = 6 months) of date palm waste. Statistical analysis showed that the values of bulk density (BD) and water holding capacity (WHC) were significantly increased at the end of cultivation from culture media without plant in comparison to before and after planting (p.05). Amounts of Ft (total porosity) in culture media without plant were significantly higher than those in culture media before planting and with plant (p.05). Also during the experiment, an apparent shift in physical properties was recorded. Conclusion The overall results of this research indicated that composting process changed the physical properties of the media before planting. Also during the experiment, an apparent shift in physical properties was recorded. The results of the study showed that composting processes continued in culture media with and without plant, in the mean time, the composting processes were higher in culture media without plant.