The LEAG experimental site is located in Saxony, eastern Germany in the vicinity of the Reichwalde coal mine managed by the LEAG energy consortium. The site has been affected by coal extraction, namely through high levels of heavy vehicle traffic, and the rerouting of the “weisse schops” river, which flows along the northern edge of the experimental site.
Recent remediation efforts involved laying a new layer of soil at the site. Soil analysis shows high levels of soil compaction, a low nutrient content, and areas affected by waterlogging. The area is also subject to late frosts, which may damage plants in their early growing stages.
At this site the effectiveness of different miscanthus establishment methods will be examined. In 2021 the effect of miscanthus mulch and plastic mulch was evaluated across 4 genotypes; Sin55, GNT43, Mxg and GNT10. Different plant production methods were be examined, wherein recently planted GNT43 plantlets will be compared to overwintered GNT43 plugs.
Establishment of miscanthus on marginal lands is notoriously difficult, and the LEAG site is subject to numerous stress conditions that hinder plant establishment and growth. Nutrient levels are low, and miscanthus plants are highly susceptible to frosts during their establishment phase. Thus the LEAG site is a valuble testing ground to ascertain how miscanthus establishment might be improved on marginal lands.