Perfect growing media
Peat is the best growing media for plants, and there is no doubts – say professionals.
What should be the close to ideal product for every plant and every planting method, for professional and for advanced hobby level growers also?
Common definition for growing media – maximize the productivity of plants and utilizing from all inputs in an efficient way for commercial and individual production
Opinion of professionals
Every professional grower knows what a perfect growing media should be and what basic requirements it has to meet. In these articles we will summarize all the key features that a grower expects and give our solution that should be very close to the ideal.
Growing media meaning
Growing media may also be known as grow media, culture medium, or substrate. Growing media are one of the most widely used materials for growing greenhouse crops. A growing medium must holds water and nutrients, it is a place where gas and nutrient exchanges occur, and it also provides an anchor point for a plant’s roots.
GROWING MEDIA COMPONENTS:
Growing media components are either organic or inorganic.
– peat moss, bark, coconut coir, rice hulls, etc.
– perlite, pumice, rock wool, vermiculite, sand, hydrogel, fertilizers, wetting agent, trace elements, etc.
! Most important quality of a professional growing medium is that it must be consistent from batch to batch and year to year. This consistency comes in two primary characteristics: physical properties and chemical properties.
Neither compost nor conventional soil, also barks, chips of wood, and similar don’t meets this requirement, and that is why components written below are out of our viewpoint.
Professional growing media
- conventional soil
- compost (Compost is made up of organic materials that break down in the soil, enriching its structure and adding essential nutrients).
Soilless culture systems in greenhouses are advised as alternative system to conventional production. For controlled conditions in the growth field, this conservated system is used. Due to this system, horticultural plants are increased by yield in soilless culture compared to culture of conventional soil.
Well-prepared soil is the key factor
to growing plants successfully. The ideal soil for most plants is rich in organic material, well drained yet able to hold moisture and air, and slightly acidic with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. Sphagnum peat moss is an excellent way to improve any soil and adds plant assurance for healthy growth. However, only a specific type of peatland has peat that is suitable for horticultural purposes.
The largely organic residues of plants, incompletely decomposed through lack of oxygen.
Peat moss or moss peat partially decayed mosses including:
- sphagnum peat
- hypnum peat
- peat humus
Peat has been used for successful cultivation of different vegetables and ornamental crops in soilless culture since the early 1900s. Peat has important functions for plant. It keeps water and nutrients and gives them steadily to plants. It has air pockets or pores to supply oxygen to plant roots and to allow for drainage.
Peat moss is dead fibrous material that forms when mosses and other living material decompose in peat bogs.
SPHAGNUM PEAT MOSS
Sphagnum is a genus of approximately 380 accepted species of mosses, commonly known as “peat moss”. Accumulations of Sphagnum can store water, since both living and dead plants can hold large quantities of water inside their cells; plants may hold 16 to 26 times as much water as their dry weight, depending on the species. The empty cells help retain water in drier conditions. (Source:Wikipedia)
Peat that is composed mainly of partially decomposed Sphagnum moss species. Commonly called peat moss or sphagnum peat moss. This is the most important type of peat for horticultural use.
Sphagnum moss is a group of mosses that grow in bogs. In horticulture, sphagnum moss refers to the live portion of the plant that is available packaged in whole pieces, dried or fresh. It is often confused with sphagnum peat moss. Sphagnum moss is most often used to line wire hanging baskets and other types of containers. Sphagnum moss is the living plant that grows on top of the bog. It is harvested while it is alive and then dried for commercial use. It is a very popular soil amendment because of its ability to help sandy soil hold moisture, and helps clay soil loosen up and drain better.
Characteristics and Qualities of Sphagnum Peat Moss
Sphagnum peat moss has many uses in horticulture because of its excellent physical and chemical properties. It can be used as a seed-starting medium, mixed into potting mixes added to compost, and incorporated into the soil as a beneficial amendment that binds sandy soil, loosens clay soil, and reduces leaching of nutrients. Peat moss is a natural, organic soil conditioner, with a unique structure that provides a good balance of air and water around plant roots for healthy plant growth.
Peat – the best growing media for plants
As a substrate constituent peat is superior to any other material when it comes to performance.
Peat is based on organically decomposed matter and mostly plant originated. Peat has important functions for plant. It keeps water and nutrients, and gives them steadily to plants. Peat is one of the most important growing medium that is safe and cost-effective used in the production of horticulture plants.
It is valuable for horticulture plants. The plant growth is supported by peat via providing appropriate conditions.
A high drainage capability and a good air capacity distinguish quality growing media.
CRUCIAL POINTS. AIR AND WATER
Sphagnum peat has:
- high water holding capacity (approx. 70% in volume, that is approximately 20 times its own dry wight) and provide adequate water and water-soluble nutrients to the roots.
- high air-holding capacity (approx. 30-40% in volume).
Peat provides a balanced aeration to roots and water with its high water holding capacity and aeration properties, that is why, peat substrates do not require precise irrigation schedule.
Weakly decomposed (H1-H5, generally referred to as white) Sphagnum peat is still indispensable for soil-less horticulture. Whilst a number of materials can be used as peat additives, especially to improve aeration, no alternative products with equivalent physical properties are available at present.