The substrate must provide anchorage for your crops, allow for root respiration, hold enough water and nutrients and be free from pathogens, weeds, and pests. Also, producers must make sure that the growing media is chemically and physically stable from the time of manufacturing until it’s used.
Despite that growers support the substrates, which offer the highest harvest yields, you should learn about the different types of substrates so you can choose the best growing medium. Planting your crops in the perfect substrate will make the difference between a thriving harvest and a grow which barely grows.
So, read on to learn about growing plants in coco, soil or pebbles.
Organic Growing – Soil
Soil is the most familiar and common medium for both beginner and professional growers. You’ll find a variety of soil mixes and types available. Thanks to its affordability and accessibility it’s usually the go-to substrate. It’s also easily managed. When you choose a soil mix or soil, you must consider different factors such as pH, fertilizer content, aeration, texture and infestation levels.
Soil performs 3 major functions. It’s a medium for plant growth. It provides a habitat for bacteria and fungi. It filters water and recycles raw materials. Soil supports plant development by providing water, oxygen, anchorage, temperature modification, and nutrients. Plants’ roots extend downward and/or outwards through the soil and stabilize the plants. Air is contained in the spaces between the soil particles, which provides oxygen used by the root cells to break down sugars and offer energy to plants. Water is also contained in the spaces between the soil particles.
Plants use the water to cool down as it evaporates off their leaves. Water also helps with the transportation of nutrients, sustains photosynthesis and helps to maintain cell size. Soil also protects roots from extreme temperatures. It also provides and holds nutrients added via fertilisers.
For top-quality crops, use high-performance growing media such as Biogreen Total Mix and BioBizz AllMix Potting Soil.
Biogreen Total Mix contains top-quality white and black peat, which is suitable for all types of nutrition. Thanks to the increased levels of peat and extra perlite, this soil type has a light structure and ensures excellent development of plants’ root systems. The additional worm humus ensures increased water retention and provides your crops with macro and micro-nutrients.
It’s the best soil to grow strong and healthy plants. It also encourages the development of beneficial bacteria and microbes to support healthy crops. Growers also use Biobizz – AllMix Potting Soil, which is a certified organic soil made for potting large plants and deliver exceptional development rates. The soil encourages the growth of beneficial microbes in the root-zone and comprises a perfect balance of nutrients for excellent harvests. Biobizz and Biogreen provide the best soil to grow larger and healthier plants, which deliver exquisite flowers and fruits.
What is Coco Coir and what are the benefits of growing in it?
coir is a relatively new substrate on the growing scene. Growers use it as a stand-alone substrate or mixed in with soil. Coco coir is a byproduct of coconut fibre. Unlike soil, coco substrates don’t contain nutrients, so your plants will need extra nutrients for optimum growth. Although you have more control over your plants’ growth, you must avoid overfeeding. Also, because coco dries out faster than soil, you must add extra water. The basic types of coco substrates include pith, chips, and fibre. For extra benefits, you can mix the three types together or buy pre-mixed products.
The benefits of growing plants in coco include high yield and quick harvests, extra room for root development, pH-neutral values, minimum pathogen content, reduced risk of pests and sustainability. When you use a run-to-waste system, coco is an excellent medium. With the right fertilisers in the water tank, plants will easily absorb nutrients and focus on strong development. Coco soil also offers a perfect balance of water retention, excellent aeration, and reliable drainage. This substrate has a neutral pH ranging between 5.2 and 6.8. Coco soil also promotes antifungal properties and promotes root development. It also protects your plants from pests and pathogens.
London Grow recommends using a top-quality product such as Canna Coco Professional to achieve rich harvests and strong crops. The product creates an airy and moist rooting environment, which supports and promotes rich root development. It’s bio-degradable, easy to use and free of pathogens or pests. With Canna Coco Professional Plus, you’ll create an eco-friendly and high performance growing substrate, which holds enough water and allows oxygen to reach your plants’ roots.
Growing on Water or Clay Pebbles
Growers use clay pebbles in recirculating hydroponics as a substrate layer. Producers create clay pebbles by taking pieces of clay and firing them in a kiln, which causes the expansion of the substance. Growers use clay pebbles as a base layer mixed with other mediums because it offers excellent drainage. The main benefit of clay pebbles is that they retain moisture. They’re also lightweight and porous and increase the aeration in the root-zone. And because they’re produced under extreme heat, they create a sterile substrate with a neutral pH level.
Because clay pebbles retain moisture, it’s the perfect substrate to ensure that your plants are hydrated. The medium absorbs water and stores it for plants to uptake as needed. Thanks to being lightweight, clay pebbles increase the aeration for your plants’ root systems. Clay pebbles are environmentally friendly, as the main ingredient in the production process is clay, which is completely natural. What’s best, clay pebbles have a long life cycle. London Grow recommended you use Canna Aqua Pebbles or Wilma system.
Canna Aqua Pebbles are top-quality pebbles, which deliver excellent results with Canna fertilisers. They have high porosity, increased air content and low salt content. These clay pebbles have a porous texture and can hold increased amounts of water.
Thanks to the air gaps in the medium, drainage is streamlined, which is a perfect fit for recirculating hydroponics. These gaps also improve the aeration level in the root area. You can choose to use Wilma system, which is available in a wide range of pot and system sizes. Wilma system is easy to use and delivers excellent results with any type of substrate including soil, clay pebbles, and coco. The system creates a high oxygen environment for accelerated plant development.
Professional growers use a variety of growing mediums including soil, coco, and clay pebbles. To decide which is the best growing medium for your crops, you must learn the benefits of each type of substrate. Depending on your plants’ needs and the area where you’re growing crops, choose the right medium.
London Grow recommended specific products for each growing medium, which will help you achieve top-quality and high harvest yields.