Growing Media

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How to improve seedling trays

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-28 Sat 13:45
2282

The more pellets that are placed in the mould, the denser and stronger the seedling tray. In cheaper trays, there tend to be slightly bigger gaps between the expanded pellets, and fine plant roots can enter these, making it difficult to pull out the plants.

Damping off organisms can also lurk in these small spaces, and the growing plants can become infected and die. One of the Pythium species (fungus-type pathogens) is usually the main culprit, but it’s not the only one.

I have used horse manure compost as a medium for 23 years and have never had damping off problems. This may be because the medium is a rich source of beneficial organisms, which suppress development of pathogens. I also never get powdery mildew on Brassica seedlings.

Once the pathogen has appeared, the trays must be sterilised, or the problem will keep cropping up and possibly cause major losses.

The most effective way of sterilising trays is in a heat chamber. To save cost and effort, some growers wait until damping off starts before using heat sterilising.

Another solution is to use a commercial dip containing copper; this will also reduce the penetration of roots into the fine gaps in the polystyrene.

If you are a small grower, you can use a simple, home-made steriliser such as bleach mixed with water at a 10% solution, or hydrogen peroxide at 3% concentration. Leave the trays suspended in the solution for 20 minutes, then rinse and dry them.

📺 Wholesale Grow Media: High-Quality Stonewool, Coco Coir, Grow Stones, Vermiculite, Perlite, and More!

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-23 Mon 15:28
2209

Wholesale Grow Media: High-Quality Stonewool, Coco Coir, Grow Stones, Vermiculite, Perlite, and More!youtube.com/watch?v=GmuiT-…Need Help? Call- 1-310-967-2022#Plants #Crops #Greenhouses #Farms #Agriculture #AG #CEA #IndoorFarms #GrowRooms #Hydroponics #Farmers #Farming #LA #CA

Cloning without using any medium

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-20 Fri 08:34
2186

There are many different ways to carry out plant cloning: tissue culture, plugs, rockwool, and so on. At the same time, more innovative technologies have been coming up over time, which made cloning much easier. One of the most interesting is aeroponic cloning, which has many benefits for large-scale growers, as it allows them…

📺 Measure your slab parameters

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-17 Tue 10:52
2156

Measure your slab parameters in an organized way using a sensor and set target objectives per parameter for the different periods of the crop.  Measuring = Knowing = Thinking = DoingThe root system is the part of the crop which is often a bit under estimated. For a lot of growers the rootzone is a so called ‘blackbox’ in which a…

📄 Method of Silicon Application Affects Quality of Strawberry Daughter Plants during Cutting Propagation in Hydroponic Substrate System

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-11 Wed 09:00
2118

The beneficial effects that silicon (Si) has on plant growth as well as resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses have been well documented for many crops in recent years. However, few studies focus on the effects of Si on plant growth during the propagation stage of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa, Duchesne). This study was conducted to investigate the optimal method for Si application during the cutting propagation of strawberry in soilless cultivation. Strawberry mother plants were supplied with Si through foliar spray, runner spray, or root drench before the cutting propagation, then half of the daughter plants in each treatment received continued Si supply through foliar spray or through root drench after the cutting propagation. The results showed that the plant height, petiole length and diameter, leaf length and width, shoot fresh and dry weights, and root fresh and dry weights were significantly increased by Si root drench both before and after the cutting propagation. Moreover, plants absorbed more Si by drench than by spray, and the absorbed Si was only able to be transported from the root to the shoot, and from the mother plant to the daughter plant.

📺 Five tips on using vermicompost in container growing media

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-10 Tue 12:26
2096

Dr. Paul Fisher from the University of Florida IFAS Extension hosts Dr. Dan Jacques of Sun Gro Horticulture in a new YouTube video. Dan provides tips on using vermicompost as a component in container substrates. Do you know where vermicompost comes from? How it affects pH of your mix? At what rate should…

Growth mediums for greenhouse production

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-06 Fri 11:08
2063

Greenhouse farming presents a lucrative opportunity for hands-on farmers with an eye for detail. Quicker turnaround means a shorter time before return on investment, despite higher input costs.

On the other hand, greenhouse farming is an exact science: what you put in can make or break the operation.

In most farming operations, the soil or growing medium requires more attention than any other aspect. Tunnel farmers have a number of options, from coir peat to newer innovations such as perlite.

📺 "Self-watering soil could transform farming"

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-06 Fri 11:03
2065

500Foods shared this story from HD.com. A new type of soil created by engineers at The University of Texas at Austin can pull water from the air and distribute it to plants, potentially expanding the map of farmable land around the globe to previously inhospitable places and reducing water use in agriculture at a time of growing droughts. As published…

📺 Five tips on hydroponic substrates

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-02 Mon 13:21
2012

Dr. Paul Fisher from the University of Florida IFAS Extension interviews Shawn Mallen from A.M.A. Horticulture in a new YouTube video where they discuss the different commercial substrates most commonly used in hydroponic production, the importance of air porosity, and compaction of substrates. This video…

NNYADP Soil Health Project: Use These Sampling Rates for 7 Key Indicators

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-30 Fri 15:47
2001

Northern N.Y. ; October 30, 2020. Cornell University Cooperative Extension researchers funded by a Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) grant worked with farms in the NNY region to identify optimal sampling levels for seven key soil health indicators. This findings of this research work to more accurately assess the restorative effectiveness of farms’ efforts to improve soil health over time.

Because soil health improvements are slow and subtle, more precise and accurate sampling strategies are needed. The goal of this NNYADP-funded research project was to identify specific sampling guidance for farms, county Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), and other agencies that often use soil health testing as part of their environmental conservation and crop management work. Participating farmers were from Chazy, Fort Covington, Madrid, Malone, Sackets Harbor, West Chazy, and Willsboro. The complete report is posted on the NNYADP website at www.nnyagdev.org.

Soil health supports both crop growth and environmental stewardship. Soil type and texture, climate, topography, and land management all influence soil health. Improvement in soil health occurs gradually and can vary within a single field. Sampling sites for the NNYADP-funded project were selected with the use of aerial soil maps.

Test in VF-cell brings cultivation on Growfoam substrate closer

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-26 Mon 09:35
1923

Hydroponic growing is known to be clean and sustainable, this also applies to the foam substrates of Growfoam. Currently Growfoam is investing heavily into the development of an optimal cultivation strategy, with the goal of making it easier for growers to transition to this new, clean cultivation media…

Mushrooms from coffee grounds

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-26 Mon 09:13
1932

Coffee grounds are the perfect substrate to grow mushrooms, as they contain minerals and nutritional substances useful for their growth - what may seem waste is actually a resource. This is the idea at the base of Funghi Espresso, a start-up inspired by the ideas Blue Economy where discards from a production cycle do not become…

10-Year Studies of the Soil Physical Condition after One-Time Biochar Application

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-16 Fri 13:54
1839

The ten-year experiment on the soil physical properties of biochar-amended Podzol was studied. Biochar was applied to the soil in the following rates: treatment BC10—10 Mg × ha−1, treatment BC20—20 Mg × ha−1, treatment BC30—30 Mg × ha−1 and treatment BC0—Control (soil without the addition of biochar). Biochar was mixed the soil arable layer (0–20 cm). Soil samples were collected ten times, once a year—after harvest rye. They were taken from layers: 0–10 cm and 10–20 cm, in six replicates, using 100 cm3 metal cylinders. The soil physical properties were determined: particle size distribution, particle density, bulk density, total porosity, air capacity and permeability (at −15.5 kPa), water content at sampling, field water capacity (at −15.5 kPa), available and unavailable water content, and the ratio of field water capacity and total porosity was calculated. It was found that biochar application causes changes in the soil physical condition. The soil density decreased, while the porosity, aeration and water retention increased; the ratio of field water capacity and total porosity was favorable. These changes cannot be considered as permanent. Most of the analyzed properties showed a durability of no more than 3–4 years.

Promising composts as growing media for the production of baby leaf lettuce in a floating system

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-14 Wed 13:04
1808

The floating system is a successful strategy for producing baby leaf vegetables. Moreover, compost from agricultural and agri-food industry wastes is an alternative to peat that can be used as a component of growing media in this cultivation system. In a new study, researchers experimented with three…

Promising Composts as Growing Media for the Production of Baby Leaf Lettuce in a Floating System

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-10 Sat 14:03
1764

The floating system is a successful strategy for producing baby leaf vegetables. Moreover, compost from agricultural and agri-food industry wastes is an alternative to peat that can be used as a component of growing media in this cultivation system. In this study, we experimented with three composts containing tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), leek (Allium porrum L.), grape (Vitis vinifera L.), and/or olive (Olea europaea L.) mill cake residues, which were used as the main component (75/25 volume/volume) of three growing media (GM1, GM2 and GM3) to evaluate their effect on the growth and quality of red baby leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). We used a commercial peat substrate as a control treatment (100% volume) and in mixtures (25% volume) with the composts. The plants were cultivated over two growing cycles, in spring and summer, and harvested twice in each cycle when the plants had four to five leaves. We found that the percentage of seed germination was significantly higher in plants grown in peat than in those grown in compost growing media. The yield was affected by the growing media in the summer cycle, and we obtained the highest value with GM1. Furthermore, the second cut was more productive than the first one for all the growing media in both cycles. The lettuce quality was also affected by the growing media.

Jiffy’s European substrates now offered in North America

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-02 Fri 08:55
1630

On October 2nd, 2020 Jiffy is introducing European quality peat substrates in the US. Jiffy now offers 26 mixes formulated to fit different crops. As we all know, annuals have different rooting needs than vegetable seedlings. Choosing the right Jiffy substrate helpsgive your plants a great start. All Jiffy’s…

Microbe–Plant Growing Media Interactions Modulate the Effectiveness of Bacterial Amendments on Lettuce Performance inside a Plant Factory with Artificial Lighting

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-23 Wed 13:11
1508

There is a need for plant growing media that can support a beneficial microbial root environment to ensure that optimal plant growth properties can be achieved. We investigated the effect of five rhizosphere bacterial community inocula (BCI S1–5) that were collected at three open field organic farms and two soilless farms on the performance of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). The lettuce plants were grown in ten different plant growing media (M1–10) composed of 60% v/v peat (black peat or white peat), 20% v/v other organics (coir pith or wood fiber), 10% v/v composted materials (composted bark or green waste compost) and 10% v/v inorganic materials (perlite or sand), and one commercial plant growing medium inside a plant factory with artificial lighting. Fractional factorial design of experiments analysis revealed that the bacterial community inoculum, plant growing medium composition, and their interaction determine plant performance. The impact of bacterial amendments on the plant phenotype relied on the bacterial source. For example, S3 treatment significantly increased lettuce shoot fresh weight (+57%), lettuce head area (+29%), root fresh weight (+53%), and NO3-content (+53%), while S1 treatment significantly increased lettuce shoot dry weight (+15%), total phenolic content (+65%), and decreased NO3-content (−67%). However, the effectiveness of S3 and S1 treatment depended on plant growing medium composition.

Effects of Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas fluorescens Inoculation on Attributes of the Lettuce Soil Rhizosphere Microbial Community: The Role of the Management System

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-19 Sat 08:00
1417

Inoculation with beneficial microbes has been proposed as an effective practice for the improvement of plant growth and soil health. Since soil acts as a physicochemical background for soil microbial communities, we hypothesized that its management will mediate the effects of microbial inoculants on the indigenous soil microbes. We examined the effects of bacterial inoculants [Bacillus subtilis (Ba), Pseudomonas fluorescens (Ps), and both (BaPs)] on the growth of Lactuca sativa cultivated in soils that originated from an organic maize (OS) and a conventional barley (CS) management system. Moreover, the biomass and the community structure of the rhizosphere microbial communities and the soil enzyme activities were recorded. The root weight was higher in CS than OS, while the foliage length was greater in OS than CS treatments. Only in OS pots, inoculants resulted in higher biomasses of bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes compared to the control with the highest values being recorded in Ps and BaPs treated soils. Furthermore, different inoculants resulted in different communities in terms of structure mainly in OS soils. For soil enzymes, the effect of the management system was more important due to the high organic matter existing in OS soils. We suggest that for microbial inoculation to be effective it should be considered together with the management history of the soil.

Simplified soilless cultivation in lettuce

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-14 Mon 10:36
1315

500Foods shared this story from HD.com. Simplified soilless cultivation (SSC) systems have globally spread as growing solutions for low fertility soil regions, low availability of water irrigation, small areas and polluted environments. In a recent study, four independent experiments were conducted for assessing the applicability of SSC in the…

Comparison of Water Capture Efficiency through Two Irrigation Techniques of Three Common Greenhouse Soilless Substrate Components

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-14 Mon 10:26
1309

Substrate wettability is an important factor in determining effective and efficient irrigation techniques for container-grown crops. Reduced substrate wettability can lead to lower substrate water capture, excessive leaching and poor plant growth. This research examined substrate water capture using surface and subirrigation under three initial moisture contents (IMC). Sphagnum peat moss, coconut coir, and pine bark were tested at IMCs of 67% 50%, and 33%. Substrate water capture was influenced by both IMC and irrigation technique. Surface irrigation increased the water capture of coir and peat, regardless of IMC, whereas IMC influenced pine bark water capture more than irrigation method. Surface-irrigated coir at or above 50% IMC provided the greatest water capture across all treatments. The first irrigation had the highest capture rate compared to all other events combined. Container capacities of pine bark and coir were unaffected by IMC and irrigation type, but the CC of peat was less by ~ 40% volumetrically under low IMC conditions. Coir, had the greatest ability to capture water, followed by pine bark and peat, respectively. Moisture content, irrigation type and component selection all influence the water capture efficiency of a container substrate.

Increasing Sustainability of Growing Media Constituents and Stand-Alone Substrates in Soilless Culture Systems

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-14 Mon 10:26
1310

Peat-free growing media constituents and stand-alone substrates are the basis for the economic and ecological efficiency of the soilless culture system. Nevertheless, divergence between the model and practice still exists, coming from large gaps in the knowledge of alternative organic materials and of their effects on crop performance. A more detailed understanding of these topics is necessary to increase the soilless culture management capacity. In this respect, this critical review collects research outcomes concerning the sustainability of soilless culture and growing media constituents and their impact on the environment. In particular, the review covers designated articles stressing the pros and cons of soilless culture and growing media constituents, the exploitation of different organic materials and their economic and environmental relevance.

What is aeroponics, and how could it make agriculture more sustainable?

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-10 Thu 10:23
1294

A crop that uses an aeroponic method relies on mist and air to grow rather than soil. It’s an inventive way to avoid aggregates that traditional agriculture methods require. Each plant receives nutrient-rich moisture through a spritz to its roots. This practice allows growers to create a flexible, mobile garden wherever they please.

Substrate handling influences water holding capacity

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-08 Tue 10:13
1259

Water holding capacity is greatly influenced by the size of the growing medium particles. Coarse particles create macropores which account for drainage and air porosity, while fine particles create micropores which retain water. A mixture of coarse and fine particles can be prejudicial for a substrate…

Partial root-zone drying and deficit irrigation effect on greenhouse grown grafted tomato

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-04 Fri 08:22
1227

The tomato is an important horticultural crop, the cultivation of which is often under influence of abiotic and biotic stressors. Grafting is a technique used to alleviate these problems. Shortage of water has stimulated the introduction of new irrigation methods: deficit irrigation (DI) and partial…

Dry Comfort: a new cube for pepper growing

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-03 Thu 09:27
1219

Saint-Gobain Cultilene introduces a new cube for pepper growing: Dry Comfort. A cube that allows the grower to grow drier and at the same time more comfortable. This guarantees optimal controllability and good root development. With Dry Comfort, Cultilene is launching a new cube that is extremely…

Composition, functions and use of various growing media

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-02 Wed 11:11
1208

Growing media are one of the most widely used materials for growing greenhouse crops. With many different formulations available for growers, it can be a challenge to choose which is the best blend to use. Understanding the composition, functions and intended use can make the selection process easier.…

Special Starting Material

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-01 Tue 09:16
1192

Good quality starting material is very important in the horti- and floriculture sector. The quality of the crop is inextricably linked to the quality of the starting material that has been used. With virus pressure getting higher and higher, this subject has become even more important. Therefore, this month we are focusing on…

Hydroponic system promises cost savings for low to mid-tech vegetable growers

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-28 Fri 09:28
1160

500Foods shared this story from HD.com. Plantlogic is focused on designing solutions for substrate production that will increase the health of plants and enable growers to adequately fertigate their crops. With these goals in mind, Plantlogic presents its newest, innovative product for hydroponic production of vegetables. The "Kratos" is aimed…