Growing Media (Substrates)

It's important for growers to make sure they are getting a quality growing media product.  Healthy plant production starts with a healthy growing media mix, and having a knowledgable supplier in place to help you choose the right mix for your crop can go a long way in affecting your bottom line.  The number one concern MAD Greenhouse Products looks for in growing media mixes that we source, is the consistency of product from load to load.  We look for soilless growing media that has porosity and strong water-holding capabilities but at the same time allows for proper drainage and enough air space.  There are parallels between the performance of growing media and a plant's ability to take up nutrients:  the better the substrate mix, the higher the ability of roots to incorporate controlled-release fertilizers and beneficial microbes.  A higher-quality growing media mix means better nutrient holding and the ability to hold water with less leaching.  

Greenhouse Grow Media Substrates

Substrates are a combination of organic and inorganic materials used to provide the basic requirements for plant growth including holding water, holding nutrients, supporting plants, permitting gas exchange to and from roots.  An ideal greenhouse substrate would:
  • Drain well
  • Hold water
  • Hold nutrients / reduce nutrient leaching
  • Low carbon to nitrogen ratio
  • pH that can be adjusted
  • Produce vigorous plants
  • Suppress disease
  • Not accumulate salts
  • Be inexpensive
  • Facilitate plant establishment in landscape

The most common soil-less substrate components include:
  • Organic substrate components:
    • Coconut Coir
    • Pine and hardwood bark
    • Sphagnum Peat moss
    • Composted materials
    • Sawdust
  • Inorganic substrate components:
    • Mineral soil
    • Sand
    • Perlite
    • Rockwool
    • Vermiculite
    • Polystyrene beads

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