What is an ideal substrate mix?
There is no universal substrate or mix that is valid for all plant species and in all situations. The plant species, geographical location, cultivation method, substrate cost as well as waste disposal concerns all need to be considered to determine the best suited substrate mix and packaging. Ideally a substrate must perform, be affordable and have a low carbon footprint. Supply chain issues are also a concern in an increasingly complex world.
Selecting a growing substrate
Coco coir originally a bi-product of the coir fiber industry is an organic mix of coir, chips and pith used as a soilless growing medium for horticultural applications. Produced from an environmentally renewable source, with a reasonable production cost, coco coir also provides a viable solution for recycling and disposal which is an environmental challenge.
What does it take to produce a high-performance coco growth substrate?
In the coco business there is a large array of manufacturers offering products to users with variable physical and chemical properties. For a new grower using substrates this could result in varied yields and quality. Several manufacturers simply wash coir with fresh water to remove excess salts. Such a double or triple washed product will invariably fall short as compared to a washed plus buffered mix. However, the efficacy of buffering is also variable among manufacturers and depends on the buffering technique, volume of water used, and the time allowed. The visual consistence and crop quality of grows using a well buffered coco mix will be clearly evident.