Environmental and Quality Issues Affecting the Selection of Growing Media
Catherine S. Dawson
Growing media have always been subject to gradual evolution. There will be few growers who have not adjusted and tweaked their composts over the years. Physically the emphasis has been on getting the right compost structure — the correct balance of air and moisture availability. Chemically there have been tremendous improvements in the accuracy of nutrient delivery. Increasingly we will see the introduction of biological agents said to improve plant health and create stronger resistance to attack by pests and pathogens.
Until recently growers based their growing media decisions on which peat to use, a choice probably driven by the compromise between price and quality. The inclusion of a structural amendment such as bark or grit would largely depend on crop type and market price. Today, as with every other industry, growers need to consider the environmental impact of their methods, which in terms of growing media means peat and pesticides.
The aim of this paper is to help
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