Grow Your Own Way: A Guide to Growing Media
In today’s world, growing plants is not as simple as just putting seeds in soil and adding water and light. As technology has advanced, the choices growers are faced with have expanded immensely. Many types of growing media have been developed that include the nutrients necessary for plants to grow. Here is a sampling of our favorite types that you may want to try when starting your seeds this spring.
Grodan Growing Media: Grodan products are made of molten rock spun into cotton candy-like fibers and then compressed into cubes, blocks or slabs. Grodan A-Ok Starter Plug sheets are ideal for starting seeds in Standard 1020 flats. Each cell is 1.5″ by 1.5″, the perfect size for seed and cutting propagation prior to moving the seedlings to Grodan Delta Gro-Blocks™. Before moving seedlings, check to see that the roots coming out of the starter plug are at least 1″ long, and then simply place the plug right in the Gro-Block hole. Delta 4 Blocks should be used with small plants, such as strawberries and peppers. Delta 6 Blocks are great for growing large fruiting crops, such as tomatoes and cucumbers. Either size is perfect for use in ebb and flow, Dutch bucket and drip hydroponic systems.
Jiffy Growing Media: For great aeration and water retention, grow plants in Jiffy 7-C Coir Pellets. Made from 100% coco substrate that is purified and stabilized, Coir Pellets are peat free. Coir Pellets are based on the proven theory of “container and media in one,” as they are wrapped in a biodegradable containment material. When roots begin to come through the sides of the pellets, transfer them directly into a larger growing container so the plants have more room to finish growing.
Wonder Soil® Growing Media: Wonder Soil® is an eco-friendly soilless potting medium made from renewable coconut coir fiber, worm castings, Biosol® natural fertiziler, mycorrhizae, kelp and water-saving polymer crystals. Recommended for both the professional and the hobby grower, Wonder Soil is a biodegradable potting medium that maximizes growing success and is available in a variety of forms. For growers short on space, Wonder Soil is an ideal option as it comes in very small packages that are easy to ship and store. One truckload of Wonder Soil is needed for every ten truckloads of loose soil because when water is added, it multiplies to about nine times the volume.
Wonder Soil tends to reduce watering and fertilizing costs by up to 50% and is completely safe for use around children and pets. Made in the USA, Wonder Soil produces stronger seedlings with larger root systems, as well as healthier transplanted and potted crops. Wonder Soil is available as wafers, 5 lb. reground bags and bricks. Reground Wonder Soil is made from wafers that have been reground into thousands of tiny expanding granules. When mixed with grass seed, the reground product is amazing for rapid lawn repair. The Brick Lite® is recommended for larger projects in trafficked areas. Brick Plus® is recommended for larger projects in un-trafficked areas. Both bricks are great for commercial and residential use, greenhouses, high tunnels, landscaping, nurseries, garden centers and more.
All the growing media discussed here are environmentally friendly and will help reduce your carbon footprint. No matter what medium you decide to use, make sure your plants are getting plenty of water and light. If you still aren’t sure which medium is best for your seeds or starts, contact us for some help.