Now day’s people are looking for the best types of growing media for their plants. It is due to people become more conscious while selecting the growing media for their plants. The reason is simple every one curious about the health of the plants.
Importance of the growing media
The growth of the plants influenced by many factors, growing media is one of them. Growing media plays an important role in the growth and development of plants. The production and health of the plant are dependent on the growing media. Media also play an important role in the disease management of the plant. Many disease-causing pathogens found in plants come from the media. Sterilized media free from pathogenic spores of the disease is essential for plant health. First, we discuss the functions and qualities of the best Growing media. After that, we discuss the types of growing media. Without further delay let’s jump over the Growing media
What is the growing media?
Growing media is a nutritious substrate in which plant anchor and gives support to the plant. The plant develops roots in the Growing media and also gets essential nutrients from this.
For example, crops grow on the soil and soil is the growing medium. If flowering plants grow in peat moss in the pot the peat moss is the medium.
Different types of growing media are available in the market. You go into the market for purchasing Growing media for your plants. You become confused when everyone is claiming my Growing media is the best for your plants. They have different types of ingredients but they are all not good for your plants. The thing is what are the criteria for judging the growing media for your plants?
- Growing media should be nutritive
- Growing media should be sterilized
- Growing media should be low in weight
- Growing media should have a pH of 5.5-6.5
- Growing media should be loose and porous
- Growing media should not shrink nor expand
- Growing media should have optimum fertility
- Growing media should act as a buffer solution
- The plant should anchor its root into the Growing media
- Growing media should have good water holding capacity
- Growing media should be easily available and economical
- Growing media should be free from diseases and pathogen
- Growing media should have an adequate quantity of organic matter
These are the different characteristics of growing media. One can keep these characteristics in his mind before selecting growing media for his plant.
After discussing the characteristics of good media, now we are going to educate you about different types of growing media. We make a list of growing media. Let’s discuss the first one
DIFFERENT TYPES OF GROWING MEDIA
There are various kinds of the growing media for horticultural plants. Some best option are given blow.
Peat moss is a decomposed product of the submerged and bogs soil of sphagnum family plants. It is formed in low and wetland areas of the northern hemisphere. The major parts of the peat moss producing regions of the world are Canada, northern Europe and northern Siberia. Plants of the sphagnum family remain in the water for many years.
Accumulation of sphagnum in the wetland is taking place. Because of the poor drainage, small and big wetlands are formed. Due to a very low temperature in these wetlands, the low pH of peat sphagnum is formed. Peat moss has the ability to restore 16-26 times more water in its cell.
Peat moss has good water retention capacity. It is a good source of organic matter which improves the structure of the soil. Peat most work as a curator of your bad structure sandy soils. Due to high porosity, it improves the clayey soils. Sphagnum peat moss has a high buffer capacity that’s tolerated and resists changes in pH of the medium. All in one, peat moss is a good growing media for plants, if it contains essential nutrients in reasonable amount.
Cons of the peat moss
The pure peat moss comprising of organic matter that is low in plant essential nutrients. Without the use of the additive peat moss, the fertility of the peat moss is very low. Due to Acidic in nature Peat moss is good for acid-loving plants. But if the pH is too low then it can create more problems for the high pH loving plants. As compared to the other growing materials peat moss is more expensive than others.
Perlite is the product of volcanic glass. It is a naturally occurring inorganic mineral. It expands on heating like popcorn. Perlite mainly consists of oxides of silicon, aluminum, potassium, iron and calcium. It is loose and high porosity growing media. Perlite is used for other potting mixes. Perlite is densely weighted in its raw shape.
Pros of the perlite
It is the lightweight mix that allows you to work and handle it easily. Perlite has good drainage and good for the xerophytes and mesophytes. Perlite is used to lightening the media. It is a loose medium that improves the porosity and anchorage of the growing mixes. The world’s top perlite producing countries are Turkey, Greece, United States and Japan.
Cons of the perlite
As perlite is natural inorganic material so it has no complete food for the plants. Perlite does not have any essential nutrients for plants. It is only used as potting mixes in different combinations. It is not good for water retention.
It is the mixture of inorganic salts but it. Soil is composed of three types of particle silt sand and clay. Silt and clay are the fine particles of the soil but sand is coarse. Based on the component, the soil is dividing into these groups. Sandy soils, clayey soils and loamy soil. It becomes good media on some amendments. Some soils have high amount of organic matter or
Pros of the soil
It is a natural medium for plants. It is easily available in any place and very cheap. Soil is the best medium for big plants. On some amendments, soil performs the best function. Organic soils are best for the plant growth.
Cons of the soil
Most of the soils are alkaline and pH is higher. This media is not good for the succulent plants because it becomes very hard on drying and root penetration is not good. Soil is heavy. Most of the soils are have less organic matter.
Most of the soils are not as good as a growing medium. The soil has a heavy amount of salts which increase the pH of the media and not good for most of the plants
Decomposition and decaying of the organic material of plants into inorganic or simple elements is called composting. Composting is done in the presence of the microorganisms.
The ingredients of the compost are:
Leave, barks, twigs, branches, flowers, root, kitchen waste, straws, hey, a residue of the crops and other organic origin material.
Compost is very useful if you have interested in organic farming. One can also use Farm Yard Manure (FYM) for making the compost. Different ratios of the ingredients are being used for making the compost. Leaf compost is more commonly used and known. One thing that you have to keep in mind before preparing the compost that is: the ratio of the greens and dry. The ratio of the greens and dry for producing an excellent type of compost should be 2:1 and 3:1. Leaf compost is the best and popular media for the raising of seedlings.
Pros of the Compost
Compost is an excellent type of growing media that does not need ant fertilizer. The mixture of compost and soil is the best combination for growing any type of plant. Waste organic material can be use as compost. Compost recovers the health of the soil and plant. Composting is very easy for making. It is a good activity for the child to play. The cost of producing compost is very low
Cons of the Compost
The first and foremost disadvantage of composting is the foul smell. The decaying process creates a bad smell. It creates an unpleasant look to the viewer so installed in less view area of the garden. As the decaying process takes time so it takes a long time for composting. Compost areas may contain insect cockroach and snakes.
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