Substrate is a vital source for any plant, after all through the roots plants receive moisture and nutrients which are needed for their growth and development. Therefore, the selection of the seeding substrate should be approached carefully.
Ideal seeding material
Traditionally, substrates are usually divided into two main types: soil-based and peat-based. As a substrate constituent, peat is superior to any other material.
- Peat has a high water holding capacity (approx. 65% in volume). This helps to provide adequate water and water-soluble nutrients to the roots.
- It also has a high air-holding capacity (approx. 30% in volume). A high air porosity allows plant roots to develop and grow well.
- Peat contains beneficial microbes which help to prevent fungal diseases. Beneficial microorganisms in peat help to cycle nutrients through the substrate and have good nutritional effects for the plants.
- It is environment friendly product, therefore suitable for growing organic veggies and fruits.
- Peat substrates are easy to use. Ready-to-use peat mixes which do not need any special preparation are available now.
- Unlike the soil-based substrate, which is heavy, peat-based substrate has a low bulk density and is easily compressible. This makes it very fuel-efficient for transportation over long distances, which helps to keep your transportation costs low.
Correctly chosen peat substrate is a key
Peat substrates consist of various components and its mixture depends on the purpose – desired yield. Such substrates may consist of different peat types, sand, soil and other additives. The quality requirements for black soil and garden soil substrates are not as high as for peat substrates, so you have to be very careful choosing it, especially when buying from unknown producer. Choosing Nord Agri you choose the best quality and performing substrates.
When looking for a peat substrates, a few important things should be taken into consideration.
- Firstly, the acidity level or pH. Cucumber, bean or cabbage seedlings need an alkaline substrate with a pH of 6-7. For growing tomato seedlings, more acidic peat is allowed – from pH 5.8. Some flowers need even more acidic peat – pH 5.3. The cheapest is unprocessed peat, but it is suitable only for true acid lovers – rhododendrons, blueberries, garden azaleas. Other plants cannot be planted in it.
- Secondly, the structure of a substrate mix. It affects the amount of support plants’ roots receive, it affects the water retention, and it determines how well your plants can take up air, water and nutrients. To ensure optimal plant production and superb growing conditions in each climate regions, Nord Agri offers large variety of substrate’s fraction starting from extra coarse (20-40 mm) and ending with extra fine (0-5 mm). In most cases, choosing an extra fine fraction substrate with a pH of 5.5-6.5 you can not go wrong.
- And thirdly, valuable additives substrates contain. A peat substrate with a humidifier is always a good choice, as it is easier to water it and keep evenly moist – plants will thank you! Microbiological additives balance the good and not-so-good soil microorganisms, so the seeds are better protected against the rot.
Our young plant and seeding solutions
As already mentioned, the choice of substrate depends on the crop you plan to grow. Nord Agri offers several mixes for seeding and propagation of different cultures.
Potted herbs (basil, parsley, dill, peppermint etc.) and cuttings
Growing media for medium and large-sized seed tray plugs and small pots. Suited for seedling and young plant propagation and transplantation. With coarser structure, the product is suitable for growing periods and larger trays.
Vegetables, fruits and herbs
Growing media for small and medium-sized seed tray plugs. Suited for seedling and young propagation. With adjusted fine black and white peat amount, the product provides excellent air and water flow for the initial growing periods of plants.
Forestry seedlings (spruce, pine, birch and many other seedling varieties)
Growing media for young forestry plants filled in seed tray plugs and pots. Suited for initial plant propagation and transplantation in the later stages. Adjusted peat contents and additives ensure that root systems are provided with the necessary nutrients, as well as provide air and humidity to improve the growing quality and speed.
If you have concluded that you are not using the right and possibly the best type of substrate for your seeds, Nord Agri professionals will help in finding the right mixture for you or even develop a unique recipe depending on your needs. All substrates can be customized with adjusted fertilization, pH and wetting agent levels to achieve the highest growing results.
In Peat we trust!