Selecting the best peat-free substrate for your plants

Before you start growing a peat-free ecological, planting, rooting and flowering crop you need to decide upon your methodology, that being, selecting the most suitable coir substrate which will work methodically for you throughout the entire growing, rooting and flowering phase.

WHAT CULTURE MEDIUM (SUBSTRATE) TO USE

There are few growing mediums to choose from, peat- free coconut substrate, peat, sand, water… of which, these have advantages and disadvantages. Putting aside the cropping systems, let us focus on the differences between peat-free coconut substrate and peat substrate.

COCONUT SUBSTRATE (UGRO COCO) AS A GROWING MEDIUM

Due to the natural structure of coconut substrate, it is a perfect aerated growing medium that ecologically facilitates the root development of a plant, filling the plant container or grow bag with an abundance of plant roots, which like a spider’s web neatly intertwine, thrive and connect. The capillarity of our coconut substrate is naturally high, so post irrigation, the nutrient solution is evenly distributed throughout the plant container or the growing bag. With UGro COCO, coconut substrate, we can adjust the water retention level of your crop by choosing the best irrigation to suit your growing requirements.

CONTROLLING EC (ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY: ACIDITY/ALKALINITY) TO YOUR PLANTS

When you opt for a coconut substrate you can control the number of nutrients to your plant, due to the fact coconut substrates only have organic nutrients, so you can add nutrients to your plants methodically, mindfully controlling the EC levels with ease. We recommend using an EC monitor as they are inexpensive and give you confidence during the growing and rooting phases.

If you opt for an enriched (fully-charged) coconut substrate, simply start with a low EC level and increase the level as your plant crop consumes the nutrients. It is important to understand and control the EC level, otherwise, your crop will incur growing problems such as malnutrition and if you exceed the maximum you can experience toxicity, amongst other growing problems. If you are growing plants that grow fruit, simply vary the EC value (level) of the nutrient solution, that being the acidity/alkalinity.

KEEP A WATCHFUL EYE ON YOUR PH LEVELS

It is important to remember that different plants have different nutritional requirements and if you are growing crops you should be mindful of your pH levels, as each nutrient is absorbed in different pH ranges. With a vegetable crop it is recommended to maintain a pH range of 5,8-6,2 for a correct absorption of the nutrients.

Whereas, a fruit crop requires an increase in nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, manganese and copper concentration during fruit growth and development. Depending upon what you are growing, that being tomatoes, flowering herbs, fruits or vegetables you will need to adjust the pH levels and prioritise the absorption of the mentioned key nutrients. If you are growing organic fruit, flowering herbs and vegetable crops you may want to opt for an organic growing aid with added natural organic nutrients and additives such as, trichoderma harzianum, endomycorrhizae, bat guano and worm humus, of which UGro Pure Superior Light Mix is fully-charged for optimal eco crop growth.

Coconut substrate and peat substrate completely differ. Our high-quality coir substrate is peat-free, Ecological, aerated with high capillarity that promotes the formation of a robust plant roots structure which increases plant feeding that results in a rapid plant growth. Whereas, peat is a dense medium that retains less moisture so it tends to compact very easily, which increases the risk of fungal diseases in your plant rooting system which means the oxygenation of the root is lower.

If you wish to conduct a little experience, simply squeeze UGro COCO in one hand and squeeze a peat-base medium in the other hand. UGro COCO will crumble perfectly in your hand, while the peat-based soil will generate big lumps. By planting with an Eco, peat-free coir substrate, as UGro COCOyour plants will be naturally stimulated and as our coir substrates are peat-free you are helping to protect and preserve the earth’s peatlands, thus, reducing harmful global greenhouse gas emissions, loss of biodiversity and reducing your carbon footprint.

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