Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »

Choices in substrate for soft fruit crops

One of the most important choices a soft fruit grower has to make, is the choice of the substrate. The substrate needs to give the plants the best balance between water and air content. Some growers are choosing for an higher amount of water, to be assured the water amount is always “big” enough. For the development of healthy roots and plants it’s better to use a dryer substrate. With a dryer substrate the steering of the plants is much easier. It’s always easier to put water in on a sunny day, than the plant has to take out on a dull day! Also you need to get as less as possible fine material in the substrate: this will compost very fast and is also containing water and no air.

Besides this, it’s very important to use a reliable quality of substrate. "Botanicoir is one of the leading companies in producing high quality coir substrates", said consultan Wim van Wingerden. "Good coir needs always to be washed and buffered. First the coir is being washed with clean water. Afterwards the coir is being buffered with Calcium nitrate. With this treatment the majority of Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Boron and Silicon are further displaced from the coir substrate. Botanicoir has strict rules about the maximum levels of these elements in their products."

Washing and buffering are very important issues: strawberry plants are very sensitive for higher levels of these elements. Before a grower receives his coir substrate, the manufacturer needs to show the analyses with EC, pH, Ca and the spoken elements. For this you need to use the Barium Chloride test. Also at delivery of the substrate it’s recommended to do another analysis.

At the start of your crop, you need to know exactly what kind of nutrients you have in your substrate. That will help you, together with the added fertilizer, to get the best balance of nutrients available for your young plants. That will guarantee a good start of your new crop.

For more information:

United Kingdom:
Mark Davies
Tel: 0044-7979703526

Wim van Wingerden
Tel: 0031-651042740

Publication date: 8/31/2017



Other news in this sector:

11/21/2017 Peat moss comes in many grades
11/17/2017 "Stronger plant through stone wool without plant-unfriendly material"
11/17/2017 Substrates for hydroponics and aquaponics
11/13/2017 "Strawberries grow better on coconut fibre"
11/8/2017 Brown Grow opens U.S. subsidiary
11/3/2017 Enriched biochar shows good results against crazy roots
11/2/2017 Research: Organic fertilizer for cannabis in two coir-based substrates
10/31/2017 Peat and Growing medium markets: supply and demand
10/20/2017 "Extending the pre-planting phase gives more control over generative growth"
10/13/2017 US: Enroot Products ships first Ameri-Coco bagged coir
10/9/2017 Norway: Miljøgartneriet chooses Pro block for plant propagation
9/28/2017 This is how it works with coir growbags
9/27/2017 Demand for biochar booms
9/27/2017 Germany: Restart for Terracult, founding MD returns
9/11/2017 "Challenging year for growing media producers"
9/7/2017 RHP certification for AS Tootsi Turvas
8/22/2017 Choosing a substrate for hydroponic production
8/9/2017 EU: Hydroponic cultivation no longer organic
8/9/2017 A mixing model to predict rooting media properties
8/8/2017 WUR: Electric substrate heating bears more strawberry fruit