Growing Media
While recently watching a television special on the great women of ancient Egypt, I was reminded that depictions of containerized plants, specifically non-native trees being transported in large containers, can be traced back millennia. By the fifth century, containerized plants were common, and some fast-growing herbaceous species were grown in containers for use in festivals.
Peat moss is a frequent, major component of potting mixes, but harvest of the material is becoming unsustainable. Not only is peat being removed faster than it can re-form, its harvest and use in potting mix contributes to the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Sept. 28, 2017, St. Albert, Alta. – It’s been a pretty good year for peat harvesting in Canada.
July 2017 – Over the past few years, Kwantlen Polytechnic University students have been working with local schools (elementary, middle and high schools) to help design gardens. In each case, it has been at the school’s request. This is critical, since it means they have ownership and therefore (hopefully!) commitment. Plans have been driven by specific constraints of the spaces available and any wants/needs of the school community, and these needs were in turn identified by doing surveys of all stakeholders.
July 2017 – As growers, many times we do things by going through the motions of what we did before and whether it worked or not. If what we did before worked we try to repeat it – but that is only if we kept records we can review before starting to grow crops we produced before.
March April 2017 – I write this a couple of weeks before his inauguration, and president-elect Donald Trump is in process of picking his cabinet. He’s done Education, Transport, Energy and, of course, all the military/security positions. In fact, he’s done all cabinet and senior advisory positions except for two. Right, he’s down to the last two and at this point, and he’s not appointed anyone to hold the Agriculture portfolio.1 (In case you’re wondering, the only other outstanding vacancy is Secretary for ‘Veterans Affairs’.) Firearms before food is such an interesting concept, don’t you think?
October 2016 – Talking about root zone is always fascinating to me because it is the foundation of all greenhouse crops and it is hidden from our eyes. The tops we can easily see but the tops depend on the roots, and the roots depend on the health of the tops!
September 2016 – Just recently, Dr. Tim O’Neil from ADAS in the U.K. spoke to Canadian growers on the topic of Root Mat Disorder (“Crazy Root,” as it’s called here). This has been seen on hydroponic cucumbers in the U.K. since 1993 and tomato crops throughout Europe (especially the Netherlands and France) a few years later.
August 2016 – Growing media for greenhouse crops fascinate me because as a greenhouse specialist in the early 1980s, I faced problems with the growing medium in which cucumbers were grown.
March 2016 — Roots are the foundation of plants we grow in greenhouses. In the February 2013 issue of Greenhouse Canada, I wrote about root health and it’s importance in crop management.
Jan. 7, 2016, Shenyang, China — Nitrogen (N) is an essential nutrient for plant growth, and nitrogen fertilization – including the application of manures – is a major management strategy in agriculture across the globe.
Sept. 24, 2015, St. Albert, Alberta—It’s been an average year so far with peat harvesting in Canada.
August 2015 — At Kwantlen Polytechnic in Langley, B.C., “Urban Ecosystems” degree students have been busy installing green walls (both inside and outside buildings) as part of developing the physical campus environment. When “Facilities Management” began renovating the library roof membrane, the opportunity arose to install a large green roof.
June 12, 2015, Leamington, Ont. — Janan Alles, Shawn Mallen, and Connie and Rick Bradt of A.M.A. Plastics Ltd. recently attended BVB College with other BVB Substrates distributors.
When we consider “rootzone management,” our thoughts often turn to growing medium structure or pH/EC, or water content and “overdrain” in hydroponic grow bags (e.g., coir or rockwool).
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