Growing media considerations for the year ahead

1 May 2015
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Shaun Cavanagh, Sales and Business Development Manager UK and Ireland

As we move steadily through spring, are growers asking what should I do differently in 2015? We all know we have experienced some wild swings in weather over the last few spring seasons, but have we factored that into our recipe or choice of growing media? We all choose new cars with the latest technologies, so we are better able to cope in the changing road conditions, so shouldn’t we do the same in growing! Where should you begin?

Your growing media structure – is your 2014 choice open enough to facilitate good drainage? Do your customers want reduced peat to meet client’s needs? Can you achieve the optimum air filled porosity using a range non peat products, in the same way as peat grades!  We believe so but you can choose for your specific conditions.

Your growing media technologies - do you have the most up to date technology options included at the appropriate rates, to maximize growth and minimize pest attacks? Don’t forget controlled release fertilizers have come a long way since the Osmocote launch in the ‘60s! You can now select release patterns, longevity, NPK levels, as well as rates to suit your crops.

Your pesticide control – here options range from insect control, using natural as well as chemical control agents incorporated into your growing media, plus an Osmocote product with a pesticide as part of the release pattern, PlantTrust.

Your choice of delivery options – like cars, this has moved on a pace in recent years. Depending on your own facilities, you can choose from the original 75lit bagged delivery; the bulk bag options on a pallet; Probales of 3/4m3 of growing media weather proofed to use in pristine condition as and when you need it; loose loads in various sizes in tippers or walking floor options, of bulk loads. Of course you need to take account of advised ‘use by dates’ if the recipe includes controlled release fertilizer (CRF) and or pesticides.

Many questions, but who can help with the choice for your nursery and crops? With the Everris team of technical sales managers available to assist, the way forward has never been easier.

With my business development role encompassing the Channel Islands, my customers face all these and more road blocks, with freight times and maximum vehicle size on the roads, to name but two. A recent example includes States Works nursery choosing Levington Pot and Bedding with Osmocote and Exemptor incorporated, delivered in double stacked 1.5m3 bulk bags on a single pallet, for their production of hanging baskets for St. Peter Port Town shops and Civic building. Clearly the right choice in 2014 as they won Britain in Bloom awards.