Developing new blends of growing media for horticulture
(A workshop based on output from project CP 138 ‘Transition to responsibly sourced growing media use within UK Horticulture’)
25 April 2017 10:00 – 16:00
Farmhouse Conservatory, Curborough Hall Farm, Watery Lane, Lichfield, WS13 8ES (morning)
New Farm Produce, Park View Farm, Elmhurst, Lichfield WS13 8EX (afternoon)
Project CP 138, funded by Defra, AHDB Horticulture and the industry, has been designed to ease the transition from a dependence on peat to the increased uptake of responsibly sourced growing media. The range of other raw materials currently used to formulate such growing media include bark, wood fibre, coir and green compost. The transition will primarily be achieved by the development of a model to predict the performance of selected raw materials when blended together and to test the performance of these blends in commercial crops. In soft fruit production, particularly strawberries, coir has been used for some time as a peat replacement, and is now the industry standard. However, the industry is still reliant on a single raw material, therefore there is the need to investigate other materials in soft fruit production, in order to provide more choice.
The event will also include other relevant work on weed and pest control in substrate-grown crops along with a crop walk and discussion on crop hygiene and checking crops for pests.