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".
AHDB said: "This 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."
ADAS head of horticulture Dr Barry Mulholland, the project lead, said: "The project is far wider in scope compared with previous work on growing media; the ability to accurately predict performance from raw material and blend characteristics before a crop has been grown in it, is an important step in the diversification of the growing media market. The results from the project will give growers confidence when making decisions on growing media and will also mitigate risk, so that if any particular material becomes scarce or expensive, it will help if there is a need to switch to something else."
The workshops are at Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford on 15 November and Vitacress Herbs in Chichester on 30 November.