One of the key components of indoor farming is the substrate, or the material on which the plants are grown.
There are several types of substrates that can be used in a farming facility, each with its own unique properties and advantages. Some common substrates include:
- Soil: Soil is the most traditional substrate used in agriculture and can be used in vertical farming. However, it can be difficult to control the nutrient levels and moisture content in soil, and it can also be heavy and difficult to handle.
- Hydroponic systems: Hydroponic systems use a nutrient solution to feed the plants, rather than soil. This can be a more efficient and sustainable way of growing plants, as it reduces the need for water and fertilizer. However, it can be more expensive to set up and maintain a hydroponic system.
- Rockwool: Rockwool is a substrate made from basalt rock and chalk, which is then spun into fibers. Rockwool is a good substrate for vertical farming because it is lightweight, has a high water-holding capacity, and is easy to handle. It can also be sterilized to prevent the growth of unwanted microorganisms.
- Coconut coir: Coconut coir is a substrate made from the fibers of coconut shells. It is lightweight, has a high water-holding capacity and is easy to handle. It is also a sustainable substrate as it is made from a waste product of the coconut industry.
- Oasis cubes: Oasis cubes are made of foam that are pre-cut into small cubes. They are lightweight, easy to handle and have a high water-holding capacity.
Ultimately, the choice of substrate will depend on the specific requirements of the plants being grown, as well as the resources and budget available for the indoor farm. Each substrate has its own unique properties and advantages, and it is important to carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of each before making a decision.
Substrates play a critical role providing plants with the necessary support and nutrients they need to grow. The choice of substrate will depend on the specific requirements of the plants, as well as the resources and budget available. With the right substrate, an indoor farm can be an efficient and sustainable way to grow a wide variety of plants in a indoor space.
Peat substrates are most of the time blended in a mixture of other components. Reason for that is because of sustainability demands and/or regulations by countries.
What you should know about your peat substrate
A grower wants to grow the most beautiful and best plant. That means uniformity, good colour, a strong plant that is stable in the pot, sufficient buffer in the pot for the sales channel and much more.
Potting soil or substrates are frequently a blend of organic and inorganic components.
This includes various types of peat, peat that is milled or peat from peat or blocks. However, there are also other organic components (read: additives) such as Perlite ('popped' volcanic rock), Pumice stone, clay granules, vermiculite, sand, compost, clay, coconut and coconut fibre, wood fiber and pieces of tree bark (pine). Each component has its own characteristic pH and EC value as well as air content* and water content*².
We are mainly talking about stone wool products.
Each component has its own set of physical and chemical characteristics. In this way, we can determine the total properties of a potting soil composition, which can influence the growth and development of a plan. By adding clay, for example, the water is fixed, and the plant must expend more energy to separate the water from the clay complex. As a result, the growth is compact.
Of course, a number of basic fertilizers should be added to the potting soil mix at the start of the cultivation. This can be determined through careful consultation. The pH and EC are determined based on the crop, and a starting fertilizer (NPK) and amount of lime are added in accordance with advice.
The way of watering the plants is important to know when a peat mixture is perpared or selected. Like mentioned above, the selected components influences the water take-up and/or holding capacity of the substrate. Growers need to be aware of that, because it dertermines the plant growth and watering strategy.
We can supply every mixture on the basis of potting soil formulas that we develop together with you, growers. By doing so, we respond to your specific situation as a grower.
Peat in Bigbales
Mixture on request packed in 4.5 to 6.5m3.
Peat in bags
Mixtures on request in 45, 50 or 70L bags.
Peat specific request
Orchid substrates or others, ask us.