Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Last commentsmore »

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »

In-house sampling methods to monitor the growing media

Some of the most common problems in container production are associated with inadequate pH and EC levels in the growing media. Fortunately, many problems can be prevented by monitoring the growing media. Four in-house sampling methods are available to monitor pH and EC of container-grown plants in greenhouses:  Saturated media extract (SME), 1:2 Method, Squeeze Method and Pour-Thru.

Saturated media extract is the method commonly used in horticultural commercial labs. It is recommended for new batches of growing media, when sub-irrigating and for containers of any size. It can also be used for plugs, by collecting multiple samples. The downside of SME is that it is a destructive sampling method. The 1:2 method applications are similar to SME. However, the SME method is preferred over the 1:2 method because it is not affected by moisture variability or exact volume of the sample.

Pour-thru method is an excellent alternative to quickly monitor changes overtime. It is highly recommended for container production where it is possible to collect leachate and when using controlled release fertilizers. Plants irrigated with ebb-and-flood benches or flood floors tend to accumulate high level of salts on the top layer of the growing media. The pour-thru method may displace the salts to the bottom of the container and leach to the sample, providing inaccurate results. Therefore, avoid using pour-thru when sub-irrigating. Instead use SME or 1:2.

Plug squeeze is used for plugs or bedding plant flats.

Keep in mind that the reference numbers vary by method. For more information on interpretation of results go to:

Sample analysis cannot be better than the quality of the sample. Consistency on how, when and who collects the samples is essential to track changes in the growing media over time.

Source: e-Gro

Publication date: 2/7/2017



Other news in this sector:

11/20/2017 Peat moss comes in many grades
11/2/2017 Peat and Growing medium markets: supply and demand
10/27/2017 Is all peat moss the same?
10/16/2017 US: Enroot Products ships first Ameri-Coco bagged coir
9/15/2017 Acidic and basic effects of floriculture species in peat-based substrate
9/11/2017 Challenging year for growing media producers
9/1/2017 RHP certification for AS Tootsi Turvas
7/17/2017 RainSoil debuts new substrate enhancer at Cultivate
7/11/2017 A mixing model to predict rooting media properties
7/7/2017 US: Organic Ellepots now available at CropKing
6/5/2017 Hydroponic media: Give slab production a second look
5/31/2017 Pelemix opens Chinese branch office and warehouse
5/31/2017 Grow-Tech launches CatEyePlug
5/25/2017 "More and more applications for coco substrate"
3/23/2017 Different types of limestone to increase substrate pH
3/20/2017 Forteco corporate identity revamped
2/21/2017 Testing and corrective procedures for low substrate pH
1/19/2017 Hardy Export expanding markets in China
1/17/2017 "Adding hydrogel to growing media improves crop, bottom line"
12/22/2016 From Kilimanjaro to Perligran


Leave a comment: (max. 500 characters)

  1. All comments which are not related to the article contents will be removed.
  2. All comments with non-related commercial content, will be removed.
  3. All comments with offensive language, will be removed.

  Display email address

  new code