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UK: Developing new blends of growing media for horticulture

AHDB Horticulture plans new workshops based on output from project CP 138 ‘Transition to responsibly sourced growing media use within UK Horticulture’
The horticulture industry is witnessing a gradual move away from peat-based growing media towards blending with other materials which include bark, wood fibre, coir and green compost.

While the market is currently dominated by peat-based products, there has been a balanced shift by the industry to adopt peat reduced and peat-free blends, partly to lessen dependence on a single product but also in response to consumer preference.

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.

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, 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.”

Available workshops:
Wyevale Nurseries, Wyevale Way, Hereford HR4 7AY
Date: 15/11/2016
Start Time: 10:30
End Time: 15:00

Vitacress Herbs (VHB), Runcton Nursery, Pagham Road, Runcton, Chichester, West Sussex, Chichester, West Sussex PO20 1LJ
Date: 30/11/2016
Start Time: 10:30
End Time: 15:00

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