Viking Nursery: trials with peat-free growing media trial

Viking Nurseries is a garden center supplier that delivers plants to independent businesses and large garden center groups in the UK. Established in 1998, the company likes to stay at the forefront of industry standards.

Nursery infrastructure 
The nursery production is split into two growing areas, an indoor greenhouse and outdoor field-grown stock, which consists of a 30-acre site of largely outdoor beds as well as 1.8 hectares under glass. The plant range consists of conifers, deciduous shrubs, ornamental plants, and roses with pot sizes ranging from 1.4 liters to 10 liters.

The peat-free trial after 4 weeks compared to the traditional peat-based growing medium. The results show the root development side by side with both mixes. 

Trial criteria
The same watering and feeding were applied to the peat and peat-free samples throughout the trial; one application of fertilizer in Week 24 at EC 1.8 with a pH of 5.8.

The plants growing in the peat-free mix are being fertilized with each watering at an EC of 1.8ms. Even during hot weather, both soil types were watered at the same time, so as to not create problems with the soil drying out too much. When required, the peat-free mix was rewetted the same as the main crops.

The final results of the first peat-free trial, showing a healthy uniform crop. 

“The plants are responding well to the feeding program,” says Nursery Manager, Rob. “We are on track to meet the spec for autumn sales.”

The plants in the peat-free mix are roughly two weeks ahead in rooting compared to the current mix. The foliage growth is greater and is even across all plants. The mix is free draining and suits the choisya perfectly.

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