Key Considerations for Growing with EON Nutrient Line in Peat Substrates
When it comes to growing plants, understanding the specific requirements of different substrates is crucial. Peat substrates offer a unique set of characteristics that differ from soil and coco. In this article, we will explore the key points of growing with peat mediums and using the EON nutrient line, highlighting the differences between peat, coco, and soil and offering practical tips for successful cultivation.
Peat vs. Coco vs. Soil:
The first major difference between peat and coco is their water-holding capacity and oxygen availability. Peat tends to retain more water and have lower oxygen levels compared to coco. To ensure adequate aeration in peat, it is recommended to add perlite at a ratio of 30%. For a sustainable alternative, pumice or rice hulls can be used. Proper oxygenation is crucial for optimal plant growth, as peat, like heavy soil, can hold water and restrict oxygen flow.
Another significant distinction is the pH level. Coco is typically buffered around 6.0 and maintains stability, whereas peat naturally possesses an acidic nature. When using straight peat, it is essential to adjust the pH by incorporating calcite or dolomite limestone to create a suitable environment for plant growth. Peat moss obtained from bogs usually has a pH range of 3.0-4.5, so ensuring proper buffering before planting is vital.
Furthermore, soil contains organic matter and amendments that enhance nutrient retention compared to soilless mediums like coco and peat. Consequently, feeding frequency needs to be adjusted accordingly. While feeding once to twice a week may suffice for soil, coco and peat substrates require continuous feeding throughout the week to ensure optimal growth rates.
Using EON Nutrient Line with Peat:
Utilizing the EON nutrient line with peat is relatively straightforward. It is recommended to maintain a pH range of 6.0-6.4 to ensure nutrient availability throughout the entire growth cycle and prevent pH fluctuations. The calcium carbonate in EON products helps maintain alkalinity, buffering against acidity during the plant’s life cycle. If the pH becomes too low, increasing the calcium carbonate content in the feeds can restore it. In cases where the pH becomes elevated, pHlush can be used to counteract excessive carbonates and lower the pH level.
Measuring EC and Nutrition:
When measuring electrical conductivity (EC) and nutrition, it is important to note that not all plant nutrients in peat substrates can be accurately assessed using EC or parts per million (PPM) meters. Carbon-based molecules, such as protein nitrogen, are not fully measurable through EC readings. Additionally, rock phosphate may have some nutrients initially unavailable, which become accessible over time.
While EC can still serve as a useful gauge for nutrient mixing, it is crucial to understand that the total amount of available nutrition goes beyond what EC measurements can reveal. To obtain accurate EC and pH readings in the substrate, it is recommended to perform a slurry test, combining equal parts of the substrate (2 inches down) and measuring the mixture with an EC and pH meter. Alternatively, using a specialized soil pH and EC probe inserted into the medium can provide valuable insights.
Growing plants in peat substrates requires careful attention to specific characteristics and considerations. By understanding the differences between peat, coco, and soil, as well as implementing proper techniques such as maintaining pH levels, ensuring adequate oxygenation, and adjusting feeding frequencies, growers can achieve successful cultivation. By utilizing the EON nutrient line and following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can maximize the potential of your peat-based growing endeavors. Remember to measure EC and pH accurately, accounting for the unique aspects of peat substrates, to ensure optimal nutrient availability and promote healthy plant growth.