Everything you need to know about growing media

Everything you need to know about growing media

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The culture supports allow the plants to anchor themselves in the soil. It is either potting soil sold in bags, or garden soil.

What is a culture medium?

A growing medium does not provide food to plants. As the name suggests, it only serves as a "support". It will allow plants to develop their root system and to anchor themselves firmly in the soil. The family of growing media includes: potting soil, peat, heather earth, topsoil and of course, garden soil.

What is a growing medium made of?

In its first function, the soil will serve as an anchor for the roots. It must therefore meet certain conditions: stability, aeration, permeability, and have an appropriate physical structure, therefore be constituted by elements of more or less coarse texture: pebbles, sand, silt, clay and humus. Clay and humus act as a binder, allowing the assembly or cohesion of the different particles that make up the soil in your garden. Peat is the result of the decomposition of a prehistoric plant cover consisting of sphagnum, molinie, sedge ... As for the soils, they are generally composed of a mixture of plant waste, pine bark, leaves and peat.

How to improve a too sandy garden soil?

A soil too rich in silica does not retain water or fertilizers. It may be necessary to make a significant addition of topsoil to that of your garden. Topsoil is nothing more or less than a cropland from fertile agricultural land. One of its main qualities is to be rich in silt and clay. It has a good capacity of retention of water and fertilizers.

How to improve an overly heavy garden soil?

For cultivation media with a heavy or clay composition, you can add peat. Peat improves the aeration and drainage conditions of clay soils. They retain water, and help dissolve various nutrients. They allow sandy soil to retain its moisture and nutritional qualities longer.

How to choose your growing medium for tubs and planters?

If you are one of the gardeners who grow in pots, the easiest solution to fill your containers is to buy potting soil. Their composition and density vary according to the needs of the plants for which they have been studied, hence the specific names "special geranium", "special sowing", etc. Always choose products suited to the types of planting desired rather than so-called universal soils. Likewise, the "Terre de bruyère" is to be reserved for plants of this family such as azaleas, rhododendrons ...

Is the appearance of the support a sign of quality?

The appearance of a potting soil is not taken into account when it comes to its intrinsic qualities. It is not because you will choose a very fine brown potting soil that will not stick to your fingers that it will necessarily be better than a less beautiful product. On the contrary, a soil with a coarser particle size, containing small pebbles, plant debris and crumbling to the touch will allow the roots of your plants to settle better there. Less "compact", it will avoid suffocating plants in a hard gangue. An all too common phenomenon after a few weeks of planting.