Best PRO-MIX Growing Media for Edible Crops: Berries and Small Fruits

Best PRO-MIX Growing Media for Edible Crops: Berries and Small Fruits


There are several types of small fruit and
berries that are produced in pot culture in greenhouse and outdoor production.
Those crops include things such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries…
crops like that. The ideal growing media for all the
various types of small fruit will depend on basically the grower preference, the
container size, and the cultural practices that they experience. So
the nice thing is with our PRO-MIX product line, we offer products that
can cater to these different needs. As I mentioned, there are several mixes that can apply to the specific needs of a customer. It depends on what your
specific needs are. For instance, if you’re looking to use a mix that you can
have inside the greenhouse for smaller containers, maybe gallon size or smaller, a
product that would probably work out for you would be either the PRO-MIX BX Mycorrhizae,
which is a combination of peat, perlite and vermiculite, or the PRO-MIX LP15, which
is a combination of peat and perlite. Both products have high water holding capacity so they don’t dry out very rapidly. They’re great to use
during the summer months but they still have good aeration, they’re lightweight
so they’re easy to handle and easy to transport. Still for indoor production in small containers up to much larger containers and especially
outdoor production, we would recommend some of our bark-based growing media. We have 2 Canadian products: the PRO-MIX BRK and BRK20, as well as 2 products
from our plant in Mattaponi, Virginia, which would be our PRO-MIX BK25 and BK55. All these products are peat- and bark-based with perlite added, and the idea of
having the bark in there, it gives a little bit of extra drainage so it’s ideal for
transitioning not only for greenhouse crop production but also for the outdoor
production of fruit, and the extra weight from the bark will also prevent
the pots from tipping over especially in the wind. So between the bark and the
perlite providing extra drainage, they’re actually good mixes to use even for the
winter months as well. Now, bark mixes in general do tend to dry a little bit
faster than the BX and even a little bit faster than the HP that I mentioned before,
so also this will help minimize any issues with diseases. Bark also is a
great material to use for long-term crop production, another reason why it’s
good for pots that are larger than gallon size because the bark itself
doesn’t shrink in the pot or decompose as quickly. Another option if you’re
looking for a greenhouse mix or even an outdoor mix that has very high water
retention, we recommend our PRO-MIX HP CC. This is a combination of peat, chunk coir
and perlite, and the chunk coir itself will actually retain a lot of water and give
it back to the growing media as the crop is growing. So you don’t need to water
the product as often, so it’s ideal especially for summer growing in larger
containers, especially indoors or outdoors. For organic production of small
fruit we’d recommend the PRO-MIX MP. MP is a combination of peat, coir and
perlite. It’s ideal for year-round production of small fruit in gallon size containers or smaller. It does have a higher water retention very
similar to our BX and LP15, so it doesn’t need to be watered quite as
frequently. There is no compost added to this
product so you don’t get that clogging up the pores which kind of limits oxygen
to the root system, so you get an active growing root system which helps produce
faster growth and a faster crop time. However, what does make PRO-MIX
unique is not so much the different types of mixes but the active
ingredients that we add to it. The active ingredients are essentially
natural organisms that have been extracted from the soil, they’re not
genetically modified. The first one we offer is our mycorrhizae. Mycorrhizae is
a vesicular arbuscular endomycorrhizal fungi called Glomus Intraradices. It will colonize the roots of small fruit of all plants except for
blueberries. Now, in that case, the mycorrhizae doesn’t cause any problems
for the blueberries. The blueberries just simply don’t utilize it, but for all the
other plants, they’re gonna get increased uptake of nutrients because essentially
once the mycorrhizae colonizes the root system, it grows out past the root system
where roots are not present to bring in water and nutrients where the roots are
not available. Therefore, it more efficiently mines out
the growing media for nutrients and for water, so think of mycorrhizae as kind of
an extension of the root system. How does that benefit you? Well, first of
all, because it can acquire the nutrients and water more efficiently, it delays the
onset of nutrient deficiency symptoms as well as it delays the onset of wilting. It
also increases resistance from environmental stresses in addition to
that, and as a result, when you’re transitioning maybe from a smaller
container size to a larger size, you don’t see the transplant shock delay
that normally occurs, and on top of it, you also get faster plant establishment,
you get better initial growth, and better sustained growth especially if there’s
stress involved. Bottom line, larger plants will produce more fruit. The second active ingredient is our biofungicide. It’s a bacterium called
Bacillus Subtilis. It colonizes the root system of all small fruit plants and is
present throughout the entire crop cycle of that plant. It basically will suppress
root rots caused by the fungal pathogens Alternaria, Fusarium, Pythium and
Rhizoctonia. It will reduce fungicide drenches by up to 50%, so that’s great
news whether you have to drench inside the greenhouse or if you’re
growing them outside. In some cases it completely eliminates
the need for the fungicide drenches because the root system is healthier. So
the bottom line is you save money on those fungicides. They also help to
reduce plant loss so obviously, the lower your
plant loss is, the more plants you have to sell, and therefore you can increase your
crop production simply from that fact alone. And third would be the combination
of both the biofungicide and the mycorrhizae together. So there you will get the benefits of both organisms in one product.

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