Growing Media

Growing Media

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Calibrating Meters

pH and Electrical Conductivity meters are extremely useful pieces of equipment used to measure and monitor basic chemical characteristics of water and growing media. Regular and correct calibration of this equipment is necessary to ensure the results are as accurate as possible. The following video describes the basic procedures for calibrating pH and EC meters.

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Chemical Properties of Growing Media

Last month’s article was concerned with the physical properties of growing media and how to go about analyzing these characteristics. This month’s article will continue this theme but will look at the chemical properties of growing media. Understanding the chemical properties and their possible interactions is actually quite complex. Hence this article will only touch on a few key points, other key areas such as the buffering capacity of mixes will not be covered in this article.

 

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Chemical Properties of Growing Media

Last month’s article was concerned with the physical properties of growing media and how to go about analyzing these characteristics. This month’s article will continue this theme but will look at the chemical properties of growing media. Understanding the chemical properties and their possible interactions is actually quite complex. Hence this article will only touch on a few key points, other key areas such as the buffering capacity of mixes will not be covered in this article.

 

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Coir Video

Coir, coir fibre pith or coconut fibre is a one hundred percent natural, sustainable and renewable product. Coir is a ‘peat like’ byproduct produced from the processing of coconut husks, and is composed of the fibrous material found between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut. Coir is lightweight, retains moisture and is an affordable growing media substrate or component for adding to growing media blends, producing stronger, healthier and more fibrous root systems.

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Grow Me Instead

There have been some interesting discussions over the past month on why certain plant species are being nominated for the Grow Me Instead (GMI) program. The GMI program has been rolled out in all states and territories, with Queensland being the last state to have published GMI booklets. Within the program there are established protocols for determining whether a certain plant species should be included in the local GMI booklets. The subject plant must satisfy the following criteria to be considered as a GMI candidate;

 

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Grow Me Instead

What is ‘Grow Me Instead’?
Grow Me Instead (GMI) is an Nursery and Garden Industry initiative to manage invasive plants. It is a proactive industry driven program that engages production and retail operators as well as other stakeholders in a collaborative effort to identify the most invasive of common garden plants and recommend a series of alternatives that should be ‘grown instead’. All other states and territories either have established GMI booklets or are in the process of printing them.

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Grow Me Instead - Media Coverage

The Grow Me Instead project has generated a significant amount of free media coverage. There has been particular interest from WIN TV in Rockhampton and Townsville and Channel 7 in Mackay and Cairns. The TV coverage coupled with regular radio interviews and print articles indicate how highly regarded the Grow Me Instead initiative is. This should serve as encouragement to the broader industry to support the program and make the most of the opportunity to position your business as one that cares about the environment and offers non-invasive solutions.

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Grow Me Instead - Partnerships for the future

The Grow Me Instead project has been a wonderful opportunity for the Nursery and Garden Industry to put our environmental credibility on show. It is a real feather in our cap to take this proactive stance on invasive plants; showing government and the community we care about the environment and are prepared to take positive action to reduce the impact of invasive plants.
Historically the invasive plant debate and overall ‘weed’ agenda have been viewed by industry as an imposition of sorts. Industry members complain bitterly when a local authority deems a certain plant as invasive, usually because little or no effort has been made to engage industry in the process. Grow Me Instead charts a new course on the invasive plant issue, placing the Nursery and Garden Industry at the forefront of the agenda. We are stating that not only do we accept responsibility for non-invasive plant sales but we are prepared to consult with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure credibility of the entire program.

 

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Grow Me Instead Invasive Plants – Who sets the agenda?

The Grow Me Instead project has tried to indentify 30 plants in each of three bioregions (Sub-Tropics, Dry Tropics and Wet Tropics) that are considered invasive and are still being produced and sold. The chosen plants come from lists that historically have been referred to as ‘Environmental Weeds’. Each local authority has a ‘hit list’ of plants that it deems undesirable, with the ultimate aim that the reduced demand will finally result in zero production. There are nursery owners who operate ‘on the fringes’ who will always be happy to grow something that is considered ‘marginal’ by a local authority. Ever the opportunist, they will produce some amazing plants; I have even heard of ‘mother of millions’ being for sale in a gold coast garden centre! That plant is actually declared by the state government, and selling it may incur a $30 000 fine! It pays to know who sets the agenda with weeds and invasive plants.

 

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Grow Me Instead teams up with Plant Smart

On Thursday 19 November, Nursery and Garden Industry Queensland launched the Dry Tropics Grow Me Instead guide and website in Rockhampton with support from the Plant Smart program. Like Grow Me Instead, the Plant Smart program is an educational program to promote the planting of appropriate plant species. It is a partnership with Greening Australia and Ergon Energy to educate on the planting of appropriate vegetation under and around powerlines.

https://www.ngiq.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/securepdfs/2-Grow-Me-Instead-Plant-Smart-2009-Barry-Naylor.pdf