Using Wool As A Growing Medium
A growing medium, sometimes referred to as a substrate, is a non-soil material in which plants can be grown.
They provide an environment which protects and supports young plants, while allowing their roots to grow through it.
Other benefits of varying growing media are their ability to deliver nutrients, water and air, and their pH level.
The better the growing medium for a particular plant, the more it’s growth is expected to be enhanced.
What materials are commonly used?
Popular non-soil growing mediums include bark, moss, clay, perlite, sand, peat-based substrates, or even water (hydroponics)!
A lot of these however are not available in abundance, have a large carbon footprint, or are damaging to the environment.
It was announced last year that the UK will phase out the use of peat-based products over the next few years, in a move to reduce its impact on climate change.
Natural peatlands, which are destroyed to provide these products, will be protected as they can store huge amounts of carbon, help to control flooding and create homes for wildlife.
Despite this, many of these materials are often used due to the benefits they offer, such as good aeration, adding nutrients to soil, thermal protection, or water retention.
Why use wool as a growing medium?
Wool provides all of the benefits sought after when choosing a growing medium, in a single solution!
It’s naturally absorbent, and retains moisture better than most natural materials, which it does to help control the environment around it, making it a wonderful temperature regulator.
The breathable nature of wool fibres also allows for roots to grow through, with good aeration, and with loosely felted fleeces, such as the Hortiwool Garden Pad, it provides the stability necessary for young plants.
The additional benefit of wool is that, as a natural material, it is totally compostable, renewable, and available in abundance as a by-product of the shearing process. Wool sequesters carbon from the atmosphere, and also adds valuable nutrients back into soil as it breaks down, making it a truly planet friendly material.
Its composability also means that there is no need to remove the wool when replanting, this can be placed straight into soil where over time it will naturally breakdown – until then, you can continue to make the most of it’s nutritional, absorption and protective qualities as your plants grow.
How we used wool to grow microgreens
We recently used the Hortiwool Garden Pad to germinate some Rhubarb Chard, and Cress.
This was great as it allowed us to germinate seedlings inside, completely soil free!
We simply sowed some seeds on top of the wool, watered underneath to allow the pad to absorb the water for consistent hydration, and 3 days later we had seedlings!
Next, we’re growing some peas, which need to be germinated individually. Here we stuffed each tray with a small amount of wool, placed one seed in and watered. Head over to our socials to see how we get on...
The 100% Pure Hortiwool Garden Pads are now available to shop online here.
Win a Luxury Hamper
Throughout August, if you head over to social media and let us know how you have used your Hortiwool Garden Pad you could win a luxury hamper!
Make sure you follow the instructions in this post to be in wth a chance of winning.