While discussing the effects of growing media on the nutrient intake into the plant, we need to be reminded of the means of nutrients made available i.e., in the form of synthetic and organic fertigation.
There are chances of environmental pollution with potential hazards to flora and fauna and human kinds when utilising synthetic or chemical fertilisers. The circumstances under the use of organics matter reflects as eco-friendly, easily available, cost-effective.
It is noted that organic materials provide conversion of organic fertilizers, mineral fertilizer combination, retains soil moisture, increase of cation exchange capacity (CEC), control soil erosion, and enhances the physical and biological properties of soil and those soil properties have very importance on nutrient uptake, growth and yield.
If we take an example of organic fertigation like (a) natural peat, (b) manure compost and (c) sugar beet pulp into soil and in prior application of fertilisers into crops, nutrient content of the plant is determined by analysing dried, wet and grinded wastes of plant samples.
It can also be noted that plant growth and flowering rate is elevated with the application of these above stated aids and reported that,
- moderate pH level and salinity of natural peat; serves as main transplant grow media due to adequate free-air-space, high water retention, high Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) which minimizes the loss of nutrients and facilitates adequate mineral nutritions.
- sugar beet pulp and manure adds up to soil quality, soil organic matter, soil aggregate stability, water holding capacity and nutrient content (especially N, P and K).
The variance of the quantity of elementary nutrients like P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn and Cu can be the factor of grow media used.
- Highest amount of Macronutrient contents (P, K, Mn, Mg, Fe, Zn) except Ca are facilitated to plant by natural peat.
- While the highest Micronutrient contents (P, K, Mn, Mg, Ca, Fe) except Zn is provided to plants when fed with manure compost.
The pH also plays a major role in availability of nutrient ions. As known, macro and micro nutrients are more available at levels ⪄ 7pH and ⪃ 7 pH respectively. Organic matter like sugar beet pulp has the lowest pH level compared to other growing media. That means, the micronutrients content was obtained in high amounts in this media.
As a final thought, flower production and its quality is also the measure of nutrient level in plants and in turn the cost of production.
All the above information is in context to the effect of grow media on plant growth and nutrient absorption.