So, let’s discuss the properties perlite brings to a substrate and a possible alternative to using perlite.
Why is perlite used in mixtures for young plants?
Perlite is usually added to mixtures to create better drainage and airiness to a mixture, which is especially important for the development of strong root systems in young plants. For young plant production perlite also plays a big role in adding some well needed coarseness to the substrate. This ensures the availability of sufficient air to the developing roots at any time. This is especially important when growing young plants in larger trays.
But perlite can also be expensive or hard to get. In addition it can also cause issues in some automatic transplantation machines. Sensitive parts of the machines may break down due to the perlite.
Finally perlite can also blunt knives used cutting out cuttings during the propagation phase, due to its coarseness.
Alternative to using perlite
Kekkilä Professional recently developed a new FLOW product especially suitable for young plant production. This new substrate offers the same benefits as mixtures with perlite, but without the downsides mentioned above.
PrimeFLOW – a fine wood fibre mixture
The new PrimeFLOW mixture contains peat and wood fibre. This wood fibre is properly fluffed and suitable for young plant mixtures, but it still adds enough coarseness to the mixture to create similar drainage capabilities and airiness to perlite.
Until recently, mixes with wood fiber were always too coarse to use for young plant production due to lumps. We recently developed a new production method to avoid these lumps. This new method enables us to distribute the wood fibre evenly throughout the substrate.
Go to our Kekkilä PrimeFLOW product page to learn more about the properties of this new substrate for young plants.