This article tells you all you need to know to succesfully start using our Natural Control grow boards.
The Natural Control grow boards have been made by compressing dried substrate material. The compression enables better durability during transportation. Dried compressed boards are lighter and smaller which makes them easier and cheaper to handle and to transport.
The dried and compressed material needs some preparation before planting. The following instructions explain how to expand the material with a fertiliser solution.
Starting cultivation in the grow boards
Lay out the grow boards so that the baord is in the middle of the packaging bag. Tear away the perforated flap of the plant hole and place your drip irrigation either flat under the packaging, or install it in the pre-drilled irrigation holes.
Expanding: type of fertiliser needed
As the grow boards are unfertilised they need to be expanded with the appropriate fertiliser solution. The recommended EC’s for the most common plants are:
- Tomato 4.0 mS/cm
- Cucumber 3.0 mS/cm
- Sweet pepper 2.5 mS/cm
- Strawberry 1.5 mS/cm
Expanding: how to add the solution
The initial irrigation needs to be administered in small amounts (0.5 dl / drip) to improve the uptake of the liquid. In general the appropriate moisture level in the grow board before planting is around 50-70%. The optimal moisture level does however depend on the needs of the specific crop. The amount of liquid required to reach this level depends on the size of the grow board. In other words, it depends on the volume of the substrate. On average, 5-7 dl of liquid is needed per litre of substrate.
For tomatoes and strawberries the suitable moisture level for planting is 50% of the total volume of the grow board. For cucumbers and sweet peppers the optimal moisture level is 70% of the total volume of the substrate.
100x16x12 Natural Control board (19,2 litres) needs on average 10-14 litres of fertiliser solution for initial irrigation. If there are 4 drips for each board, then each drip should give 2.5-3.5 litres of the fertiliser solution during initial irrigation. The liquid should be dispensed in batches of 1-2 deciliters with an irrigation interval of 30-60 minutes.
To achieve even growth after planting it is important to maintain an even and consistent moisture level. It is also important to make sure the young plants already have an even moisture level before planting them in the grow boards.
After planting it is important that the seedling cube stays moist enough (min. 50%) until the plant has rooted in the actual substrate.
Make sure to cut drain holes in the sides of the boards after planting. This enables excess water to run away from the bag. Cuts should be made between the young plants and go to the very bottom of the board.
Do you want to know more about growing with Natural Control grow boards?
Have a look at our product page for more information.