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Soil Additives - For Looseness And More
Soil Additives - For Looseness And More

Video: Soil Additives - For Looseness And More

Video: Soil Additives - For Looseness And More
Video: Soil Amendments | The Dirt | Better Homes & Gardens 2023, November

And there will be a harvest …


When growing seedlings, as well as heat-loving plants in greenhouses, gardeners sometimes encounter clearly undesirable properties of soils and ordinary soil. For example, there are high humidity, density, soil caking.

But plants need the soil in which they grow to contain sufficient water and air. Therefore, in some cases, it is desirable to add special additives, both mineral and organic, to soil

Mineral substrates

Some minerals are able to give soil a good structure, provide stable moisture and prevent the formation of soil crust. These include vermiculite and agroperlite. Let's figure out what the usefulness of both minerals is.

Vermiculite. It is a mineral from the group of hydromica, which has a layered structure with additional molecular interlayer water. It is an expanded mica. Adding it to the soil mixture improves its structure, improves water-physical properties. In particular, it increases the water-holding capacity of peat-containing soils. For example, with the addition of 25-75% vermiculite, the peat mass maintains an almost stable moisture content even in drought conditions. Another useful property of vermiculite is its ability to prolong the effect of mineral fertilizers. Porous granules of vermiculite are able to quickly absorb mineral salts and gradually give back, thereby softening their effect on plant roots and prolonging the supply of nutrients. This reversible sorption of various substances by vermiculite also makes it an effective carrier for many plant protection products.

The main advantages of vermiculite.

  1. Increases plant resistance to frost and drought, prevents the reproduction of pests, fungal development of mold, promotes plant immunity to various diseases (which is especially important when growing crops in greenhouses).
  2. Ideal as a loosening agent, it prevents soil cracking, compaction and crusting, which is especially important for heavy soils. Reduces seed germination time and accelerates plant growth, as it is a biogenic stimulant to increase yields.
  3. Accelerates the ripening of vegetable crops and seedlings for 2-3 weeks, increases the yield by 30-50%, improves quality (increases the content of protein, carotene, ascorbic acid), increases the preservation of fruits.
  4. It is used to protect the surface layer in open ground from drying out, as well as for winter warming of plants.

Vermiculite also improves the development of seedlings, facilitates their extraction from the substrate while preserving even thin roots, thanks to which it takes root better in a permanent place, which ensures a higher yield.

Perlite. This acidic volcanic glass with a fine concentrically-shelllike separation (perlite structure), along which it splits into small balls, sometimes having a pearly luster, hence the name of the mineral. Perlite is an inert highly effective loosening additive to the soil, improves its structure, air and moisture exchange. Agroperlite is a substrate with a particle size of 1-5 mm and a bulk density of 100-130 kg / m³. The main properties of this additive are soil loosening and improving its structure. General use of agroperlite:

It is used by gardeners who prefer to use soil in mixtures. Mixes of this kind are made in proportions: for 0.75 m³ of garden mixture, 0.25 m³ of agroperlite, 0.25 m³ of humus, 0.25 m³ of soil are required. The most optimal composition of the mixture is obtained with the addition of 20-35% agroperlite.

Agroperlite is actively used for vegetative propagation of plants. The mixture is prepared from one part of the volume of moist agroperlite and one part of moist humus. The resulting mixture is filled in a nursery rack or bowls. Cuttings are stuck directly into the mixture, lightly compacted in place, and watered very well.

Agroperlite is also used for growing seedlings. To prepare the mixture, one part of the volume of wet agroperlite is also mixed with an equal part of the volume of moistened humus. This mixture is filled in seed pots or bowls. Then, on the surface of this mixture through a fine sieve, sod soil is sieved with a layer of 15 mm, after which the seeds are sown.

Perlite can also be used to package plants and cuttings. The mixture consists of half the volume of moist agroperlite and half the volume of humidified humus. Then the mixture is squeezed dry, after which the cuttings and plants are packed in the usual way.

Agroperlite for indoor plants. It is usually used as drainage. Before planting plants, 5 cm of wet agroperlite is placed on the bottom of the container-nursery or pots. This application of agroperlite guarantees sufficient drainage and, as a result, maximum root growth. Agroperlite is also used for storing tubers and bulbs, as it does not contain harmful insects and bacteria and has good thermal insulation properties. It reliably protects roots, bulbs and tubers from damage by insects, rodents, cold and moisture. For this, the storage container is filled with agroperlite to a depth of about 3 cm. After that, onions, strawberries are placed on this layer and covered with agroperlite so that the bulbs, fruits and tubers do not come into contact with each other.

Organic substrates

Seedlings of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and celery require a lot of moisture. But with excessive watering, either the root system rots, or the seedlings are excessively stretched. When grown in cups, it is usually necessary to monitor soil moisture every day.

Therefore, in some cases, it is desirable to use special preparations with high water-retention capacity, as well as the metabolic absorption of nutrients and plant protection products. Such properties are possessed by a hydrogel, to a lesser extent peat gel, Gumin plus and Liposam.

Hydrogel. This tool was developed by order of agricultural complexes. It is a polyacrylamide - a polymeric compound that in dry form is granules. Upon contact with water, they absorb it in such quantities that they increase in volume by 200-300 times.

Due to the ability to retain and gradually release moisture, the hydrogel allows you to water plants much less often, which is important not only for seedlings, but also in summer in garden plots. The hydrogel is especially useful for those gardeners who come to the sites only on weekends. The gel can be mixed with the soil both in dry form (after watering it will absorb moisture and swell), and after soaking. In the garden, the first method is preferred; it is more convenient to add already swollen gel to pot plants - otherwise it can be difficult to calculate its amount. The proportions in this case are selected individually - depending on the composition and other features of the soil, planting conditions, irrigation regularity and other factors.

When growing seedlings, the gel is recommended to be added in the ratio of 3-4 parts of the soil mixture to 1 part of the gel. With this mixture, lightly tamping it, fill the sowing containers. The rubbed (crushed) gel mass is spread on the surface in a thin layer, and seeds are sown into this layer of gel. The crops are sprayed with water and covered with a film, which is removed when sprouts appear. A little soil can be added to the sprouts on top of the gel so that the seedlings do not stretch out. This germination method works well for small seeds.

The peculiarities of plants should be taken into account: not everyone responds equally well to its introduction. The use of the gel is useful on dry sandy soils, where it helps to retain not only moisture, but also fertilizers, preventing them from being washed out.

Peat gel. This name was given to humic preparations obtained from peat. They have a gel-like consistency and an increased ability to exchange water absorption, nutrients, and remedies. On sale you can find peat gels of two brands: "Fertility of Siberia" and "Torfush". Let's consider them using the example of the Fertility of Siberia peat gel. The technology for the manufacture of this gel is a special method of ultrasonic and hydromechanical processing of lowland peat and water, which allows the raw material to be broken down to the molecular level. This is accompanied by an active extraction of fulvic acids, which are the most biologically active part of humic acids. A highly concentrated colloidal solution is formed from peat matter and water with fulvic acids dissolved in it, which has a whole range of biologically significant properties.

The fundamental difference between the Fertility of Siberia peat gel and other humic fertilizers is the neutrality of the product environment, which is due to the absence of alkalis in the technological process. And therefore, the almost neutral environment of the product makes it safe to use even with repeated overdose of the working solution.

Pertaining to its physicochemical nature to the class of gels, peat gel is superior in its effectiveness to classical humates when processing seed material. Due to its structure-forming properties, the drug forms a kind of "shell" around the seed body, which is an active conductor of essential trace elements and water at the very beginning of plant growth and development. This enables the plant to use the energy saved to maximize its growth potential.

NanoHUMIN PLUS. It is a sapropel extract. Contains in a highly concentrated form gimatomelanic, humic and fulvic acids, enriched with calcium, phosphorus, microelements, including colloidal solutions of metal nanoparticles and microorganisms, physiological active substances.

NanoHUMIN PLUS acts as:

  • an agent that stimulates the germination of plant seeds;
  • a remedy for plants;
  • plant strengthening agent;
  • plant protecting agent;
  • soil improver.

Prepared by Alexander Zharavin,


Photo by E. Valentinov