Reasons to conserve the use of peat
Peat is obtained by taking it from its natural source, so by clearing marshland of vegetation and drying it out, at which point the peat can be easily removed. As peat holds water well, the depletion of peatlands threatens the world’s freshwater reserves and weakens the natural flood water defences of the soil. Along with water, peat also absorbs carbon very well. A single peatland area has been shown to sequester carbon, on average, ten times more per hectare than any other ecosystem. For example, in Finland, Plantui’s home country, many endangered animal species also live in marshlands, such as various deer and birds, whose habitat is constantly declining due to the industrial use of peat. For ecological reasons, there has been a worldwide desire to reduce the use of peat and to find alternatives.
Sustainable growing medium
Peat is one of the most common growth mediums in the world, but there are alternatives. For Plantui, finding a sustainable alternative was a natural choice as sustainability and ecological lifestyle is in the heart of the product. Besides the automated lighting and irrigation system, the growing material is really important element in ensuring that Plantui can deliver on its 100% growth guarantee. “If the seeds don’t germinate you won’t have any plants, so the growing medium has to be failsafe,” says Plantui’s Head of Plant portfolio, Dr Martina Angeleri. “That’s why we tested lots of different solutions when we first started out in 2013, including peat, sphagnum moss, coconut fibre and stone wool. Sphagnum moss was very promising in the growth stage but it’s not easy to get hold of. When we tested it against rock wool plugs, we found that they were just as good in the growth stage and achieved even better performance in the germination stage – plus they are readily available in large quantities”. Today, rock wool plugs are are produced according to Plantui’s specific design in the Grodan factory, in Netherlands.
More about Grodan plugs https://www.grodan.com/our-thinking/grodan-blogs/grodan-plugs-are-a-key-factor-in-the-success-of-smart-indoor-gardens/