With the rapid advancement of container-grown cannabis crops in controlled environments, cultivators often have many questions and perceptions relating to growing media (substrates). Understanding substrates’ role, value and significance in a production system is important for crop health and a grower’s bottom line.
Hundreds of materials have been evaluated over decades, but few are sufficient, economical, abundant and reliable enough to be considered viable options for growing cannabis. Materials that are well-suited for cannabis production fall into two buckets: organic and inorganic. Organic components (peat, coir, wood, bark, composts, biochar, etc.) are classified as materials derived from natural organic matter (carbonaceous in nature). Inorganic components can be classified as natural, unmodified materials (sand, tuff, pumice) and processed materials (stone/rockwool, perlite, vermiculite, expanded clay, etc.).
Some Common Organics…
Peat: For more than 60 years, peat moss has been and continues to be the backbone of horticultural (and cannabis) crop production. Peats