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For those joining the growing community, there is a common misconception that you require actual soil to grow plants. Growers require light, nutrients, air, water, and space to grow. Soil porosity, also known as soil pore space, refers to the small voids between particles of soil or soilless mixes. These small voids create an environment that helps you provide your plants with the essential nutrients, encouraging robust growth. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why porosity matters for optimal plant growth and how you can increase porosity using Harvest Hero’s Enhanced Perlite Mix.
Why Porosity Matters for Optimal Plant Growth
There are three categories of soil porosity: micropores, macropores, and biopores, each describing the size of the voids in the soil. For example, clay soils have micropores, sand has macropores, and worms and other bugs cause biopores. Generally, a mix of the small- and medium-sized voids is most important when considering porosity because the larger bio-pores tend to collapse.
These voids are important for numerous reasons:
- Increases oxygen at the root zone.
- Retains water.
- Allows for delivery of nutrients to plant roots, including those you add through supplemental fertilization.
- Increases drainage to prevent waterlogging.
- Prevents compaction.
There are several ways you can increase the porosity in your soil media. Most often, it includes mixing in substrates of different sizes, which is why many of the options you see at local hydroponic stores are called planting mixes. You might see ingredients like peat moss, pumice, sand, tiny rock particles, and more. At Harvest Hero, we use perlite and diatomaceous earth to increase the porosity of your media mix.
How the Enhanced Perlite Mix Increases Porosity and Yield
The innovative, patent-pending, Enhanced Perlite Mix features a unique, proprietary blend of perlite, diatomaceous earth, and essential nutrients that help support the critical vegetative growth stage for a variety of plants including cannabis. The naturally occurring perlite and diatomaceous earth help increase plant vigor by delivering excellent drainage, increasing plant’s oxygen uptake, reducing pH fluctuations, and supplying a consistent level of moisture to the root zone.
- Perlite: Perlite is an industrial mineral formed by molten (magmatic) rock, also known as volcanic glass. Expanded perlite provides space for air and water within a soilless mix and decreases compaction. It retains water in three ways: in between individual grains, in channels leading to the cores of the grains, and on the highly irregular surfaces of each particle.
- Diatomaceous earth: Also known as “DE”, diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of single-celled aquatic plants represented in the form of microscopic diatoms that, in horticultural applications, provide plant-available silica (PAS). Plant-available silica is translocated to the plant’s cell wall, improving structural integrity to improve resiliency and help combat abiotic plant stressors like drought, and waterlogging. In addition, diatomaceous earth adds matrix to the soil or soilless mix to increase porosity.
- Essential nutrients: The nutrient profile was carefully chosen to support the first 4 to 6 weeks of growth. With a 0 – 10 – 10 ratio, it is a source of potassium and phosphorus. (Supplemental nitrogen is encouraged when the timing is right.)
Increases Oxygen Levels in the Soil Profile
Harvest Hero Mix supports superior root development by increasing available oxygen in the soil profile and reducing soil compaction. This is accomplished by the perlite granules’ ability to absorb water and expand and then release the absorbed water and make it available for uptake by the plant’s root system. Once the water is absorbed from the perlite granule by the plant, the space held by the water is replaced by air, increasing available oxygen.
Amplifies Nutrient Flow through the Soil Profile
Available oxygen in the rhizosphere increases aerobic respiration which in turn benefits soil microorganism’s ability to change macronutrients (NPK) in available forms that are readily assimilable to the plant.
Proven Results for Cannabis Growing
Earlier this year, researchers at NC State embarked on a 100+ plant grow study containing Harvest Hero Enhanced Perlite Mix along with additional test groups of Sunshine White Peat Moss mixed with horticultural perlite at a ratio of 75/25. The objective was to determine if Harvest Hero’s Enhanced Perlite Mix improves cannabis growth. The customized research project spanned 12 weeks with critical research assessments on shoot dry weight, root dry mass, analysis of leaf tissue nutrients, CBD, THC, and terpenes.
Compared to a traditional control group of perlite and peat moss, Harvest Hero Enhanced Perlite Mix resulted in:
- Improve Soil Conditions for an Increase in Flower Bud Dry Weight.
- Improve Soil Conditions for an Increase in Plant Diameter.
- Improve Soil Conditions for an Increase in CBD Yields.
- Improve Soil Conditions for an Increase in Plant Height.
- Improve Soil Conditions for an Increase in Nitrogen Accumulation
- Improve Soil Conditions for an Increase in Phosphorous Accumulation
- Improve Soil Conditions for an Increase in Potassium Accumulation
Experience Heroic Horticulture with Enhanced Perlite Mix
Whether you are growing cucumbers or cannabis, our proprietary, 3-in-1 soilless blend improves your soil quality, helping your plants get the nutrition they need to ensure robust, vigorous growth. This patent-pending soilless mix is great for recreational growers and professional horticulturists. Shop for Harvest Hero Enhanced Perlite Mix today.