Hort Science Live Scotland 2022

Adrian Thirtle-Watts | Chloe Whiteside

Sustainable Growing Media - the future

As the horticulture industry gradually reduces its reliance on peat and turns to more sustainable raw materials, it is important to understand where these materials come from, how they work and how they should be managed in order to get the best results from them. Growing in peat-reduced and peat-free media requires a new way of thinking and many growers are now embracing this change. ICL technical area sales managers - Chloe Whiteside and Adrian Thirtle-Watts - will be discussing the pros and cons of these different materials and explaining how various peat-reduced and peat-free growing media mixes are made to suit different plant types and growing systems. In addition, they will share their own experiences of growing in sustainable media, detailing the practical points to consider regarding irrigation, nutrition and mechanisation.

Andrew Wilson

Osmocote 5 - reducing peat but not compromising on quality

Andrew Wilson, ICL's technical manager for UK professional horticulture, will explain how Osmocote 5 products deliver super-efficient and effective nutrient release and have been painstakingly designed and developed to overcome specific nutritional challenges faced by growers using peat-reduced and peat-free growing media. Osmocote 5 features unique nutrient matching release technology and an improved Optimised Trace Element Availability (OTEA) system to match plants' needs throughout the release programme; the result are improved plant colour, health and growth as seen in our UK trials.

Sam Rivers

Vine Weevil Control for your growing media

ICL's Sam Rivers will be discussing vine weevil and, with the recent revocation of chemical controls, will explain the integrated tools available to growers to use against this potentially devastating pest. Alongside current IPM tools, he will elaborate on the re-introduction and launch of Lalguard M52 GR, a metarhrizium product for incorporation in to growing media. Sam will explain how growers can factor this in to their IPM plans for the forthcoming season.

Alexander Barr | Steve Chapman

Wetting agent technology and its importance to sustainable growing media - ICL

With horticultural growing media transitioning towards the incorporation of more peat alternatives, there comes the challenge of different water retention and drainage characteristics. Various media are prone to become hydrophobic when drying out and therefore difficult to re-wet. Wetting agents, such as H2Gro, have been used for many years to effectively reduce this hydrophobicity and maximise water use for growers while aiding plant quality. ICL's Alexander Barr and Steve Chapman will discuss wetting agent technology, its use in various media types through trials work and practical end-user experiences.