PRO-MIX Products for Organic Crops: Advantages and Properties
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 | Ed Bloodnick
Mixing your own growing medium for organic crop culture can be quite a challenge. First, you must find all organic approved ingredients and then blend these ingredients uniformly to make a homogenous, consistent growing medium. This growing medium should be tested for pH and EC to make sure lime and fertilizer rates are acceptable.
The other choice is to buy pre-blended organic growing media for your organic crops. The makers of PRO-MIX have developed two formulations for the culture of organic crops; PRO-MIX PG ORGANIK for seed starting and PRO-MIX MP BIOFUNGICIDE+MYCORRHIZAE ORGANIK for growing plants in cell packs and containers. These products are made with some of the same high-quality ingredients found in our PRO-MIX professional products, however these products comply with organic standards and are listed with the Organic Material Review Institute (OMRI™).
Organic Standards in The Industry
What are the requirements for products to be ‘’approved for’’ or ‘’listed’’ as suitable for organic agriculture/horticulture use? Independent authorities from non-profit organizations that are mandated by the USDA and the Canadian Organic Regime to review industry produce and products. For growing media, the ingredients and manufacturing methods are reviewed by organizations, such as OMRI™ (US-NOP and Canada-COR) and Québec Vrai (Canada), to be sure all materials and products comply with organic standards. These non-profit organizations have been operating for over 20 years and have high credibility in the industry.
PRO-MIX MP BIOFUNGICIDE+MYCORRHIZAE ORGANIK is a multi-purpose growing medium that is formulated for vegetable crops. This product is unique in that it contains BIOFUNGICIDE, a natural bacterium that is added to suppress the root disease organisms Alternaria, Fusarium, Pythium and Rhizoctonia. MYCORRHIZAE is added to play the important role in accessing nutrients for plant roots by extending the root absorption area. This is very important in organic production because organic nutrients are not readily available or easily absorbed by plants compared to traditional plant culture that uses synthetic water-soluble fertilizers.
All components used in formulating PRO-MIX MP BIOFUNGICIDE+MYCORRHIZAE ORGANIK are approved for organic use and organic farming to produce organic herbs, vegetable and flowers. Compared to standard PRO-MIX products, plants grown with any organic growing medium may have slower initial growth, which is typical for organic culture. However, plants will catch up according the grower provides adequate fertility during the crop cycle.
PRO-MIX PG ORGANIK is an organic approved germination mix designed for starting seeds in small cells. This growing media is suitable for a wide variety of organic herbs, vegetables and flowers, especially in plugs and small cell culture with automated filling machines. PRO-MIX PG ORGANIK is designed to hold a high amount of water to keep necessary moisture near the seeds to encourage germination. Once seeds germinate, it is best to reduce watering frequency so the growing medium surface dries between waterings. This will help encourage root development, reduce root disease and minimize the formation of surface algae that can occur from excessive water applications.
Advantages of Using PRO-MIX ORGANIK Products for Certified Organic Plants
- Compost is great in soil, but when added to growing media, it can reduce air space, cause the growing medium to dry out too slowly and lead to uneven growth. PRO-MIX ORGANIK products are ‘’compost-free’’ and provide consistent initial growth with the basic fertility derived from the food industry, without manure and risk of pathogens (ie: E. Coli).
- Some growers mix their own media, because they may believe that organic products are generally not of good quality. PRO-MIX ORGANIK products have the same qualities and high standards as other PRO-MIX products. They are superior in composition and performance compared to homemade mixes and other commercial organic growing media.
- Reducing root diseases: The BIOFUNGICIDE, Bacillus pumilus in PRO-MIX MP BIOFUNGICIDE+MYCORRHIZAE ORGANIK is an EPA registered, natural bacterium that suppresses the root disease pathogens Alternaria, Fusarium, Pythium and Rhizoctonia.
- Controlling cultural stresses and fertility: MYCORRHIZAE in PRO-MIX MP BIOFUNGICIDE+MYCORRHIZAE ORGANIK is a natural, beneficial endomycorrhizal fungus that enhances plant nutrient absorption, enhances plant resistance to certain root diseases and reduces the effects of cultural stresses on plants.
For optimal performance and wettability, we recommend using these products within 3-4 months after the manufacturing date for proper water absorption. Once in use, begin fertilization after the emergence of the first true leaves in seedlings grown in PRO-MIX PG ORGANIK or 2 weeks after transplanting into PRO-MIX MP BIOFUNGICIDE+MYCORRHIZAE ORGANIK and then maintain an ongoing fertility program throughout the rest of the crop cycle.
Keep in mind that most organic fertilizers may need an active population of microorganisms in the growing medium to break down organic fertilizers, so they can be taken up by the plant. In this case, organic fertilizer may need to be applied sooner, so microorganism populations can build up to convert and “release” nutrients for plant uptake.
PRO-MIX BIOFUNGICIDE+MYCORRHIZAE growing media products are only available in the US. Validate the availability of eligible products with your PRO-MIX sales representative.
For more information, contact your Premier Tech Horticulture Grower Services Representative:
Jose Chen Lopez
BIOFUNGICIDE™, MYCORRHIZAE™, ORGANIK™ are trademarks of Premier Tech Ltd. and are used under license by Premier Horticulture Ltd.
PRO-MIX® is a registered trademark of Premier Horticulture Ltd.