KNOW YOUR MIX
Developing a Potting Mix Blend
At AGS, we have hundreds of different potting mix recipes in our system. Each of these mixes have been developed specifically for a grower's requirements. When developing a blend, we ask questions of the grower to determine what the properties of the media need to be, then we match the mix to the grower's needs. Some of the properties that we consider are air-filled porosity (how fine or coarse the mix is) which is determined by the size of the container usually, water holding capacity, nutrition ratio, weight, the species being grown and there are many more.
Once a mix has been developed, it is entered into our state-of-the-art batch blending system, which automatically blends the required ingredients together in a large blender, two cubic metres at a time.
We Start With The Right Ingredients
Of the many thousands of cubic metres of material we produce each year, around two thirds is made up of composted pine bark, removed from Radiata Pine trees during the milling process. Once the bark has been removed, the bark is sent to AGS in large B-Double trucks. We keep it on site for up to six months to allow it to dry out and become brittle, then break it up and screen it into three grades; fine (0-3 mm, medium (0-6 mm) and coarse (5-12 mm). Once screened, the bark is blended with composting fertilisers and water, and then placed into large piles known as 'windrows'. The windrows are irrigated and turned using a large windrow turner for a further three months, until the bark is fully mature and composted.
Getting All Mixed Up
Once the bark is cleared by our technical team as being 'ready for use', it is blended with other ingredients to make the final product. We have provided a list of our main ingredients below to help you understand your mix better.
Coarse Composted Pine Bark
Particle Grading: 5-12 mm
Benefits: Rich and diverse microbial community which assists in eliminating and reducing disease and infection, excellent structural properties.
Perfect for 'opening' a mix up, our 5-12 mm coarse pine bark is the main determining factor of air-filled porosity in many mixes. For a general mix, used with 200 mm pots, approximately 40% of the mix would be coarse pine bark.
Medium Composted Pine Bark
Particle Grading: 0-6 mm
Benefits: Rich and diverse microbial community which assists in eliminating and reducing disease and infection, good water holding.
Perfect for 'opening' a mix up, our 5-12 mm coarse pine bark is the main determining factor of air-filled porosity in many mixes. For a general mix, used with 200 mm pots, approximately 35% of the mix would be coarse pine bark.
Coir Fibre (also known as Coco Peat or Coconut husk)
Particle Grading: 0-3 mm
Benefits: One of the few products that provide both good water holding capacity and air-filled porosity, due to its ability to store water within its fibre.
We use Coir to make mixes lighter, which is important for OH&S reasons. It is also much easier on potting machines, is excellent at moving water laterally throughout a large pot, and dramatically increases the rate of root development in many species.
Particle Grading: 0-3 mm
Benefits: An incredibly rich source of organic carbon, acts as a natural wetting agent and improves cation exchange, therefore increasing nutrition uptake.
Some people call Organic Humate the 20 million year old compost. Sourced from Gippsland in Victoria's east, Humate is a tremendous inclusion into a media due to its ability to improve a plant's ability to efficiently use the available nutrition within the mix.