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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 819: International Symposium on Growing Media 2007

GROWING MEDIUM CONSTITUENTS USED IN THE EU

Author:   G. Schmilewski
Keywords:   IPS survey, peat, alternative materials, composted material, markets
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2009.819.3
Abstract:
Commission II of the International Peat Society conducted a survey attempting to collect as reliable data as possible on the amounts of growing media constituents used in major growing media producer countries in the EU. This survey for the year 2005 asked for amounts of organic, composted, mineral and synthetic constituents. Furthermore, the questionnaire required a split between professional and retail markets for all constituents used. Data sources are either from official national statistics, expert estimates based on related statistics or straight forward production expert estimations. The received data show that there is an increase in the use of composted organic material in some countries, in particular for the hobby sector. Synthetic materials are of no importance in EU growing media. Due to the specific properties of mineral materials, these are often applied in professional media. The availability and price of organic materials other than peat, i. e. bark or coir, often determine if a material is used as a constituent or not. Bog peat is still the overall predominant growing medium constituent in the EU, and this is also true for member states without domestic peat production. Peat-free growing media are highly esteemed by some stakeholder and user groups but still play an overall minor role in industrial production of growing media.

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