CURRENT AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVE OF GROWING MEDIA IN EUROPE
Only about 20% of the growing media used in EU comprise materials other than peat. However, concern for a replacement for peat as a horticultural substrate is becoming increasingly important. The trend started 20-30 years ago for environmental reasons, but now focuses more on the significance of peat bogs as carbon sinks. The consumption of peat also leads to considerable CO2 emissions, which are being taken into account in recent macro-economic models. Therefore, peat producers are seeking ways to improve peat bogs re-naturalization. However this will be not enough, to contribute to a better CO2 balance on a large scale. Alternative renewable materials to peat are required. These include materials such as compost, bark, wood, coir and other organic products. Furthermore the perspectives offered from pyrolysis and hydrothermal carbonization of plant materials and waste should be given considered. With ever increasing prices, it is very difficult to beat competition and create dominance in the market. Should the suppliers produce for combustion (i.e. peat, bark, wood) or rather for horticultural usage? Waste and organic matter will be a very competitive material in the future, much like wood and bark are today. They are reexamined, given that both humus and coal can be attained through the above mentioned method. Innovative, sustainable and renewable materials with low production costs and with short transport ways have the potential to be the growing media of the future. However, further research is needed.
Gruda, N. (2012). CURRENT AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVE OF GROWING MEDIA IN EUROPE. Acta Hortic. 960, 37-43
bark, biochar, hydrothermal carbonization, coir, compost, peat alternatives, wood fiber