Tipped to be a game-changer in the soft fruit industry, a new coir substrate has been launched which claims the growing system increases yields and supports healthy plant cultivation.
Botanicoir today (July 19) introduces its ground-breaking new substrate Precision Plus Ultra made from coir – the natural fibre extracted from the husk of coconuts – specially geared towards berries.
Managing director Kalum Balasuriya claims the innovation is capable of rapid hydration, has optimum air-filled porosity with good drainage.
“We’ve created a new special mix tailored to berry crops, that nobody has made before – an industry first,” he says.
“We have developed a unique production method that combines three different types of particles, which gives the mix a more open structure and better aeration, which makes it perfect for use in soft fruit crops,” he says.
New Forest Fruit Co. has been trialling the new product initially experimenting with one hectare of the growbags on its Hampshire-based farm business on the crops grown in the field, glasshouses and polytunnels.
After some success it has converted all of its annual 3,000 tonne strawberry production to be grown in Precision Plus Ultra.
“This year so far, we have seen a 5% yield increase,” said Ashley Wensak, irrigation and bush crops manager at New Forest Fruit Co.
“The new grow bags have better drainage, higher air-filled porosity due to the ‘ultra’ particles in the substrate and are consistent, which encourages uniform rooting and produces healthier plants.”