As temperatures soar and nursery production costs spiral, growers can save time and money improving water and soluble fertiliser efficiency using the advanced water management tool H2Gro, says Steve Chapman – ICL technical areas sales manager.
“With June the hottest month on record, H2Gro is providing a cost-effective solution to a wide range of water management issues on nurseries and while plants are in transit to online customers and retail outlets,” he says.
“The UK industry needs to conserve water resources from a cost and availability perspective. Saving time, labour costs and precious water resources, the advanced wetting and water conservation agent H2Gro is highly cost-effective at boosting irrigation and water soluble fertiliser efficiency.
“When used at the lowest rate, 5ml per 1000L of water, a single 5L bottle of H2Gro is sufficient to treat 1 million litres of irrigation water. Growers using it daily are reporting great results reducing rewetting times and water usage.”
H2Gro contains a unique blend of surfactants formulated into an advanced wetting agent to aid water management in all types of growing media. Available in a granular or liquid formulation, it has a 3 in 1 mode of action – improving wetting and spreading, penetration and rewetting.
“Growers routinely use H2Gro liquid to solve water management issues on dry areas of the nursery, along bed edges etc,” says Steve. “It also goes hand in hand with water soluble fertiliser programmes, helping ensure nutrients penetrate the growing media and get exactly where they’re needed – in the pot and not running down the nearest drain.”
“Applying H2Gro liquid to plugs can play a valuable role during production and at potting on,” says Steve. “Small substrate volumes make it challenging for young plants to access sufficient water. Compared to traditional propagation mixes, which are relatively water loving, peat-reduced/free mixes are less hydrophilic – compounding water availability issues. At potting on, the new growing media is likely to contain a wetting agent. Unless treated with H2Gro liquid, the potted-on plug can become a dry hydrophobic island within the pot.
“Pre-dispatch H2Gro ensures growing media is fully wetted up before leaving the nursery. For online sales this helps plants arrive with customers in the best possible condition, and not stressed. For wholesale plants – which can often sit for long periods on lorries in hot conditions – it helps optimise quality and shelf-life on arrival at retail outlets.”
In its granular formulation, H2Gro is routinely incorporated into Levington Advance sustainable mixes to improve water management and, depending on the rate, can deliver full season benefits. This is particularly important as growers embrace sustainable mixes with higher percentages of wood-based products, which are naturally less hydrophilic.