19 Aug Weeds and Moss. Prevention is Key.
We’re lucky to have one of the best growing climates in the world here in British Columbia, Canada. You may have noticed that it rains a lot, too. In fact, at Qualitree headquarters, we get an average yearly rainfall of 65.6 inches!
Of course rainwater is essential for healthy plant growth, but left unchecked, too much moisture can lead to rapid moss and liverwort growth on potting soil. Many in the industry take measures to prevent this, with chemical control noted as the most crucial means of preventing and eradicating growth of these pests. At least, in places other than Canada. As Canadian growers, we are subject to strict regulations regarding chemical controls, so our preventive approach has to be a little different.
1. Cedar Sawdust
Cedar sawdust is an abundant waste product from our local sawmills. Its properties are ideal for preventing moss and liverwort growth. A layer of cedar sawdust helps the surface of your potting soil stay dry, preventing growth of these pests, which thrive in high moisture.
Cedar sawdust is a better choice than pine or fir because it breaks down at a slower rate, allowing its quick-drying characteristics to stick around for a while. It does start to break down after about a year, however, so don’t expect to use it for three or four year production cycles and get the same results as you would with a quicker turning crop. And if a small amount of liverwort or weeds manages to work its way into the sawdust, the top layer is easily swept off.
As part of our commitment to shipping nothing but the best to our customers, weeds including liverwort and moss are simply not welcome in our products, and we will take every measure to keep them at bay. Cedar sawdust is our little secret.
Controlling moss, liverwort and weeds in the propagation stages of our crops is also important. Obviously we cannot use large cedar shavings on small plugs so rice hulls were the perfect answer. The structure of the rice hulls ensures longevity. Studies have shown that the application of rice hulls also contribute to fungus gnat suppression due to its drying capabilities. So far we are very happy with the results we have seen!
Check out our application of sawdust in the youtube video below!