The media in which you grow your plants is imperative to their overall quality. Our 2016 State of the Industry Report reflected that, for the second year in a row, many growers were spending more on growing media than in the previous year. See how else growing media trends have evolved over the past year, from where growers are purchasing growing media to why growers are buying from regional distributors and more on the following pages.

Hear directly from growers on how they select their growing media here. Jerod Fehrenbach from Twin Orchards explains why they started purchasing growing media locally here. Penn State University’s Sinclair Adam examines how to manage pH through the growing cycle here. And finally, Ryan Dickson from the University of New Hampshire and Paul Fisher from the University of Florida look at how the two factors of EC and pH of the growing medium interact in this article.

Although our survey is now closed, we’re still interested in learning what you think about the current trends in growing media and how those trends impact your business. Drop us a line at cmanning@gie.net to share your thoughts!

The percentage of growers using 1-2 mixes didn't significantly change from last year. This year, though, there was a 5.2% increase in the number of growers using 3-4 mixes in their operations compared to last year, when 30% of growers said they used 3-4 mixes. In short, this signals that more growers may be willing to use more mixes to meet the specific needs of their plants. This year's number also an increase from 2015 (29.3%) and from 2014 (24.8%). Editor’s Note: numbers rounded to one decimal place

In last year’s survey, 43.6% of growers said they used a standard mix from a manufacturer and 15.1% said they purchased custom-made mixes. This year, more growers say they are using a standard mix (46.8%) or purchasing a custom mix (18.4%) while fewer are preparing their own. Growers, it seems, appreciate the convenience of manufacturer-blended mixes.