In this year’s Growing Media Report, we’re seeing some positive trends for growers. Fewer growers are having issues with their growing media and growing media expenses are holding steady for the most part.

In a trend we’ve seen grow over the past five years, more and more growers are opting for fewer growing media mixes. In 2014, only a quarter of those surveyed said they were using one to two mixes. And it seems to be working well for them. This year’s report also saw an increase in growers reporting that they aren’t having any issues with their growing media. – Kate Spirgen

Editor’s note: Due to rounding, not all percentages add up to 100.

Even more growers are reporting that all is well when it comes to growing mixes, jumping up 5 percentage points from last year. The biggest issue remains shipping/freight costs, which tops the list for the third year in a row. Coming in second, also for the third year in a row, is the problem of inconsistent products.

*In the "other" category, growers indicated that they have been experiencing issues with weeds, expanding coco peat, weight of bags, dust fraction, insects and larvae, finding non-peat mixes, mixes drying out or not drying out and sizing and consistency.

*Growers are also incorporating micronutrients, 20-20-20 soluble fertilizer, clay, powdered nutrients, recycled wool, kelp meal, compost, horticultural charcoal, bloodmeal and granular insecticide.
*Other responses include wood fiber, scoria, haydite, cotton burr, perlite, pea gravel, hydrafiber, bloodmeal and scoria. Some also responded that they have not experimented with alternative components.
*Other responses include citric acid, potassium hydroxide, agricultural limestone and gypsum.