Among the myriad decisions a grower must make is choosing the medium in which to propagate their plants. There are no shortage of options or factors to consider in making this decision. At Cultivation Warehouse we examine them all: from irrigation and fertigation strategies, to automation goals, crop size, convenience and cost. We provide you with the comparative data so that you can make the decision most appropriate for your methodology and operation.
Rockwool has been the #1 substrate of choice in high-tech cultivation facilities.since its introduction in the late sixties. It’s made from spinning molten basaltic rock into fine fibers which are then formed into a range of plugs, cubes, blocks, and slabs. It can be manufactured in ways that the density and orientation of the molten rock fibers determine the moisture holding capacity, air-filled porosity, and moisture gradient within the blocks.
The rockwool products offered by the European manufacturer, Cultiwool allow the grower to have accurate, uniform, clean, and sustainable irrigation and fertilization. These benefits contribute to the health and balance of the root zone, play a role in steering towards the vegetative stage or flowering, and generally optimize plant growth and development depending on the cultivation and irrigation strategies employed..
The folks at Cultiwool have engineered their products (plugs, blocks – cubes, and slabs) for uniformity and hygiene. Uniformity is a key to success in increasing yields for all growing stages, from propagation, to vegetative stage, flowering and harvest. Maintaining a hygienic environment in the cultivation facility is crucial to avoid crop and yield loss.
In order to maximize the yield and quality of the plants while minimizing the resource use and inputs, the team at Cultiwool has designed several product categories based upon the crop phase. Successful propagation starts with high quality plugs for cloning or sowing In order to create the most suitable conditions for the cuttings to root and develop a healthy rooting zone. Starter Plugs vary slightly in size, allowing individual selection by the grower depending on their facility and production requirements. Cultiwool plugs are used for higher consistency, fast rooting throughout the entire plug and tapered bottom for improved air flow around the roots.
Blocks or cubes are the preferable product for most other cultivation stages and are available in a variety of dimensions and packaging units. They allow for Individual and separated root environments. This helps reduce the risk of infection, and promises equal absorption of water and nutrients between all plants. Each block has the same characteristics for uniform root and plant development ensuring an even distribution of the WC and EC within the block. This creates easy WC management and more efficient use of water and nutrients.
The Cultiwool blocks have been improved using innovative and patented solutions in order to tackle some basic daily challenges growers deal with including the Donut Ring and Cross Groove technologies.
After initial saturation of any stone wool block, it’s essential to maintain even water distribution throughout the block. To avoid an uneven distribution of water Cultiwool developed blocks with a Donut Ring on the upper side. At the moment of irrigation, these are filled up allowing for uniform and efficient distribution of water and nutrients throughout the block.
Likewise, water drain has a heavy impact on the health of the root zone, Standard stone wool blocks have a single groove on the bottom through which water can drain out. However, these have to be placed correctly on gutters to allow for them to function as intended. The risk of human error is always present, the Cross Groove technology of Cultiwool solves this. The cross groove pattern allows for uniform drainage of water from the stone wool blocks, regardless of orientation.