The principle of classification and selection of solid substrates

There are many kinds of solid substrates for soilless cultivation, including rock wool, vermiculite, perlite, sand, gravel, peat, rice husk, coco peat, sawdust, slag, etc. These substrates can be added like nutrients to soil. O2, H2O, nutrients, and plant support are provided to plants, and at the same time, they can make up for some deficiencies in pure water culture, such as poor ventilation, and can not regulate the moisture conditions of the root system. Therefore, solid matrix is ​​a very important part of soilless cultivation. There are many methods for classifying solid matrices, and they can be divided into natural matrices and synthetic matrices according to the source of the matrices. Such as sand, gravel, etc. as a natural matrix, and rock wool, foam plastic, porous ceramic, etc. are artificial synthetic matrix. Classified according to the composition of the matrix, can be divided into three types of inorganic matrix, organic matrix and chemical synthesis matrix. Sand, gravel, rock wool, vermiculite, and perlite are all composed of inorganic substances; they are inorganic substrates; bark, peat, bagasse, rice husks, cocoons, etc. are composed of plant organic residues and are organic substrates; foams. Plastics are chemically synthesized substrates. Classified according to the nature of the matrix, can be divided into two types of active matrix and inert matrix. The so-called active matrix refers to a substrate that has a salt exchange capacity or is capable of supplying nutrients to the plant itself. Inert matrix means that the matrix itself does not serve as a nutrient or does not have a salt exchange. Peat, vermiculite, etc. contain nutrients that can be absorbed and utilized by plants, and have a high exchange amount of the salt base, belonging to the active matrix; sand, gravel, rock wool, foam plastic, etc. itself does not contain nutrients nor exchange of salt base. Is an inert matrix. According to the different components used in the matrix, they can be divided into two types: single matrix and composite matrix. The so-called single matrix refers to the use of a matrix that uses a substrate as a medium for plant growth, such as sand pebbles, sand and gravel for gravel cultivation, and rock wool for rock wool cultivation, all of which belong to a single matrix. Composite matrix refers to a matrix made by mixing two or more substrates in a certain ratio. Nowadays, in order to overcome the disadvantages of light weight, heavy weight, poor ventilation, or excessive ventilation that may be caused by a single substrate, several substrates are often mixed to form a composite substrate. It is generally desirable to mix two or three substrates when preparing a composite substrate. 1. Inorganic matrix and organic matrix. Inorganic matrix mainly refers to some natural minerals or their products after high temperature treatment as soilless culture substrates such as sand, gravel, ceramsite, vermiculite, rock wool, perlite and so on. Their chemical properties are relatively stable, usually with low salt exchange, and their fertility is poor. The organic matrix is ​​mainly composed of some C, H organic biological residues and their derivatives, such as peat, coco, bark, sawdust, and residue. The chemical properties of organic matrices are often not very stable. They usually have higher salt-based exchange capacity and relatively more fertility. In general, substrates made of inorganic minerals, such as sand, gravel, etc., have strong chemical stability and do not produce substances that affect the balance; the organic matrices, such as peat, sawdust, and rice hulls, have complex chemical compositions. Greater impact. Sawdust and fresh rice hulls contain substances that are easily decomposed by microorganisms, such as carbohydrates. During the initial period of use, biochemical reactions occur due to the activity of microorganisms, affecting the balance of nutrient solution, causing severe nitrogen deficiency, and sometimes producing organic acids. Toxic substances such as phenols, therefore when using organic substances as a substrate, it is necessary to compost fermentation to form a stable humic substance and degrade harmful substances before it can be used for cultivation. In addition, the organic matrix has a high salt exchange capacity, so the buffer capacity is stronger than that of the inorganic matrix and can resist nutrient leaching and excessive pH rise and fall. Second, chemical synthesis matrix Chemical synthesis matrix, also known as artificial soil, is a new product developed in the past decade, it is based on organic chemical substances (such as urea formaldehyde, polyurethane, phenolic, etc.) as raw materials, artificial synthesis of new solid matrix. The main component thereof may be any one or more of a urea foam, a polyurethane foam, a polyorganosiloxane foam, a phenolic foam, a polyvinyl formal foam, and a polyimide foam in a porous plastic. The mixture can also be a kind of strong water-absorbing agent such as starch polypropylene resin. When used, it allows proper penetration of non-porous plastic or perlite. The artificial soil that is currently used in many applications in production is urea foam plastic, which is a novel soilless culture substrate obtained by special modification treatment of industrial urea-formaldehyde foam. It is a porous structure with a diameter of ≤ 2cm. , The rough surface of the foam pieces, has similar physical and chemical properties to the soil, pH of 6 to 7, and easy to adjust. The bulk density is 0.01-0.02g/cm3, the total porosity is 827.8%, the macropores is 101.8%, the small pores are 726.0%, the ratio of gas to water is 1:7.13, and the saturated water absorption can be 10 to 60 times or more of its own weight. , There are 20% to 30% of the closed cell structure, so even when the water is saturated, there is still a lot of air pores, which is suitable for plant root growth, and solves the problem of oxygen deficiency in nutrient solution hydroponics. The substrate is white in color, easy to dye in various colors as required, and has good viewing effect. It can replace soil alone for long-term planting of plants by 100%, and can also be mixed with other foam plastics or perlite, vermiculite, and granular rock wool. . During the production process, the bacteria, pests and grass seeds have been killed by acid, alkali and high temperature treatment. There is no soil-borne disease, and they can meet the different levels of consumer demand for export and domestic sales on different occasions. The quality inspection of the products is easy to pass. However, because artificial soil is relatively a high-cost product, it is less peat, vermiculite, sawdust, coal residue, perlite in places where economic efficiency is very important, such as feed production, cut flower production, and popular vegetable production. Such as practical, but in urban greening, home greening, crop nursery, rice soilless breeding, turfgrass cultivation, tissue culture and classroom teaching, the artificial soil has unique strengths. Artificial soil is totally different from artificial soil (artificial soil), artificial plant material, nutritive soil, and compound soil that some people in the soilless cultivation industry call. In essence, the latter is nothing more than a mixed matrix. It combines several kinds of solid substrates and organic substrates originally found in nature in various proportions, and even adds them to pastoral soil. There is no artificial synthesis of new substances. Therefore, artificial soil is a completely new concept that differs from artificial soil and artificial plant material. Third, mixed matrix mixed matrix, also known as composite matrix, refers to the mixture of two or more substrates made by a certain proportion of the cultivation of the substrate. This type of matrix is ​​used to overcome the disadvantages such as too light weight, heavy weight, poor ventilation, or excessive ventilation, which may be caused by a single matrix in production. The earliest hybrid matrix used in the world was Frushtifer of Hamburg, Germany. He mixed peat and clay in equal amounts in 1949, added fertilizer, adjusted the pH with lime, and cultivated the plants. This matrix was called “standardized soil”. . In the 1950s, the University of California and Cornell University used peat, vermiculite, sand, and perlite as raw materials to make mixed substrates. These substrates are sold in the form of commodities and are still widely used in Europe and the United States. The mixed matrix combines the different characteristics of the matrix, so that the respective components complement each other, so that the various performance indicators of the matrix to meet the required standards, and thus more and more widely used in production. Theoretically speaking, the more effective the matrix type is, the better the labor cost is. Therefore, the type of mixed matrix should be minimized in practical considerations. Generally, 2 to 3 kinds of matrix are mixed for production. should. Fourth, the selection of the principle of the substrate matrix is ​​an important cultivation of soilless cultivation materials, therefore, the choice of matrix is ​​a very critical factor, requiring the substrate not only has the same soil as the plant can provide a good nutritional conditions and environmental conditions Function, and can also provide more convenient conditions for improving and improving management measures. Therefore, the matrix should be carefully selected according to the specific circumstances, the selection principle of the matrix can be considered from three aspects, one is the adaptability of the plant root; the second is the applicability of the matrix, and the third is the economy of the matrix. (A) Adaptability of Roots One of the advantages of soilless matrices is that they can create the optimum environmental conditions required for the growth of the roots of plants, ie, the optimal proportion of moisture. Air roots and fleshy roots need to be well ventilated. At the same time, it is necessary to keep the humidity around the roots above 80% and even 100% moisture. The thick root system requires more than 80% humidity and good ventilation. Fine root systems such as azaleas require root humidity of 80% or even 100%, and require good ventilation. In areas with high air humidity, some well-pervious substrates such as pine needles and sawdust are very suitable. In the dry northern regions, the matrix is ​​too air-permeable and the roots are easily air-dried. The water quality in the north is alkaline, and it is required that the matrix has a certain ability of adjusting the concentration of hydrogen ions. The effect of using peat mixed matrix is ​​better. (b) The suitability of the substrate means whether the selected substrate is suitable for the crop to be planted. In general, the bulk density of the matrix is ​​about 0.5, the total porosity is about 60%, the size ratio is about 0.5, the chemical stability is strong (it is not easy to decompose the affected substances), the pH is close to neutral, and when there are no toxic substances, all are Is applicable. When certain traits of some substrates interfere with crop cultivation, these matrices are also suitable if cost-effective measures can eliminate or improve the traits. For example, the fresh bagasse has a high C/N ratio. During the process of planting crops, there will be strong fixation of nitrogen by microorganisms and hinder the growth of the crop. However, by using a relatively simple and effective stacking method, the C/N ratio can be reduced to become a good substrate. Sometimes a certain trait of the matrix is ​​applicable in one case and becomes inapplicable in the other case. For example, peat with finer particles is suitable for seedlings, and it is not suitable when it is too fine for bag drip irrigation. Different conditions of cultivation facilities can use different substrates. Potted or potted potted plants can be made of vermiculite or sand as the substrate; bag planting or columnar cultivation can use sawdust or peat and sand mixed base; rock wool is an ideal substrate for drip irrigation. All countries in the world in the soilless cultivation of the choice of the matrix are based on the actual situation in the country, for example, Japan, mainly in hydroponic cultivation, South Africa with vermiculite cultivation, Canada, the use of sawdust cultivation, rock wool cultivation in Western Europe has developed rapidly. There are many types of substrates available for use in China, and appropriate local materials should be selected according to their actual conditions. Determining whether the matrix is ​​suitable or not should also be conducted in a targeted cultivation test, which can improve the accuracy of the judgment. (C) The economics of the matrix In addition to considering the applicability of the matrix, the economics of the matrix must also be considered. Although some substrates have a good effect on plant growth, they are not easily sourced or are too expensive to be used. It has been proved that rock wool, peat, and coconut cocoon are good substrates, but China's agricultural rock wool still needs to be imported, which will undoubtedly increase production costs. The reserves of peat in southern China are far less than those in the north, and the price is relatively high. However, the southern crops are rich in stems, rice hulls, cocoons and other botanical materials. If these materials are used as a substrate, they will not be sourced. cheap price. Therefore, the choice of substrate must not only consider the good effect of promoting crop growth, but also consider that the source of the substrate is easy, the price is low, the economic benefit is high, the environment is not polluted, and the use is convenient (including the difficulty of mixing and disinfection, etc.), and the available time. Long and clean appearance and other factors.

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