Boosting fertiliser efficiency and plant growth using horticultural Perlite
Increased fertiliser efficiency, together with effective water drainage and optimal soil aeration, are essential for increased productivity in the horticultural sector. Grolite® from Pratley is a unique, naturally occurring processed mineral used extensively as a horticultural growing medium.
Pratley Perlite Mining, part of the iconic Pratley stable of companies, which first brought its solutions to market in 1948, actively mines a volcanic mineral called Perlite at a unique deposit in South Africa. The ore is processed using proprietary technology to produce major products such as Grolite® for the horticultural and hydroponic industry.
“Grolite® allows for improved fertiliser efficiency, which boosts plant health and growth. It also promotes water drainage, while retaining the required moisture, leading to healthier plants and increased crop yields. In a water-scarce country like South Africa, this is vital to horticulturists,” Pratley Marketing Director Eldon Kruger comments.
Tiny micropores on the surface of the Grolite® particles assist in capturing nutrients and water molecules. The capillary action occurring in the voids between the particles ensures uniform distribution of water and nutrients, which results in consistent and improved crop yields. Grolite® also maintains optimal soil aeration, a critical factor in normal plant growth. This is because the supply of oxygen to roots in adequate quantities is essential for healthy plant growth.
Grolite® is processed at temperatures in excess of 950°C, resulting in a sterile product that is completely free of weeds and pathogenic microbes. Unlike ordinary horticultural Perlites, the unusually strong surface structure of Grolite® means it does not deteriorate during transportation or when being mixed.
This unique feature means hydroponic farmers, for example, can reuse the product for more than one season, increasing its cost-effectiveness. “It’s a feature which is quite specific to Grolite®, as the Perlite raw material is from an older deposit which is unlike perlite deposits found in other parts of the world,” explains Eldon.
Grolite® is available nationwide in various grade sizes to cater for specific blends. “Pratley experts are always on hand to discuss specific customer requirements, or to respond to any queries,” Eldon highlights.