"Soilless growing mediums are only as good as the silicon source in the mixtures."
Greenhouse Production Research Group
USDA-ARS, Toledo, Ohio
Video Power Point Presentation “Benefits of Silicon Use in Containerized Crop Production and Challenges to its Commercial Adoption"
Horticulture allows us to express ourselves through landscape and plant cultivation while contributing to our communities and reflecting our culture.
Society has long overlooked the important role silicon plays in growing mediums. Throughout the world silicon is applied as a critical ingredient in the cultivation of a variety of crops: medicinal plants, fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, sprouts, mushrooms, algae, flowers, seaweeds and other food crops such as grass, and ornamental trees and plants.
All true grasses and even those grass-like plants (sedges, rushes, restios, and cat-tails) accumulate large amounts of silicon from their roots to shoots. Since almost all ornamental grasses are perennials (evergreen and bamboo are annuals) they rely on their root structure to bring them up in the spring, protect them from getting sick, to hold water, and store energy when they are dormant. Scientists have shown the importance of silicon in plants especially grasses.
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2 tblsp to 1/4 cup per gallon of grow medium
1 tsp per plant every 7 to 14 days.
1 tsp per plant
1 pound per 5 gallons water
1 tsp to 1/4 cup per plant on bottom and sides
Agriculture in underwater habitats includes the farming of fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants all of which require the element silicon in their feed to develop successfully. Aquaponic methods that integrate plant farming with fish farming offer a mutually beneficial ecosystem. By adding amorphous silicon to the environment through broadcasting or integrating into the feed, plants and fish achieve enhanced production.
Flower farming in beds, gardens, baskets, pots and homes can be richly satisfying. Flowers are usually started in flats or trays using soilless growing mediums. Since these mediums rarely contain much plant available silicon it makes the plants grown in them highly susceptible to plant disease and pests. Using amorphous silicon has worked well with Ibey Nursery owner Chuck Ibey on their Black Eyed Fuchsias with and without MontanaGrow. See for yourself.
Using a mineral nutrient solution and no soil to grow plants allowed scientists to first understand the critical role silicon plays in plants. Plants can grow in mineral nutrient solution only, in an inert medium (such as coir, perlite, clay balls, rock wool, gravel or recycled glass), or in a high-energy medium such as Silicon Rock. Hydroponic methods are a welcome addition to urban spaces where food needs are highest.
Grow More Using Less
A limitation of certain plant species grown in hydroponic water systems is water logging, but that is not the case with aeroponic systems where plant root, stem and leaf tissue has 100% access to oxygen and carbon dioxide. Any plant species can be grown in an aeroponic micro environment supplemented with plant available silicon, which accelerates biomass growth, utilizes significantly less water, and less nutrients.