Because of the demand from the English Horticulture section for a special potting soil mix, Cellmax has developed a special substrate called 60/40. This growing medium exists of 2 elements 60% expanded natural clay pebbles and 40% natural Cocos fibers. This new product is in our range for over one year now. We thought it’s time for some explanation of this special product.
Growing on expanded clay-pebbles as a substrate is a well-known way of hydroponic gardening. You create a very oxygen rich environment for your roots by using expanded clay-pebbles. This is necessary for a substrate to be suitable for ebb and flood systems. A substrate which can have a large amount of water and nutrition at one time, and yet fast enough, to release the water (drainage) in order to make room for sufficient oxygen this process therefore, repeats itself regularly. There are many different kinds of expanded clay pebbles; perfect round shaped also known as clayton, and irregular shaped pebbles. The Cellmax claypebble is a pure ceramic mineral product without additives. Chemically and biologic neutral. After watering the claypebble holds a small layer of water around it. This helps the roots to uptake a little water and nutrients from the pebble. The claypebble is perfectly round and comes originally from a clay factory in Germany. In this factory the clay is grinded and baked in rotary furnaces up to 1200 degrees, especially for horticulture industry. From Germany the pebbles are transported by boat and delivered to the Cellmax production plant to produce the final 60/40 mix.
By adding Cocos fibers to the expanded clay pebbles in one substrate you can achieve the best of both worlds. On one side the substrate becomes extreme airy and on the other side the Cocos will hold the valuable nutrients and water long enough to give the roots there necessary water and nutrients. Cocos fibers are well known for their buffering properties. This means that the cocos fibers will hold the nutrient solution for a certain time and will eventually release the water. The Cocos from Cellmax is prewashed to give the cocos the right pH and EC values. Cellmax Cocos Substrates are not steamed but are flushed with clean water this gives Cellmax Cocos the opportunity to hold the natural elements in Cocos like bacterial and fungi in the substrate like a natural Trichoderma that has the properties to improve the intake of oxygen and makes the plant stronger, more resistant against diseases. You have to keep in mind that the Cocos is not bufferd for pH levels so you need to adjust your feeding water to the right pH levels. The Cocos from Cellmax has pH values between 5,0 and 6,0 and EC levels of 0,2.
60/40 substrates are widely used in the UK for different growing systems like Deepwater Culture Systems (DWC), Running deep-water culture systems (R-DWC), Ebb and flow systems and off course potting systems. The Advantage of using the 60/40 is that the Claypebles are giving the air and drainage and the Cocos fibres will keep the water and nutrients available for the plants. When start using this Hydro/Cocos mix first we advise to drain with clean water before putting you young plants on it. With the use of the Ebb&Flow systems the nutrient solution will flood the plants and then fall dry. The claypebbles care for the drain of water and the cocos fibers care for the holding part of the valuable nutrients and elements for your plant.
After research Cellmax decided to give this substrate a small amount of start fertilizers for the plant. With these start fertilizers you give your plant a little boost when repotting with an added EC level of 1.0. Because this substrate is partly cocos and partly clay pebbles you can use two different fertilizers. You can use Cellmax hydro Grow&Bloom or Cellmax Coco Grow&Bloom to get the best results on the 60/40 substrate. When adding the fertilizer to your plants you can follow the label on the bottle or use the Cellmax growing schedules. Be aware that these schedules and information on the bottles are only an indication on how you can use the fertilizers. The amount of fertilizer depends on a lot of different factors like: light, size of the plants, temperature, humidity, EC or PH levels and many other factors.
Yes, you can re-use this substrate with the use of Cellmax Superenzyme. This products contains 16 different enzymes to break down dead organic root- and plant material. After you washed the substrate with enzymes you are certain of a successful next grow.
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Happy growing, Team Cellmax
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