A substrate is a soil for plants. Substrates are composed in such a way that they contribute to healthy plant growth, for example by adding important nutrients and disinfecting diseases and pests. There are many different types of substrate.
Hydroculture is a system in which the roots of plants grow between granules made from baked clay. These clay granules absorb water and nutrients and gradually feed this to the plants. The coarse structure of the granules prevents the substrate from compacting, enabling the roots of the plants to absorb sufficient oxygen at all times. A handy water level indicator tells you exactly how much water the plants still have.
Potting soil is a mixture of various natural raw materials. The basic raw material is peat, which ensures that potting soil has sufficient water-absorbing capacity. Other raw materials, such as bark, coir, compost, clay, fertilisers and lime, are added to the peat. Potting soil is lighter than, for example, the heavier dark garden soil. A pH metre is a handy tool for measuring the moisture content of the root ball.
There are less attractive sides to the use of peat. Large quantities of carbon are stored in the soil from which peat is extracted that are released in the form of CO2. This is not exactly sustainable for our planet!
We have therefore developed a new generation of sustainable potting soil in which no peat has been processed. By adding broken hydro granules, this substrate still has sufficient water-absorbing capacity. Moreover, the new substrate contains enough plant nutrition for an entire year. As a result, we have found the perfect balance between sustainability and the quality of potting soil.
Vulcastrat is a pure mixture of minerals, such as lava, pumice and zeolites. The volcanic rock has the same effect as hydroculture. It absorbs water and nutrients and gradually feeds this to the plants. The advantage of Vulcastrat is that it has a very stable pH value, enabling the plants to easily absorb the nutrients. The substrate is often applied in semi-hydro culture, a system for pot plants. Semi-hydro culture offers the same convenience as hydroculture and ensures that you can choose from a wide range of pot plants.
Vulcaponic and vulcastrat are virtually the same. The only difference is that vulcaponic contains more zeolites, so that the substrate absorbs more water and has a better pore volume. Thanks to the strong capillary capacity, water does not remain at the bottom of the planter out of reach of the roots. As with hydroculture, a water level indicator is also used with the vulcaponic and vulcastrat system.
Seramis consists of small, porous clay granules with a very high absorbency. The substrate is of a high-quality baked clay from the Westerwald region in Germany. The clay is mixed with water and this mixture is then dried, broken into fragments, sieved and fired. Seramis is often used in semi-hydro culture, such as vulcastrat and vulcaponic.