TECH TALK: SUNSHINE ADVANCED GROWING MIX #4
For those growers who want to go deeper, who want to learn even more about our products and how to get the most out of them, we’ve developed a series of Tech Talk articles that delve into the nitty-gritty details of Growing Mix #4 and some of the frequently asked questions we get from growers.
Sunshine Advanced Growing Mix 4 is meticulously formulated with earth-friendly ingredients from a company committed to sustainable practices to meet the needs of professionals. It’s so easy to use that even beginning gardeners can achieve success. Whether you’ve got tomatoes in containers on your deck or an entire herb garden indoors under lights, Sunshine Advanced will help you grow a bountiful harvest. It’s easy to use, advanced formulations are always consistent and take the guesswork out of growing.
Designed specifically for growing indoor foliage crops, vegetables, herbs and other consumable crops.
BENEFITS OF AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THIS MIX
- Indoor, exceptional drainage capabilities (peat moss, perlite and coir in mix)
- Our “signature” mix for hydroponic growing situations
- Dries out faster than some mixes that have more coir
- pH 5.5 – 6.5
- Soluble salts – 1.0 – 2.0 mmhos/cm
- Nitrate N – 25 – 60 ppm
- Phosphorus – 1 – 10 ppm
- Potassium – 50 – 120 ppm
- Calcium – 30 – 60 ppm
- Magnesium – 10 – 25 ppm
Formulated to retain moisture, provide improved root aeration and drainage, and develop strong, healthy root systems for maximum stem, flower and foliar growth…
RATIONALE/FUNCTION OF EACH INGREDIENT
Sunshine Advanced has the dual benefits of peat moss and coir to hold water and nutrients for optimal plant growth. The increased perlite provides excellent drainage, resulting in a growing mix that is adapted for a wide range of growing conditions. And our endomycorrhizal blend enhances the ability of plants to access the nutrients in the root zone.
Our Sunshine Advanced formula was trialed in our own greenhouses to develop the best combination of water retention, air porosity and nutrient availability. Many formulations were trialed using a range of garden and vegetable plants until we came up with the ideal blend of peat, coir and perlite. In addition, using our in house lab, we examined the roots for mycorrhizal colonization to ensure that Sunshine Advanced would enhance mycorrhizal growth. Ongoing testing in our trial greenhouses ensures that Sunshine Advanced will continue to provide the maximum results you expect from all Sunshine products.
Sunshine Advanced is designed to provide a perfect background to your own fertility program. A starter organic fertilizer is included to give an initial boost to your seedlings or transplants. You should start your own feed program within 7 days of planting or seedling emergence. Mycorrhizae prefer a low phosphorus feed for optimal growth, so during the plant’s active foliar growth stage, use a high nitrogen, low phosphorus feed.
Using endomycorrhizae means you only get the mycorrhizal species that actually work with garden, foliage, and vegetable plants. Other growing mixes offer ectomycorrhizae as part of their mycorrhizal blend – but ectomycorrhizae only work for plants such as pines, spruces and firs. Why pay for an ingredient that isn’t going to benefit your plants? Using a growing media with a blend of endomycorrhizae ensures that your plants will derive the maximum benefit from the same fungi that colonize their roots in nature.
1. How is Sunshine Advanced different from Sunshine Mix #4?
Sunshine Advanced contains coir, a byproduct of processing coconuts. Coir has unique properties of high aeration coupled with excellent water retention and is frequently used in peat mixes to aid in rapid rewetting of the mix. In addition, Sunshine Advanced contains more perlite that Sunshine Mix #4 for faster drainage and improved aeration.
2. What are mycorrhizae?
Mycorrhizae are a group of fungi which form a symbiotic relationship with plants in nature. These important fungi colonize a plant’s root system, sending their hyphae out into the surrounding soil to seek out nutrients. It is estimated that 90% of the world’s plants are dependent on mycorrhizae in their native habitats.
3. Why should I use mycorrhizae in my potting soil?
The same benefits apply to potting soils. Mycorrhizae will help the root system take up nutrients and may provide a healthier, stronger root system. If you transplant into a garden soil, the presence of mycorrhizae will also assist in drought tolerance and will keep growing along with your plant, as it continues to seek out nutrients.
4. How often should I fertilize my plants since Sunshine Advanced contains an organic fertilizer?
Our custom designed organic fertilizer consisting of feathermeal and sulfate of potash gives your plants an initial boost of fertility. We kept the fertilizer at a low level so you could implement your own feeding program according to the needs of your plant. The organic fertilizer is a low phosphorus feed so it will not interfere with the establishment of the mycorrhizae in the root zone.
5. So do I need to use a low phosphorus feed?
That is correct. While the mycorrhizae is growing along with your plant, please use a feed containing less than 10% phosphorus. Mycorrhizae will not be active in soils with higher phosphorus levels. Look for a fertilizer where the second number is less than 10, such as 20-9-20.
6. Where can I go for more information on Sunshine Advanced products?
You can refer to our Products Page to find additional information on all Sunshine Advanced products. OR…ask us a question in the comments section of this page.
7. What is the size of the compressed bags once opened?
The compressed bags have a 2:1 compression ratio, so a 3.0 compressed bale would yield 6 cubic feet.