Conservatory and atrium planters are not new, but the soil media selected for this application is evolving. Interior horticulture installations provide many benefits. However, growing plants indoors, especially when they are a primary feature, requires expert design, installation and care.
Nursery and greenhouse growers have always put a lot of thought into the growing media for their plants. It’s a science. The balance of porosity for air and water is critical to the production of healthy root systems and uniform growth. The same care is taken when designing soils for containers on a larger scale. Conservatory soils must provide:
1. optimal plant growth
2. long life cycle
3. resistance to pathogens and pests
Soil structure influences these factors by determining water and air movement as well as the microbial activity that converts organics into soluble nutrients for root uptake. Incorporating ESCS into these mixes will mimic what nature does when left alone for 100 years or more – a natural aggregation of mineral and organic particles that creates essential porosity. ESCS structural lightweight aggregates provide consistent aeration and infiltration that lasts for years. ESCS is sterile and inert and will not affect the pH of the soil. ESCS contain pores and micro-pores that can store moisture, air and water soluble nutrients.
The inclusion of ESCS-blended soil at Caine Conservatory ensures that the soil media will remain friable and porous providing the soon to be installed plants the optimal environment to grow. This soil mix is designed for the long term because renovating the planters due to soil failure would be an expensive undertaking.
ESCS has been present in the green industry for many years. Low Impact Development (LID) relies on ESCS for incorporating green into urban areas by using ESCS-engineered soil mixes for load bearing, air-entrained soils for urban trees, turf fire lanes, service roads and green roof media.
Indoors or out, ESCS provides the key for growing green.