The Use of Biostimulants in Gro-Bark Growing Media
Biostimulants are microorganisms or substances which are applied to plants, seeds, or soils with the aim to enhance stress tolerance, nutrition efficiency and/or overall crop quality and growth. Biostimulants differ from nutrient amendments, plant growth regulators, and fertilizers as they do not provide nutrients or implement any direct action on to the plant. For example, a biostimulant will aid a plant by easing the acquisition of nutrients from the surrounding soil rather than providing nutrients directly like a fertilizer. In recent years, the popularity of biostimulants has been increasing, however there is little applied research which supports the benefit of their use in nursery or greenhouse container production.
Accordingly, Gro-Bark recently undertook two trials which were designed to investigate the benefit of adding commercial biostimulants to Gro-Bark growing media. These trials examine five popular and commercially available biostimulants approved for use in Canada and tested their efficacy in improving plants in a stress-inducing environment (i.e. drought stress).
The results of the trial concluded that none of the biostimulants examined showed any benefit when added to the growing media.