Conventional media for propagating rooted cuttings in a greenhouse or controlled agriculture environment is a loose blend of peat moss and perlite. Due to the particle size and densities of perlite and peat moss, the physical and chemical properties of this media can vary from plug to plug. The unstable nature of loose media can potentially allow a young cutting to struggle, by remaining too wet or even dry out too quickly, leading to reduced crop success or plant death. These varying factors can negatively affect the time a crop of cuttings takes to develop roots as well as the percentage and uniform growth of successfully rooted cuttings.
Uniformity and predictability of a growing media effectively increases grower success and helps reduce the cost of production. Media for plug production is a competitive market, with a shortened time to root development high in demand. Quick Plug aims to produce a novel formulation of solid plug media applicable to a number of different crops, which will effectively reduce time to root emergence, ‘rooting’, without compromising plant health.
With the objective to determine rooting time of Cannabis sativa cuttings grown in two different formulations of Quick Plug’s solid plug media, a small crop of Cannabis sativa cuttings was propagated in the Niagara College (NC) CannaBunker, located in Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL), Ontario. Rooting success ten days after planting was compared between the Quick Plug formulations and a traditional loose peat moss-based plug media. One Quick Plug formulation achieved a higher rate of rooting and a higher average number of branched roots than both the second Quick Plug formulation and the traditional loose plug media. This trial indicates that one Quick Plug formulation of plug media successfully encourages rooting of Cannabis sativa cuttings within ten days, while the other Quick Plug formulation tested within this trial, and traditional loose plug media, may take longer to encourage root growth from cuttings.
Funding: The project is being funded in part by the Niagara College-led Greenhouse Technology Network (GTN), through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).