A Sustainable Future, A New Future

All posts by Shane Andrews

Growing Media in Your Professional Nursery; what you need to know

TMA Bark

Growing Media in Your Professional Nursery; what you need to know

If you are a professional grower, you know that the quality of your product is vital.

Every seed and plant is your profit and your customers expect a consistent, high quality product, so making sure that you give each one the best chance of reaching its full potential.

Using the right soil enhancers, compost and growing media can make all the difference, and something as simple as choosing the right grade, wood content and PH balance can mean everything.

What is the difference between compost and growing medium?

Compost is organic matter that has broken down by decay and is nitrogen rich, usually being added to soil to improve the nutrient quality. Bark based growing mediums have no decomposed material, but still hold many benefits for seedlings and plants such as;

  • Providing anchorage
  • Allows for adequate air circulation around roots and allow root respiration
  • To hold and gradually release water
  • To hold onto nutrients

Why do you need specialist growing mediums for professional nurseries?

Seedlings and cuttings are nutrient sensitive as their root systems are still underdeveloped and as such need to be planted in nutrient stable environments. Finer grade bark mix can help create the right conditions for seedlings to flourish.

Why are more professional growers moving away from peat?

Peat takes a long time to form and the current demand from growers is exceeding the rate in which peat can be formulated. UK peat bogs are at risk, so both professional and amateur growers are having to look elsewhere for the same results. Professional grade bark growing medium is the alternative to peat and is slowly being adopted as an acceptable alternative within nurseries.

Do I have to treat bark growing media differently?

Bark, wood fibre and coir (coconut skin) media all drain water more freely, so adopting a ‘little and often’ watering pattern would be wise. Bark tends to hold onto water better than peat, and although can look dry on the surface, may be retaining moisture under the surface. If it does dry out, bark is easier to re-moisten than natural peat.

TMA Bark’s range of Professional Grade ‘Pro-Range’ bark is ideal for mixing with a peat substitute product or using as a top dressing and comes in 8-16mm Pine Nursery Grade, 0-8mm Composted Bark Fines and 0-8mm Pine Pro Fines.

Ideal for any nursery growing project and FSC certified.

Contact our team today to discuss your individual nursery requirements or to order one of our products by calling 01362 638 441 or visit our website.

January Gardening Tips from TMA Bark

With January being the coldest month of the year, your garden is going to need extra TLC and protection.

 January, the time of year that we all have to take an extra 5 minutes to get prepared before we walk outside. Hats, gloves and scarfs are all put on to protect us from the harsher elements and if we have to take extra care, then imagine how our plants feel.

Gale force winds, heavy rain and frost can all be devastating to our gardens unless we prepare our plants to withstand months of winter weather.

 Top Gardening Jobs for January

  •  Protect your plants delicate roots from harsh temperature changes by applying a layer of mulch or wood bark to the bedding areas. This also stops something called frost-heaving, where the plant is pushed out of the ground by the surrounding soil as it contracts and expands in fluctuating temperatures.


  •  Repair and reshape grass edges and pathways, and top up any wood chip or bark areas that you already have in your garden. Worried about icy pathways this winter? A great solution to this is to change your pathways and steps to a wood chip or bark material, which won’t freeze over and will leave you free to walk no matter what the weather. No need for gritting either!


  •  Put food out for the birds. Their natural food supply is at its lowest in January so making sure our feathered friends are fed and healthy is an act of kindness that will guarantee that they return to your garden all year round!


  •  Start planning your vegetable garden ready for the spring planting season.


  • Rotate potted plants to maximise sunlight. Shorter, greyer days means that exposure to direct sunlight will be at an annual low point, so if possible, moving your potted plants to where the sun is shining the most will help them to stay strong during the winter climate


  • Prepare for snow by covering ground areas with mulch or bark and by removing snow build up from branches and from stems when you can to stop breakage due to the weight of the snow.


  • Prepare for weeds. Unfortunately, weeds are known for their hardiness and this is also true of the weather, which barely touches this garden pest. As soon as conditions allow, prepare to hoe away any that have survived the winter before they really take hold in warmer months and minimise this risk by applying a membrane and bark layer to your garden beds.


To order your wood chip or bark ready for January, call our team today to discuss your needs or to ask advice regarding using mulch over winter today on 01362 638441

TMA Bark Supplies Limited. Registered in England and Wales Company Number: 04597067.