How do you make a CVG substrate?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

To make a CVG substrate (Coir, Vermiculite, and Gypsum), you will need to gather the necessary ingredients and follow a specific ratio. The CVG substrate is popular among growers due to its excellent water retention properties and ability to promote healthy root development. Here’s a detailed guide on how to make a CVG substrate:

1. Coco coir: Coco coir is a natural fiber derived from coconut husks. It is an excellent alternative to traditional soil and provides good drainage and aeration to plant roots. You will need an equal part of coco coir to vermiculite in this recipe.
2. Vermiculite: Vermiculite is a natural mineral that helps retain moisture in the substrate while also providing some additional aeration. It is commonly used in gardening and horticulture to improve soil structure.
3. Gypsum: Gypsum is a calcium sulfate compound that can be added to the substrate to improve the overall structure and nutrient availability. It also helps prevent the substrate from compacting over time.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making a CVG substrate:

1. Measure the desired quantity: Determine the amount of substrate you want to make based on your gardening needs. You can start with small batches and adjust the quantities accordingly.

2. Mix coco coir and vermiculite: In a large container or bucket, combine equal parts of coco coir and vermiculite. For example, if you are using 1 liter of coco coir, add 1 liter of vermiculite. Mix the two ingredients thoroughly to ensure even distribution.

3. Add gypsum (optional): If you choose to include gypsum in your substrate mix, add it at this stage. The recommended ratio is about 1 to 2 tablespoons of gypsum per gallon of substrate. Gently incorporate the gypsum into the coco coir and vermiculite mixture.

4. Moisture adjustment: The substrate should be moist but not overly wet. If your coco coir is dry, you can pre-soak it in water before mixing it with vermiculite. Alternatively, you can spray some water onto the mixture while mixing until it reaches the desired moisture level. Be cautious not to make the substrate too soggy, as it may lead to poor root development or fungal issues.

5. Allow the mixture to rest: After thoroughly mixing the ingredients, let the substrate mixture sit for a while, ideally overnight. This resting period allows the coco coir to fully absorb the water and ensures the substrate is evenly moist.

6. Check moisture levels: Before using the CVG substrate, check its moisture content. Squeeze a handful of the substrate gently – it should hold together without dripping water when lightly squeezed. If it’s too dry, mist some water onto the mixture and mix it again. If it’s too wet, let it air out for a while or add additional dry coco coir or vermiculite to balance the moisture.

7. Use the CVG substrate: Once you have achieved the desired moisture level, the CVG substrate is ready to be used. It can be used for various gardening purposes, including seed starting, transplanting, or as a component in potting mixes. It provides excellent water retention while maintaining good drainage, creating an ideal environment for plant roots.

Remember to store any unused CVG substrate in a sealed container or bag to prevent it from drying out.

By following this recipe and ratio, you can create a high-quality CVG substrate that offers optimal conditions for plant growth and development. Experimenting with different ratios and ingredients can help customize the substrate to meet the specific needs of your plants. Happy growing!