Rougemont, NC - Over the past two and a half years, Hoffman Nursery, Inc. has been transitioning from growing our liners in breakaway trays to using plug trays. Our customers have asked for them, and the plug trays reduce waste and improve the production process. Across the grasses we grow, some varieties are slow to root or root inconsistently. Those crops required more time to finish, and they had to be sorted before shipping. Our solution is to use a new product called a Growcoon.
The Growcoon is a biodegradable web with an open net structure. It goes inside each cell in the plug tray before we fill it with growing media. As the plant roots out, the Growcoon binds the root ball together and provides structure for the roots to continue growing. We’ve found it grows a fantastic liner and, in some cases, has finished faster.
If you receive liners with Growcoons, you can plant them directly into a pot or in the ground. There’s no need to loosen or remove the net structure.
Growcoons begin to break down when you plant them and will continue to break down throughout the growing process. They are biodegradable and are certified organic in the European market.
Check out the FAQs below to learn more. You can also find more detailed information on the Growcoon website at growcoon.com.
Growcoon Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Growcoon?
It’s a biodegradable web with an open net structure. It binds the root ball together and creates structure so that the plant’s roots can continue growing freely.
Do I need to loosen or remove it before transplanting?
No. In fact, leaving the net structure in place provides real benefits for handling and transplanting.
What are some of the benefits of Growcoons?
- Fewer losses. The Growcoon holds the root ball together without damaging the roots, so the liner is more resistant to handling and less likely to fall apart in transplanting.
- Quick removal from the tray. The Growcoon makes it easier to press the plug out from underneath.
- More uniform liners, which increase your efficiency in handling, transplanting, and finishing.
How quickly does it break down?
Once in contact with substrate, micro-organisms such as bacteria and molds gradually break down the material. The speed of this decomposition process is influenced by the temperature, humidity, and pH of the substrate. We’ve had reports of customers being able to see pieces of the Growcoon months after transplanting, especially when overwintering. But they’ve reported no adverse effects, and said the liners were healthy and continuing to grow well.
Why don’t all my liners have Growcoons?
We started using Growcoons with varieties that are slower to root or tend to root inconsistently. That’s where we saw the most opportunity for improvement. Now that we’ve seen how well they work for those plants, we’re using them on more. It's a gradual process, so customers may see a mix—some varieties with Growcoons and some without. We’ll continue to evaluate their success and make decisions based on what’s best for our customers and the plants.