ADAS Growing Media

Peat is a major source of carbon sequestration. However, mining peat bogs is currently the primary source of the raw material used in containerised production.  

Sustainable alternatives to peat exist but supplies are either expensive or not available in sufficient quantities. With environmental constraints increasing, we need to mix materials to create new, more sustainable products.

 ADAS Horticulture have come up with a solution to remove peat from the production process and rapidly accelerate the development of new, reliable, and high performing peat alternative growing media.

We are the only laboratory currently offering a growing media analysis and design service.

Our service comprises:

Peat production


Extensive R&D has identified 3 key physical properties, available water (AW), bulk density (Db) and air-filled porosity (AFP) as indicators of growing media performance.  Sample preparation and processing follows the ADAS Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for responsibly-sourced growing media.

Our analysis services

Service Module Actions Outputs
SOP 1 Raw material analysed for AFP, AW and Db Report
Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) 2 Raw material analysed Report (minimum batch size = 8)


Growing media model

Growing media blend design recommendations will be produced using the ADAS Growing Media predictive model. 

The model has been designed to identify high performing mixes of raw materials from physical properties.  It avoids the need for the time consuming and expensive traditional, inherently variable plant testing, used to select for high performing growing media. 

It does not however remove the need for 'try before you buy' by the end user.  Designed growing media may require both experimental and pre-commercial testing before full commercial use (see Trial section below).

Our modelling services





Mathematical modelling and statistics


Physical Property Interpretation

Dialogue / report


Blend prediction for target crop.

Dialogue / report / software distributed under licence


1 x experimental design

Expert design and analysis input.


Glasshouse trial


Experimental testing of new growing media blends

At ADAS we host muti-option irrigation and nutrient delivery system. These can be modified to accommodate plant types from bedding through to young trees.

Fine-tuning mixes to meet with target growing system type (e.g. drip, overhead sprinkler, subsurface irrigation, CRF / liquid feeding nutrition and so on will require live crop testing (see Trials section below).  We can provide expert statistical design and analysis which will help you get the most from such tests.

On-site large scale testing of new growing media products

We are expert at on-site implementation of commercial trials and we will work closely with clients to best meet their needs. 

Our trial services

Service Module Actions Outputs
Experimental testing 6 1 x experimental trial Report
Commercial testing 7 1 x commercial trial Size, location, interaction with nursery staff and number of crop growth stages dependent.


Modules 1-7 above can be chosen in any combination to meet client needs.  Experimental or commercial trial work pricing will be dependent on location, duration and complexity.

Please contact to enquire about pricing.

Turnaround time for physical properties and CEC will be six weeks from day of receipt. Any experimental design and modelling inputs will also be shared within that timeframe.  All materials will be analysed in triplicate. 

New project enquiries

We are open to new project work, industry workshop delivery or training to deploy our specialist growing media and crop system skills and knowledge. 


Meet the team


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ADAS is a trading name of RSK ADAS Ltd. Registered in England No. 10486936

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