Growdog has made a massive impact since it came onto our shelves not so long ago. We’ve managed to pick the brains of Daniel Roberts, one of the minds behind the range, to find out more about why it’s been so successful.
Firstly, thanks for giving us an insight into the brand. Can you tell us a little bit about how Growdog started and what made you want to bring your own media onto the market?
We wanted to bring high quality substrates into the industry at a reasonable price. There isn’t much choice when it comes to substrates compared to other areas in hydroponics, such as nutrients. By providing value for money, we want gardeners to up their game without additional costs that come with other brands.
Fantastic, so what makes Growdog different from other competitors?
Reliability and consistency are at the forefront of Growdog’s ethos – care is taken at every opportunity to ensure minimal differences between bags, allowing growers to know exactly what they’re getting. Growdog is produced to a very high standard by one of the UK’s leading substrate manufacturers. They can guarantee its specific contents and volume amounts unlike some other brands. With Growdog, you buy a 50l bag and it can fill 5 x 10l pots. With competitor substrates, we found on average, each 50l bag could fill 4 x 10l pots, giving you more bang for your buck with our range.
We know indoor gardeners work out how much substrate they’ll need for a cycle in a given garden, so the bags being appropriately labelled makes this a lot easier to calculate for both growers and hydro salesmen specking-out spaces for customers.
We noticed the quality of the coco seems bang on, what quality control does it go through?
Our coir goes through multiple washes and tests before being prepared for transport. Every batch is tested on arrival, paying particular attention to Sodium and Chloride levels as these can vary depending on where the coco has been grown and processed. As well as all individual components being tested, we routinely test finished products to ensure that it is within normal parameters, leading to identical performance in your chosen substrate each and every time.
All this testing ensures the product has consistent qualities in terms of aeration, compaction resistance, water retention, drainage and any residual nutrients meaning you’ll get reliably strong results, grow after grow.
It’s worth asking, how’s your coco stored? We’ve found before now that some suppliers store media outside, making it susceptible to pests and fluctuations in quality.
Care is taken to ensure consistent conditions inside in a storage facility – in this protected environment our media will undergo no chemical changes while in storage, meaning consistent performance every time.
Good to know! Can you tell us more about the clay that you selected for your 60/40?
We use the highest quality horticultural grade 10-20mm Leca available in the UK. Having a larger surface area than the smooth types, it has a far higher cation exchange capability, allowing faster absorption of nutrients by roots (spurring faster growth). You may notice that it’s different from the clay balls growers may be used to, as it has a much more irregular shape and is a different colour. The irregular shape is more compaction resistant than spherical clay balls. The balls form a structure that’s a lot less prone to slipping over several irrigations like traditional balls can.
Who’s this range aimed at?
We believe there is a Growdog substrate to suit all indoor growers, regardless of experience level. With a focus on substrate suitability for different techniques, if you match your system with the right substrate, you’ll be well on your way to professional results. The Coco Pebble Mix is aimed at ebb & flood and run to waste growers. This mix was originally developed to help the problem of excess root growth within the drain pipes of ebb & flood systems but has now proliferated through to other types of active pot culture for one simple reason: it consistently provides outstanding results. The Coco Perlite mix suits all existing coco hand-waterers or run to waste growers – it eliminates many of the negatives associated with coco while keeping all the positives. With increased feed frequency over pure coco, you’ll push plants for faster growth.
What plans have you got for the range in the future?
Growdog’s a new brand by growers for growers with big ideas. All we can say is watch this space…
Any tips for using Growdog?
All our substrates work with any nutrient range – just make sure it’s formulated for the media that you choose to get the best result possible.
The Coco Pebble and Coco perlite mix should be fed and pH’d immediately as all Coco mediums and will require a run of 20-30% to eliminate nutrient build ups each watering for best results. It’s worth mentioning that, even though Coco Pebble Mix is designed to be used in hydroponic systems, it can also be hand watered. Though growers must understand that the plants will require more frequent feeding as there is only 40% coco.
Our coco perlite mix performs similarly to coco, but it eliminates issues with over-watering. If you’ve been using coco, you may need to increase the frequency of feeds and you’ll be rewarded with larger, faster growth. We recommend using coco formulated nutrients with the 70/30 as most of the mix is coco and the usual chemistry occurs whereby some nutrients are absorbed while others are released. Nutrients formulated for coco accounts for this chemistry, ending in bountiful harvests.
For more information on Growdog, make sure you check out our listings! We’re excited to see where the range goes in the future.