An increased
awareness of self-sustainable farming practices has resulted in the growing popularity
of home-based vegetable gardening for personal use and small-scale feeding
schemes for communities. Both rely on nutrients, the correct application of
fertilisers and the availability of water resources.

Pratley actively produces and processes a
mineral called Perlite in South Africa. The mineral is a volcanic glass and is
processed to produce products that enhance agricultural practices and increase
crop yields. Grolite® from Pratley is a unique, naturally occurring processed
mineral used extensively as a horticultural growing medium.

The availability
of water resources in South Africa presents a challenge to horticulturists,
especially with the ongoing drought, resulting in self-sustainable practices becoming
costly and soil to be redundant.

“Grolite® allows
for improved fertiliser efficiency and improved soil quality, and it also promotes
water drainage, whilst still retaining the required amount of moisture in the
root zone. This promotes plant growth and increases yields of crops in a cost-effective
and efficient manner,” Pratley Marketing Director Eldon Kruger comments.

Small-scale
feeding schemes are often pressed for time to produce crops on a regular basis
to feed communities, which impacts on crop production and leads to an insufficient
regeneration of nutrients in the soil, contributing to a decline in healthy crops.

Grolite® assists
in capturing nutrients and water molecules, which results in a capillary action
occurring in the voids between the particles to ensure uniform distribution of
water and nutrients, which promotes consistent crop yields.

Pratley relies on
a foundation of research and innovation to ensure that, unlike ordinary
horticultural Perlites, the stronger surface structure of Grolite® ensures that
it does not deteriorate during transportation or mixing, which allows for repeat
use over more than once season.

“This makes
Grolite® a cost-effective and efficient method to increase yields for
self-sustainable farming practices,” Kruger concludes. Grolite® is available
nationwide in various grade sizes to cater for specific blends.

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