Laterite or Soil
I'm organizing information to compose a FAQ entry to cover substrates.
[Q] Has anyone compared the use of any of the various commercial or DIYS
laterites with soil preparations under controlled conditions?
My hypothesis is that the results should be very similar.
I suspect that certain plant types may do better in a soil substrate
where the soil contains humic components and probably a wider variety
of (trace) minerals however I have absolutely no experimental data
to support either hypothesis. The only anecdotal evidence we have is
that a lot of people using a great variety of substrates all claim to
have "good" results. We should qualify good growth by saying it has
two attributes: 1) vigorous growth 2) healthy leaf formation indicating
no lack of critical nutrients. I'm not implying that substrate alone
can satisfy all these needs but especially where we fail to provide
all the required nutrients by artificial means, a balanced substrate
can help ameliorate shortages.
[Q] Does anyone have an analysis of the elements and compounds of
laterite? My hypothesis is that most of the constituent elements of
laterite participate in silica compounds and are pretty inert.