Tag Archives: mediums

Hydroponics Gardening Guide – Growing Mediums Used in Hydroponics – Soil Less Mixtures And Coconut Fiber

Soil less Mixtures

There is a great amount of soil less mixtures available, which contain different ingredients. Sphagnum moss, perlite, and vermiculite are the most widely spread hydroponics components, used in such mixtures.

Being organic, soil less growing media are usually used for container gardening wick systems or on-recovery drip systems. It is also possible to use soil less mixtures in recovery systems, however, it is necessary to remember that because of very fine particles in such mixtures, they can clog tubes, pumps and drip emitters, when used without a good filtration system. By the way, according to the urban gardeners, one can use panty hose as a filter: just fit it to the return line and to the pump inlet, and all the tiny particles will be filtered out.

Most soil less mixes form a good growing medium for multiple hydroponic and organic gardens, because they can hold water well, have great wicking action, and, at the same time, they provide a reasonable amount of air to the roots of growing plants.

 

Coconut Fiber

The popularity of coconut fiber as growing medium increases rapidly around the world. Being the first totally organic growing medium, providing highest performance for hydroponic systems, coconut fiber may soon become the most popular growing medium ever. It is interesting to note that coconut fiber is, actually, a waste product, which contains the powdered husks of coconuts.

In comparison to rockwool, coconut fiber is characterized with higher oxygen capacity and water retaining. These features are important advantages for hydroponic systems with intermittent watering cycles.

Coconut fiber also contains a lot of root stimulating hormones, thus offering some protection against fungus infestation and other root diseases. The mixture of 50% coconut fiber and 50% expanded clay pellets is considered to be the perfect growing medium.

However, it is necessary to underline one precaution when buying coconut fiber. Avoid purchasing a low grade coconut fiber, which is very fine grained and contains a high level of sea-salts. Such coconut fiber will have negative and disappointing effect on hydroponic system.

My name is guy. I am the founder and owner of the urbangardenershop.com.au . I fell in love with hydroponics gardening. As time went by I gathered a vast knowledge base and 2 years ago I decided to find a way to make hydroponics gardening a hobby that anyone can peruse. I added a hydroponic gardening information center to our hydroponic supplies site that offers a large range of hydroponics articles. Thank you for your interest and feel free to ask questions on hydroponics gardening in our site
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Hydroponics Gardening Guide – Growing Mediums Used in Hydroponics – HOW TO USE ROCKWOOL

The most widely-spread growing medium is, perhaps, rockwool. Originally used for insulation purposes and also known as mineral insulation, rockwool was first used as growing medium by Dane gardeners. Now, it is frequently used for drip-style indoor gardens around the globe.

Rockwool is produced by a process similar to making cotton candy: a particular mixture of sand and rock is melted and then turned into fibers by spinning the mixture to form products of multiple shapes and dimensions, from 1″ starter cubes and up to large slabs of  3″x12″x36″ in size. The variety of available forms and sizes turns rockwool into one of the most widely-used growing mediums.

Key advantages, as well as disadvantages, of this popular growing medium are listed below.

Rockwool’s Strong Points

HOLDING WATeR – rockwool as a growing medium in hydroponics systems is capable of holding a large amount of water. This creates an additional protection for situations, when water is not supplied because of power outages or failures in pumping or other gardening equipment.

ACCUMULATING AIR – up to 18 % of air are constantly kept by rockwool. Due to this capability, there is a very little risk to over water rockwool; besides, the plants are always supplied with enough amount of oxygen.

MULTIPLE SHAPES AND SIZES AVAILABLE – whether it is a small 1″ cube for seeds propagation or a large 3x12x36 inches slab for huge plant, rockwool offers a wide variety of shapes and sizes to choose from. Besides, loose rockwool is also available, designed for filling different plant containers.

NO DUST AND EASY TO USE – since rockwool maintains its form almost perfectly, it cannot be scattered accidentally. Besides, usually packed into plastic rockwool is a very clean material that is easy and comfortable to work with.

Rockwool’s Weak Points

NOT A “GREEN” MATERIAL – rockwool is claimed to be not environment-friendly material, because of its almost indefinite time of breakdown.

HEALTH HAZARDS – rockwool particles and fibers pose serious health danger, especially for human lungs. That is why it is necessary to wear a protective dust mask, while working with rockwoll.

pH PROBLEMS – because of rockwool’s high pH level, it is necessary to balance pH level in the nutrient solution properly and make it suitable for the plants, you are growing. In general, the use of rockwool requires more routine work to keep pH level of your nutrient solution at steady level.

LONG PRE-SOAK PERIOD – before rockwool can be used in the hydroponic system, it should be soaked for at least 24 hours beforehand. Other growing media usually do not require pre-soaking, it is enough just to well-water them.

My name is guy. I am the founder and owner of the urbangardenershop.com.au . I fell in love with hydroponics gardening. As time went by I gathered a vast knowledge base and 2 years ago I decided to find a way to make hydroponics gardening a hobby that anyone can peruse. I added a hydroponic gardening information center to our hydroponic supplies site that offers a large range of hydroponics articles. Thank you for your interest and feel free to ask questions on hydroponics gardening in our site
http://www.urbangardenershop.com.au/
http://www.urbangardenershop.com.au/page/hydroponicresource/default.asp
http://www.urbangardenershop.com.au/category/7/default.asp