Currently browsing category

Grow Media

Most hydroponic gardening use a soil-less growing medium to grow plant. What, no soil? That’s right! In hydroponic gardening, the plants are supported using a soil-less grow media, such as hydroton or clay pebbles.

When using these growing media for gardening, it is important to know that it doesn’t have any nutrients for the plants to use for growth, like soil does. So, it is imperative that you use a quality nutrient solution with your hydroponic garden.

Clay growing medium, such as hydroton is porous, light weight and coarse. This allows the plants roots to be able to easily access oxygen, water and nutrients. The little clay pebbles are L.E.C.A. (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate). It is made by heating clay under very high heat until it puffs up. This process is kind of like making popcorn. It’s advantages are that it is very light, can be sterilized, holds moisture well and is re-useable.

Other options for growing media are Coco-Coir and Perlite. Coco-coir is the by-product of the coconut industry. It is made from the outer husks of a coconut shell. It has excellent moisture holding ability and can absorb 8 times its weight in water. It does break down after several uses and doesn’t offer as much drainage, so often it is mixed with Perlite to aid in drainage.

Perlite is made in a similar way to clay pebbles. Silica is super heated until it expands, much like the clay pebbles. It is very light weight and is often mixed with peat or coco-coir in potting mixes to aid in drainage.