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Growing Mediums Of Hydroponic Systems
Jun 17, 2017

                                               

                                                      Growing Mediums Of Hydroponic Systems


The purpose of a growing medium is to aerate and support the root system of the plant and to channel the water and nutrients. Different growing mediums work well in different types of hydroponic systems. A fast draining medium, such as hydrocarbon or expanded shale works well in an ebb and flow type system. Hydrocorn is a light expanded clay aggregate. It is a light, airy type of growing medium that allows plenty of oxygen to penetrate the plant's root system. Both types of grow rocks can be reused, although the shale has more of a tendency to break down and may not last as long as the Hydrocorn. These grow rocks are very stable and rarely effect the pH of the nutrient solution.


There are many popular growing medium.  These components are melted at temperatures of 2500 degrees and higher. The molten solution is poured over a spinning cylinder, comparable to the way cotton candy is made, then pressed into identical sheets, blocks or cubes. Since holds 10-14 times as much water as soil and retains 20 percent air it can be used in just about any hydroponic system. Although the gardener must be careful of the pH, since Rockwool has a pH of 7.8 it can raise the pH of the nutrient solution. Rockwool cannot be used indefinitely and most gardeners only get one use per cube. It is also commonly used for propagation.


Other commonly used growing mediums are perlite, vermiculite and different grades of sand. These three mediums are stable and rarely effect the pH of the nutrient solution. Although, they tend to hold too much moisture and should be used with plants that are tolerant to these conditions. Perlite, vermiculite and sands are very inexpensive options, and work charitably in wick systems, although they are not the most effective growing mediums.


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