Homemade Hydroponics Growing Medium

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Homemade Hydroponics Growing Medium | lintangsore.net
The most commonly used mediums are Rockwool or Hydroton grow rocks.  Rockwool is usually sold in squares with or without holes or slabs. It is also available in many sizes for you growing and cloning needs. Rockwool is made from, would you beleive rock. It is very porous and holds massive amounts of oxygen. Oxygen is one of the  factors that contributes to the accelerated growth attributed to hydroponics. Rockwool should be soaked in water @ a Ph of 5.0 overnight before planting a seed or clone. Do not let rockwool dry out and always use good quality hydroponic fertilizer.

Transplanting is easy with rockwool, simply put a bigger block or slab underneath or place into grow rocks.When starting from seed in rockwool use diluted fertilizer designed for grow, and not bloom, use bloom when cloning. Also mist with warm water as necessary and put on a humidity dome or clear plastic bag-wrap over the top.

Hydroponics Growing Mediums
I recommend useing Olivia's Cloning Gel. Discard used rockwool, it cannot be reused. Grow Rocks are round clay fired balls about 1/4-1/2 inch wide. The rocks also hold much oxygen and are popular because they also provide good support for plants. To use grow rocks soak in clean water so all dust and chips from shipment settle to the bottom. Repeat until completely clean. Grow rocks can be reused by boiling them in a solution of 10% bleach to 90 % water and laying in sun, or in an oven on warm to dry. If you think it is too big of a pain to get all the previously grown roots out lf the rock then discard them.

Complete list of different types of growing media for hydroponics


1. Rockwool
Rockwool is one of the most common growing media's used in hydroponics. Rockwool is a sterile, porous, non degradable medium that is composed primarily of granite and/or limestone which is super heated and melted, then spun into a small threads like cotton candy. The rockwool is then formed into blocks, sheets, cubes, slabs, or flocking. Rockwool sucks up water easily so you'll want to be careful not to let it become saturated, or it could suffocate your plants roots, as well as lead to stem rot and root rot. Rockwool should be pH balanced before use. That's done by soaking it in pH balanced water before use.

2. Grow Rock (Hydrocorn)
Hydrocorn grow rock is a Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate (L.E.C.A.), That is a type of clay which is super-fired to create a porous texture. It's heavy enough to provide secure support for your plant's, but still light weight. Grow rocks are a non-degradable, sterile growing medium that holds moisture, has a neutral pH, and also will wick up nutrient solution to the root systems of your plants. Hydrocorn grow media is reusable, it can be cleaned, sterilized, then reused again. Although on a large scale, cleaning and sterilizing large amounts of grow rocks can be quite time consuming. Grow rock is one of the most popular growing medium used for hydroponics, and just about every store selling hydroponics supplies carries it.

3. Perlite
Perlite hydroponic growing mediumPerlite is mainly composed of minerals that are subjected to very high heat, which then expand it like popcorn so it becomes very light weight, porous and absorbent. Perlite has a neutral pH, excellent wicking action, and is very porous. Perlite can by used by itself, or mixed with other types of growing media's. However because perlite is so light that it floats, depending on how you designed your hydroponic system, perlite by itself may not be the best choice of growing media for flood and drain systems.

4. Coco Fiber
Coco chips hydroponic growing medium"Coco coir" (Coconut fiber) is from the outer husk of coconuts. What was once considered a waste product, is one of the best growing mediums available. Although coco coir is an organic plant material, it breaks down and decomposes very slowly, so it won't provide any nutrients to the plants growing in it, making it perfect for hydroponics. Coco coir is also pH neutral, holds moisture very well, yet still allows for good aeration for the roots. Coco fiber comes in two forms, coco coir (fiber), and coco chips. Their both made of coconut husks, the only difference is the particle size. The coco fiber particle size is about the same as potting soil, while the coco chips particle size is more like small wood chips.

Homemade Hydroponics Growing Medium

5. Vermiculite
Vermiculite is a silicate mineral that like perlite, expands when exposed to very high heat. As a growing media, vermiculite is quite similar to perlite except that it has a relatively high cation-exchange capacity, meaning it can hold nutrients for later use. Also like the perlite, vermiculite is very light and tends to float. There are different uses and types of vermiculite, so you'll want to be sure what you get is intended for horticulture use. The easiest way to be sure is to get it from a nursery.

6. Growstone Hydroponic Substrate
Growstones are made from recycled glass. They are similar to grow rocks (hydrocorn) but are made of clay and shaped marbles. Growstones are light weight, unevenly shaped, porous, and reusable, they provide good aeration and moisture to the root zone. They have good wicking ability and can wick water up to 4 inches above the water line. So you'll want to make sure it has good drainage or is deep enough so it doesn't wick water all the way to the top. Otherwise like with the growing media in any hydroponic system, if the top of the growing media is continually wet, you may have problems with stem rot. While they are made from recycled glass, their not sharp and you wont get cut from it, even if they break.

7. Oasis Cubes
oasis cubesOasis Cubes are similar to Rockwool cubes, and have similar property's. But oasis cubes are more like the rigid green or white floral foam used by forests to hold the stems in their flower displays. Oasis cubes are an open cell material which means that the cells can absorb water and air. The open cells wick moisture throughout the material, and the roots can easily grow and expand through the open cell structure. While oasis cubes are usually used as starter cubes for hydroponically grown plants, they also have bags you can fill your growing containers with. While oasis cubes are similar to rockwool, Oasis cubes don't become waterlogged as easily as rockwool cubes. Even so don't let it stay in constant contact with the water supply, or you'll still have water logging issues.

8. Floral foam

Floral foam can be used as a growing media in hydroponics as well, and is similar to the oasis cubes, though the cell size is larger in the floral foam. Depending on the type of hydroponic system your using, and how you designed it, you may notice a couple of problems with using floral foam. First it can crumble easily and that can leave particles in your water. Second you'll want to be sure it doesn't get water logged. Floral foam absorbs water easily, so make sure it isn't in constant contact with the water supply.

9. Pine shavings
pine shavingsPine shavings are an inexpensive hydroponic growing media as well, and a lot of commercial growers use it. Generally for large scale hydroponic drip irrigation systems. Don't confuse pine shavings with saw dust. Saw dust will become compact and water logged easily. You'll want to make sure your pine shavings were made from kiln dried wood, and does "NOT" contain any chemical fungicides. Kiln dried to burn off all the sap in the wood that is bad for the plants. Most pine shaving products would be kiln dried to begin with.

10. River rock
river rockRiver rock is common and easy to find in home improvement stores, as well as even pet supply's stores (with the fish and aquariums). River rock is fairly inexpensive (depending on where you get it from), and comes in many different sizes. River rock is rounded with smooth edges from tumbling down the river. Though manufactured river rock is rounded using large mechanical tumblers, it has the same end result with smooth edges.

Another mediums of growing hydroponic : Composted and aged Pine bark, Poly (Polyurethane) foam insulation, hydroponic growing medium foam, Water absorbing crystals (water-absorbing polymers), hydroponic medium gravel, sand, Rice Hulls etc.

Related Article : Homemade Hydroponics Growing Medium

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