In the world of hydroponics, a growing medium is very important as it takes the place of the soil. Without the medium, you are not going to be able to grow your crops or plants. Deciding what medium you are going to use will be down to many factors. In this article we will look at what’s the best growing medium for hydroponics.
The Importance Of Choosing The Right One
As the growing medium is used to replace the soil in the growing process, it is very important to make sure you choose the right one. When it comes to making the decision you need to consider the type of plants you are going to grow, the costs of the medium and also the availability of what you are looking for. Regardless of what you choose, the use of hydroponics and the goal are all the same.
There are many types of growth medium in which you can choose from as we have mentioned. Some of the most common that a majority of growers use are as follows:-
Rockwool is one of the most common growing mediums that is used in hydroponics. Rockwool is a sterile and non degradable maetraol that is made from a mixture of limestone and granite. The rockwool is made into multiple shapes and sizes including sheets, cubes and blocks to be suitable for a multitude of uses. One thing to consider when using rockwool is that it can soak up water very easily. That’s why it is very important to not over saturate as this could affect your crops and plants.
Perlite is mainly composed of minerals that are subjected to a very high heat. They are very lightweight and absorbent so are great for hydroponic systems. As it is also pH neutral, you are guaranteed that there are no changes in levels to the plants you are growing. Mixing perlite with other mediums is also very beneficial. Due to its lightweight nature, it can sometimes float too much and not provide enough support however.
The grow rock media is a lightweight expanded clay aggregate or L.E.C.A for short. The heavy nature of this medium is great for adding support to your plants but is also lightweight so works well with a variety of systems. The grow rock is non-degraeable so is perfect for holding moisture as well. A version of this growth is also called Hydrocorn. Hydrocorn can be resued, as it can be cleaned and steralized.
The ‘coco coir’ is from the outer husk of coconuts. This once was considered a waste product, but has been discovered as one of the most effective growth mediums on the market. Unlike many others in this list, the coco down degrades over time so is useful for a one time use. It does however, with its slow degrading, does not provide any nutrients to the plants which means it does not affect the pH.
The coco fiber comes in two forms. Cooc cour and also coco chips. The size is one of the main differences with coco chops coming in smaller wood chip sizes. The coco coir on the other hand is roughly the same size as potting soil. Meaning one has an increased amount of air pockets over the other.
Vermuculite is a silicate mineral that like perlite expands when exposed to heat. However the key difference is that it can hold nutrients for longer which can be released later on. Mixing this with other mediums is one of the best ways to maximise this medium, however be sure that it works well with the plants you are looking to grow.
When it comes to deciding what’s the best growing medium for hydroponics is, you need to ensure that you do your research. Your decision will be based around many factors including plants and budget. At MEGAPot we are experts in the field of hydroponics. If you would like some more information on our products, or even what mediums you need to purchase then please Contact Us.