Hydroponic grow mediums are the ways in which you can begin your journey with Soilless Growing. There are a few prolific mediums used in the industry, which may include, Rockwool for starting plants, Oasis cubes, for both seeds and cuttings, expanded clay pebbles, Coco Fiber, Perlite, Vermiculite. However the main systems within Hydroponics, it is the growing mediums that are replacing the typical soil system. The water cycles are beneficial to growth as they are consistent and frequent to ensure they grow well. The main systems you will find include:
A friendly, easy to control medium in terms of moisture and drainage. This system will limit the amount of water collected at the bottom of the system and you can control the amount of moisture that is put into the growing plants. It will make sure you have a well controlled drainage of all fluids. This may also be known as a micro irrigation system and it slowly uses small drips to help feed all solutions and nutrients into the growing media.
NFT systems bring a continuous but small quantity of flowing water to the channel, to allow all roots and wicks to harvest the water effectively. They may use baskets or cubes to allow the roots to dangle over the flowing water and are kept apart by the correct amount of centimeters to ensure there is no “stem rot” from over saturation which can be damaging to any growing plants.
Ebb-Flow (flood and drain) Systems
Although you may find that the designs of these will be incredibly varying, they are usually run on timers, whereby the pump and water, complete with all the necessary nutrients are pumped through into a reservoir towards the heart of the system, via tubing, which floods and then drains the growing media. Coco chips may be used in this system but we are always happy to discuss which is likely to be the best system for your usage.
Water culture systems
Water culture systems are another type of Hydroponic grow mediums, which is a way to completely submerge all plant roots into the nutrient solution which is a very impactful method but usually the plants are started by using small starter cubes, baskets and are suspended above. You can control the amount of moisture that the plants absorb throughout the day. Of course you must not saturate the plants but the roots will grow downwards.
Aeroponic systems are again designed to allow all roots to be suspended in the air which they are misted this time with the solutions and nutrients. It is a safe method, there is no reason for any roots to become suffocated, they will be aligned within the aeroponic system.
Although these type of Hydroponic grow mediums are a little less common, the wick systems have no moving parts, motors or pumps, and they work by wicking up moisture into any growing plants through fabric to absorb easily.