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Rockwool – Hydroponic Growing Medium

Rockwool is a very popular hydroponics growing medium. Rockwool is a porous substance that forms when a mixture of rocks, mostly basalt and dolomite, is melted at high temperature and specially processed. Given the material's neutral nature, it is used to build plant-growing medium granules or slabs, blocks, plugs, cubes, etc.

As rockwool is composed of 97% air, it is easy to control the air/water ratio in it. Its porous quality also enhances root growth.

Factors Supporting the Use of Rockwool

More than 95% of all greenhouse vegetable production is carried out with the help of rockwool—and for good reason. Like mentioned before, rockwool allows control over air and water supply, which are essential factors for plant growth. It also provides other feasible conditions to support a great crop, leading to consistency in plant production and yield, which is an important consideration in commercial harvesting.

Another pro is the easy availability of Rockwool products in a variety of shapes and sizes. This promotes the maximum utilization of Rockwool in various types of hydroponic set-ups.

Product Variety

Since rockwool is present in various forms, familiarize yourself with the different types of products to be better able to select the appropriate ones for your gardening needs.

Rockwool Granulates: This granulated form of rockwool increases the absorbing capacity of the growing medium and aeration for plants, thus accelerating plant growth. You can use it as an alternative to soil mix or mix it with repellent granulates.

Rockwool Starter Cubes: These cubes are great as seeds and cuttings starters. Once the plants begin to grow, you will need to transplant them into appropriate mediums of your choice.

Rockwool Grow Blocks: Rockwool Grow Blocks are full-sized growing mediums for transplanting slightly bigger seedlings, with a couple of small leaves and roots emerging from starter cubes. The 3'' and 4'' sizes are best bets if you plan to move plants to rockwool slabs later on. For bigger plants, go for the 4'' and 6'' block sizes.

Rockwool Growing Slabs: The special structure of the growing slab allows uniform distribution of water and nutrients. The slabs feature vertical fibers that aid quick drainage. There are two sizes to choose from. The 6'' slab is best suited for growing plants like pepper and tomato while the 8'' slab can sustain crops like cucumbers, which have a higher water need.

By: Richa

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