If you have grown in an outdoor soil garden, you are probably already aware of sphagnum moss. Versions of this moss are used as a soil conditioner, and it is particularly popular amongst organic gardeners. But did you know that you could actually use this material for your hydroponic growing as well.
There are very few totally natural hydroponic growing media available to growers, but sphagnum moss is probably one of the most notable. It is not only very natural, but is exceptionally water absorbent. But for all its benefits, like all growing media it has its share of challenges. However, if you simply work to make yourself aware of them, you can enjoy the benefits of this growing medium while suffering few of the downsides.
Falls Apart – Probably the biggest concern that a hydroponic grower should have about using sphagnum moss and sphagnum moss nutrients is that it is not an especially stable medium. Unlike some other more stable growing media, such as hydroton or perlite, it can fall apart. Especially if you have sphagnum moss nutrients flowing thoroughly it constantly, it can break apart and become unusable for our next growing season, which would require you to purchase more eventually. Fortunately, you can more or less help keep it stable by maintaining a well balanced sphagnum moss nutrient program and handling it with care when it is outside of the grow trays.
Might Harm Sphagnum Moss Nutrient Flow – Because it is not quite as stable as a lot of other hydroponic media, this means that small pieces can clog up your hydroponic system. Obviously, it will take a fairly long time for the small organic bits and pieces to really cause any problems with your sphagnum moss nutrient flow, but you should still be diligent in ensuring that your whole hydroponic system is functioning well.
One of the most important things that you can do when using sphagnum moss is to simply try to remove any stray bits that might cause issues, and to regularly check your hydroponic system to ensure that everything is functioning properly. A cursory check every so often should be enough to prevent any problems.
Acidic – Some hydroponic media are pH neutral, such as perlite or hydroton. Sphagnum moss, however, is a little acidic. This is important to keep in mind when testing your pH level in our sphagnum moss nutrient solution. The ideal pH range for a nutrient solution is between 5.6 and 6.3. Anything outside of this area, and you are bound to start having some serious nutrient absorption problems.
Extremely Absorbent – If you are accustomed to using a medium that drains very well, such as perlite, you might want to adjust your nutrient flow. This is because its extraordinary absorption capabilities might take a little getting used to. It can actually hold sphagnum moss nutrient solution more efficiently than a household sponge, so you need to be extra cautious about over-watering. Too much moisture can cause root rot, which can seriously hinder your hydroponic efforts.
When most people think of sphagnum moss, they typically think of an organic material that soil gardeners usually use to condition their soil. But this is a somewhat unfair characterization, as it can also prove to be a very useful medium for hydroponic growing. Very few hydroponic media are totally natural, and that fact that this moss comes from a natural and renewable source is very appealing to a lot of gardeners. It is entirely possible to use sphagnum moss as a stand alone medium, usually it is used in conjunction with some other, more stable medium, such as perlite. While sphagnum moss and sphagnum moss nutrients can yield tremendous benefits, like all hydroponic media, it has its share of downsides. However, you work to make yourself aware of the challenges of using sphagnum moss nutrients, you can easily overcome and enjoy this powerful medium in your garden with no reservations.