One of the biggest struggles of hydroponic growing is simply budgeting. No one has an unlimited amount of resources with which they can use to purchase hydroponic supplies, so it can be very helpful to know where you can cut some corners without depriving your plants. One of the best ways to do this is through using hydroton pebbles with the right hydroton nutrients. These substances have proven to be a fabulous hydroponic medium that can work with just about any growers budget.
But though hydroton and hydroton nutrients can help make life much easier for you and your growing efforts, they will only work if you use the right techniques.
If you want to make sure you get everything that you can out of your hydroton nutrients, keep these tips in mind.
Clean the Pebbles Thoroughly – Probably the biggest mistakes that hydroponic growers make is being lazy when it comes to cleaning out the hydroton pebbles. This can lead to problems because small chucks of organic material and sometimes even salts from the hydroton nutrients can lodge themselves in the pores of the hydroton pebbles, which can bring up extra challenges on your next growing cycle. The best way to clean out hydroton in between growing seasons is through first using isopropyl alcohol. After cleaning them with this substances you should remove all of the isopropyl alcohol with some pH balanced water. Now your hydroton should be totally inert again and ready for your next growing season.
Use Smaller Pots – Hydroton pebbles generally work best when you are just using them with smaller containers. Mostly this has to do with their fairly limited absorption capabilities. While hydroton can soak up some hydroton nutrients, this particular ability is not as significant as it is in some other media. You can get around this problem by simply making the containers a little smaller. This gives you a much greater chance that the hydroton nutrients that you use will actually be evenly distributed, which overall is healthier for your roots.
Combine Media – Sometimes growers do not actually stick with a single kind of medium when growing in hydroponics. They actually use a combination of two in order to balance out benefits and downsides of each. With hydroton, sometimes growers use a medium that has proven to be a little more absorbent in order doubly ensure that your roots are getting all of the nutrients that they need. Two of the most popular absorbent hydroponic media currently in use are rockwool and coco coir. Coco coir is slowly becoming a hydroponic favorite because it is totally natural and organic, and even has a lot of natural properties that assist in hydroponic growth.
Buy Quality – There are a lot of really cheap and really ineffective hydroton pebbles out there. They are usually just hard, small clay pebbles that don’t have the same porousness or absorbency of hydroton. The highest quality stuff is usually produced in Germany and fired is extremely hot kilns that cause them to expand and have all of the qualities that make hydroton really beneficial to your plants.