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Hydroponics - at Home and for Beginners

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Step 6: Introducing Plants and prepping medium

Picture of Introducing Plants and prepping medium
I will be buying plants that have already started. I want to grow herbs to start off as I love having them fresh for cooking. So obtain your plants. If you will be starting from seeds, read the next step.

A special note about Rockwool
Rockwool is made from fiberglass... So precaution must be taken. Wear a dust mask while handling and as instructed, soak the medium in water. Water keeps the fibers bound together which further reduces any inhalation risk. The risks involved are no more than handling fiberglass insulation or accessing an attic with fiberglass insulation - just wear a mask ;)


Using a pot, scoop out pot fulls of growing medium. Rockwool will shrink a little, so add a little more - you do not need this for fired clay. If you have 6 pots, take 6 pot fulls of medium and put it into a large bucket, bowl, etc. Fill this bowl with water and estimate how many gallons you added. Then measure off the appropriate amount of nutrient solution. Completely soak the medium.

While the medium is soaking, wash off all of the dirt from your plants. ALL of it - but take care not to damage the root system. Place a little bit of growing medium in the bottom of a pot, then place the plant in and fill the pot with your medium.

Put the lid on your container, and press the pot into an open hole. Repeat for the rest of your plants.
 
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I was wondering if you could use lava rock as the medium. Do you think it would throw off the ph balance due to the high mineral content?
this might sound stupid but can you use a type of fishtank gravel? i dont have any hydroponic shops near me and only have things avaliable from places like walmart and homedepot. Any ideas if the smaller gravel wont work?
Pentacle4 years ago
Wow. Your sink looks likes my sink. Blue sponge, George Foreman grill sponge, sink stopper and all. LOL.
Rockwool is NOT fiberglass.
trebuchet03 (author)  SerenityGene4 years ago
Semantics....

Rockwool is a vitrified substance.... Processing for making rockwool (rotary drum, compressed air jet, etc.) is also used in making many fiberglass varieties.

Throw some glass insulation (from the hardware store) and some rockwool under a microscope and the difference will be clear - there isn't any (except maybe color - which comes from the binding agents used) :p We tend to source rockwool raw materials from waste whereas fiberglass materials we try to recycle from old glass or, as in the case for more structural glasses, we use more virgin materials (silica sand, limestone, soda ash and alumina, feldspar , magnesite, and a few other ingdients I can't recall at the moment).


You should really read more Shakespeare ;)
Put Glass and Plexiglass under and the difference will be clear - there isn't any... Try using standard housing insulation in a hydroponic setup sometime. There is a reason why No hydroponics site sells it as a grow medium.
trebuchet03 (author)  SerenityGene4 years ago
That's right! The difference is in the binder (which is why I mentioned color). The binding agents used in home insulation aren't appropriate for growing plants - and because they're baked in, you can't really remove it :)
True.. But alot of people refer to it as fiberglass because of it's structure and texture. But you are right.. It is not fiberglass, it is a result of heated and spun rock.. much like cotton candy, for those who don't know what rockwool is and doesnt know the process of making
eddierath4 years ago
how far into the solution should the medium be? completely submerged?
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