One of the first questions we get asked at Fifth Season when someone is just starting out in hydroponics is, “What is the best medium to grow in?” In this blog post, I will share my experience with various growing media, as well as feedback I have gathered from professionals within the industry.
First, let’s get an understanding of what growing media are. Media are materials that physically support plant growth. A good medium supplies a plant’s roots with enough air circulation to allow water and nutrients to reach the roots efficiently, resulting in a healthy root system.
In running through some different media, I’ll start off with one of my favorites: Sunleaves Rocks from BWGS. Rocks are a completely reusable medium with amazing wicking characteristics. They come in two different calibers (.25”-.5” and .5”-1.5”) and are made of super-heated shale (temps reach up to 2,000 degreed Fahrenheidt, rendering them pH-neutral and chemically inert). I specifically like the weight of this product; it’s on the heavier side of most growing media, which allows for growing bigger plants without worrying that they will fall over. As an added plus, Sunleaves Rocks are made in the USA.
My next choice is a no-brainer: Gold Label’s Hydrocorn. Made from high-quality pure clays, Hydrocorn is baked in an open furnace using clean fuels to guarantee the absence of heavy metals. Its unique shape and form makes this product like no other. With uneven shapes and a porous structure, Hydrocorn flawlessly holds water and nutrients, providing an ideal surface for roots to flourish. RHP certified (guaranteeing quality, environment, safety and contents).
And last, but definitely not least in part one of this blog post, is Coco Coir. My favorite, and the most consistent coco on the market, is produced by CANNA. CANNA COCO is the only non-steamed coco available as a growing medium. Originating from India, their coco is rinsed in fresh water to allow the leaching of any salts. It has great water-to-air ratio, and it is guaranteed disease- and virus-free, due to their processing techniques. CANNA COCO is also completely buffered, meaning your nutrients won’t be absorbed by the coco, and, thus, will remain completely available to your plants. RHP Certified.
Stay tuned for Hydro Media Part 2, where I’ll go over rockwool, 50/50 Perlite Vermiculite mix, and Growstones (recycled glass). Happy growing!