Grow Media

Although there is no soil in a hydroponic garden, the plants must still be anchored.  There is a wide range of inert materials which can be used to support plant roots and we call them "growing mediums".  Heydite, Clay Pellets, Perlite, Vermiculite, and Rockwool are the most popular media.

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The hydroponic media that work best are pH neutral, provide ample support for plants, retain moisture, and allow space for good air exchange.  The type of media you choose will depend on the size and type of plants you wish to grow, and the type of hydroponic system being used.  For continuous drip systems, a course media such Hydrocorn (clay pellets) is best.  The 1/4 " to 3/4 " pebbles provide enough free drainage and air space to take advantage of continuous feeding.  These media also provide good anchorage for larger plants, and are easy to clean and re-use indefinitely.
Rockwool is also another popular medium.  Made from rock which has been melted and spun into fibrous cubes and growing slabs with the texture of insulation, Rockwool provides roots with a good balance of water/oxygen.  Small cubes are used for starting seeds and cuttings, 3" or 4" cubes for small plants or intermediate growth, and slabs for larger plants.  Rockwool can be used with continuous drip or flood and drain systems.  Although it is possible to sterilize and re-use Rockwool, most often it is used only once.