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<  Composting, Mulch, and Soils  ~  Hydroponics

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:41 pm
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:33 pmPosts: 9
Hi All--

New to the forum and I'm looking to compare notes with others who grow plants hydroponically. I actually use a system called semi-hydroponics and grow hippeastrum, orchids and African Violets in hydroton-- as well as some citrus trees.

So far, all the plants are happy! Especially the orchids, which seems to really jive with this hydroponics gig.

Anyway, hopefully this is in the right place-- love to hear others' experiences.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:27 pm
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:29 pmPosts: 1357Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
We use similar stuff for 'semi-hydroponic' substrates to grow cacti, the best stuff being fired clay products like aquatic potting soil (available in home improvement stores) and turface (stuff used for the runways in baseball diamonds, which is cheap but harder to source). This stuff looks like that primeagra media, only in ~2-5mm chunks. Much like the observation for orchids, this media makes it difficult to over-water cacti because it has perfect drainage and provides aeration to the roots even when saturated. Usually I'll mix in 10-50% potting soil depending on a plants tolerance, but the most temperamental specimens get pure turface.

Kitty litter and oil-dri has similar properties, but it is not a fired product, nor is it very uniform. Some bags hold together well, some will turn to mushy clay or gradually break down into smaller particles that get compacted.

You could get a bag of aquatic potting soil and give it a try with smaller/finer rooted plants and ones that need less air to their roots (terrestrial plants). Bulbs (particularly seedlings) and citrus would probably be happy in it. I've pretty much phased out perlite in all my potting in favor of turface. Last I got some it was about $13 for 50lb.

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