How to use Clay Pebbles and The Benefits Behind It
Hydroponics systems are allowing people to grow plants and flowers with greater results. One of the methods some are using is growing with clay pebbles. The use of clay pebbles in hydroponic systems has been around for years. That’s because of vast amount of benefits it presents. They provide plants with exactly what they need to grow faster and survive longer. Clay pebbles are also easy and safe to use. However, the only way to make sure you achieve these positive results, is by doing it correctly. This guide covers how to use clay pebbles and the many benefits behind it.
Why Use Clay Pebbles?
If you are new to growing hydroponically, you may wondering exactly what method to use. Because there are so many different ways to soilless gardening, choosing one can be difficult. Based on the results found from experienced long time users, clay pebbles rate very high. Hydroponics users have found out that clay pebbles are an excellent way to increase their yields.
This growing medium primarily uses flood and drain flow – or ebb and flow – from the systems in hydroponic growing. Since the clay pebbles leave many gaps in between them, this turns into micro-pores. Those micro-pores end up providing a huge amount of oxygen to your plants. In addition, they also allow water to flow more easily and healthier. There is also an increase in nutrient retention from the roots. These reach all the way to top of nodes of your plants.
Growing with clay pebbles provides excellent drainage as well. This is if you are using ebb and flow growing methods. The same for top drop processes as well. The plants then benefit as their roots are able to draw out water from the pores on the clay. A lot of clay pebble users like that they are an organic substance and as a secondary option to other substrates.
How To Use Clay Pebbles
Just like every other method used in hydroponic growing, doing them incorrectly can lead to negative results. On the other hand, following the right plan can end up vastly increasing your yields. Also, your plants will grow much healthier. This is why how you use clay pebbles properly when growing is so important.
The first thing you need to do before anything is to soak and rinse them before using them. By doing this you make sure you remove all debris and dust from the clay pebbles. Moreover, this will also prevent any of that dirt or dust from entering your reservoir. Soak them from anywhere in between 6 to 24 hours before using them.
The next step when using clay pebbles for hydroponics is adding a small amount of nutrients. The exact amount will largely depend on the hydroponic system you use. Also, since there are so many different nutrients for hydroponic available, that needs to be taken into consideration as well. Once these steps have been taken, what you do next depends on the pots sizes you are using. The pump feeding, seeding, and other issues will also depend on your system.
One of the things that people who use hydroponic growing systems need to keep in mind is maintenance. Unlike soil or dirt, these processes require constant attention. Using a timer is essential and most feel, mandatory. It will remind you when your system needs water, nutrients or anything else.
You do need to make sure you never let your pebbles dry out. If you are planning on reusing your pebbles, be sure to sterilize them properly before doing so. You can use isopropyl alcohol or peroxide. Be sure to never use the clay pebbles in a regular pot unless you have a source of water dedicated to it. Lastly, don’t use clay pebbles instead of soil outside. The only time you can use them outdoors is if you have raised garden beds.
In the end, using clay pellets for hydroponics has been proven to work effectively. While most people can end up getting it right on the first try, many do not. If that happens to you, try changing your methods. Find out what has worked best for those that been using clay pebbles. Let their experience, be your guide.