Whenever one thinks of a garden, only one thing comes to mind other than the plant itself: the soil. However, we have also seen many plants growing randomly out of the bricks and pipelines because of access to moisture. Similarly, we don’t have to depend on soil to grow plants traditionally. We can make use of leca growing medium for this purpose and get the vegetables or flowers at affordable rates.
Researches have proved that soil holds nutrients and minerals that aids in the growth of the plants. However, other aspects that can provide a similar amount of minerals to the roots the same as soil involve the process of hydroponics. Most of us are not comfortable with the idea of plants without soil. This article would provide us with a detailed explanation and understanding of how plants can even grow without the help of soil.
A process called as hydroculture
In scientific terms, a process that can be used to grow the plants without the help of soil is known as hydroponics. The process has become more popular because it uses water for the growth of the plants. The roots can easily absorb the nutrients and minerals through the water without having to use the soil.
The primary reason for the use of this particular process is that we can have more plants in a small space. In apartments and classrooms, where we cannot use soil much, this aspect can help produce a fresh and green environment. For that, we especially need to take care of providing nutrients properly so that they don’t lack anything.
In recent years, the plants that are mostly grown using hydroponics include tomatoes and lettuce. We may even be confused between the two methods: hydroponics and hydroculture. However, the only difference between the two techniques is that one the former uses nutrient solution while hydroculture takes the help of a growing medium, precisely an inorganic solid material.
What is the inorganic solid medium?
The medium that is usually used for producing better results without the aid of soil is typically rock-based. The only material that most householders would use at this time is called as expanded clay aggregates. In a way, the experts would call the process as passive hydroponics in which plant growth without moss, peat, bark, and soil is highly possible with practical outcomes.
The lightweight expanded clay aggregate or LECA is nothing but pieces of clay that is made by heating the clay pellets in rotating kilns at a high temperature. The clay expands and pops similarly as popcorn in the kilns. The pellets gradually expand and get air pockets that are the best thing about the product. We would find it looking similar to the coco puffs cereal, which is famously known to be useful for growing plants at home.
Why would expanded clay be an ideal solution?
The fantastic property of expanded clay or LECA that makes it amazingly useful for plant growth would be its quality of being porous. Such an aspect is helpful in the provision of oxygen and air to the plants for growth. Water absorption quality is much more exceptional in these pebbles that ensures to provide nutrition to the roots quickly. More importantly, we wouldn’t see it decaying any faster, unlike other organic materials.
Since we wish to grow plants without any help from soil, the use of hydroculture would be an ideal solution for most of us. We have to approach the lightweight concrete suppliers and get the expanded clay that aids in plant growth at a faster rate. It ensures to give ample water and minerals to the roots, along with abundant oxygen.