Sand Culture

Definition - What does Sand Culture mean?

Sand culture is a method of growing plants hydroponically, without the use of soil. It is a variation of gravel culture where the sand, which is used primarily to anchor plants in the grow bed or tray, is a lot finer than the gravel grow medium option.

Used in hydroponics, sand culture is a popular soilless growth technique that is suitable for different types of plants. Because of its efficiency, sand culture is commonly used in arid and dry Middle Eastern regions.

Sand culture is also known to be one of the most affordable type of soilless growing methods due to the abundance of sand on the planet and the fact that it can be re-used over and over again. However, due to its high salt content, the sand must be treated before use.

MaximumYield explains Sand Culture

According to historians, Aztec Indians were among the first groups of people to adopt sand culture for their crops. In fact, historians claim that Aztec Indians used to grow squash and beans on sand-covered rafts.

Sand culture is thought to be more efficient than traditional hydroponic methods because the sand largely decreases the risk of botanical ailments such as verticilium and fusarium. Because the plants receive fresh nutrient solutions after each watering cycle, they also tend to remain healthy, with no nutrient imbalances.

According to botanists, sand also triggers a capillary action that encourages the nutrients to move laterally. This encourages an even distribution of nutrient solution across the roots. In addition, sand culture tends to be easier to maintain that other types of hydroponics. On the flip side, this soilless grow method sometimes requires additional agricultural pipes to channel away excess water, minerals, and nutrients.

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