Soilless Growing

Last updated: May 14, 2021

What Does Soilless Growing Mean?

A subset of hydroculture, soilless growing refers to any growing method in which soil is replaced with some other medium.

For instance, some systems rely primarily on a raft to which plant roots adhere, and a nutrient/water solution that keeps those plants nourished. Other systems use different growing mediums, such as soilless mixes, clay pebbles, or various types of foam to keep plant roots anchored, and nutrients are delivered through watering systems.

Several other methods can also be used for soilless growing, and in most cases, these techniques offer important benefits for the environment.


Maximum Yield Explains Soilless Growing

There are quite a few advantages to soilless growing. The primary one being that growers are able to produce crops in an area where those plants would not naturally be able to survive, even with the aid of a greenhouse. For instance, it allows plant growth in very arid areas, in very hot areas, in very cold areas, and in regions where annual rainfall would be too much for most plants to endure.

In most cases, soilless mixes contain organic elements such as inert minerals and peat. Depending on the quality of the product, most soilless mixes encourage maximum aeration and root exposure to the nutrients. Soilless growing has been shown to boost root hair growth, which again absorbs more nutrients. Because the plants are encouraged to grow without dirt, they are also protected from pests.

When using soilless mixes, it is advisable to add some moisture to the mix before scooping it into holding containers. The pots should also be thoroughly watered after the seeds are planted. Additionally, it is recommended to fertilize the pots 14 to 20 days after planting. Alternatively, gardeners can add some slow-release fertilizer directly to the soilless mix during planting.


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