Benefits of using silicon in hydroponics

silicon

What are the benefits of silicon in hydroponics? Silicon is the second most abundant element after oxygen. Silicon is abundant in soil-based plants, but it is excluded in hydroponic nutrients because it does not remain soluble in concentrated solution. Moreover, it raises the pH of the nutrient solution. In this case, it should be added into hydroponic nutrients as a separate element. What makes silicon so important in hydroponic plants?

Benefits of using silicon in hydroponics

• Strengthen the cellular walls of the plants

• Help the plants cope with toxic elements

• Improve the plant’s tolerance to high temperatures

• Increase resistance to pests and diseases

How does Silicon works in plants?

Plants that are fed with silicon look thicker and healthier. Silicon makes the cell walls thicker and stronger. This gives the pests a hard task in biting or piercing the plants. In this case, the plants fed with silicon become less attractive to the pests.

Moreover, the thicker cell walls make your plants more resistant to mechanical damage. This is very vital in preventing the mold infections. Most the fungi enter into the plant through the wounded parts. In this case, the plants become more resistant to mold infections and powdery mildew.

Also, silicon makes the plants transpire less while increasing the water uptake. This will increase the survival rate in dry conditions. Even if you forget to water your hydroponic plants, they will not dry out quickly.

How to add silicon into the hydroponic system

The hydroponic nutrients do not contain viable quantities of silicon. This is the main reason for structurally weak hydroponic plants. However, this can be solved by adding silicon into the nutrient solution.

In the soil-based system, the plants absorb silicon in the form of monosilisic acids. However, the source of silicon in hydroponics system is soluble potassium silicate. The commercially processed silicon is available in many hydroponic stores. How do you administer silicon to hydroponic plants?

#1. Using soluble silicate additives 

This is the easiest method but not the best way of adding silicon to your hydroponics system. Mix soluble silicate additives into normal nutrient solution and administer to the roots. However, you should be careful not to exceed the required levels. If the ideal levels of silicon are exceeded, it may interact with other elements and negatively affect your plants.

#2. Foliar spray 

This is the most efficient method of applying silicon to your hydroponic plants. Spray the foliage of your plants with silicon. This will not interfere with the nutrient mix, and pH adjustments are not necessary.

#3. Use Diahydro 

This is a growing medium that consists of fossil algae shells, which contains more than 90 percent of silica. This silica is gradually released to plants throughout the growth cycle. Also, you can use Diahydro in combination with other growing mediums. Diahydro is pH neutral and will not interfere with the nutrient balance in your hydroponic systems.

Conclusion

Silicon is one of the most abundant elements but is not readily available in hydroponic systems. In this case, you need to provide your plants with silicon to achieve faster and healthier growth.

Benefits of using clay pellets as growing medium

clay-pellets-growing-medium

Clay pebbles are becoming of the most popular growing medium in hydroponics. They are made of clay subjected to very high temperatures in a rotating kiln. This cause clay to expand, resulting in a highly porous medium that has excellent air and moisture retention. Clay pellets are the best alternative among other organic substrates. Most growers use clay pellets as a base layer in combination with other grow mediums. Why has clay pellets gained so much popularity among the hydroponic growers? Obviously, this growing medium is popular because of the several benefits it offers to the hydroponic gardeners.

Benefits of using clay pellets as growing medium

Clay pellets can be used in all types of hydroponic systems and offer many benefits, including;

#1. Durable 

This is one of the main advantages offered by clay pellets. This growing medium can last for several years and can be used again and again. Unlike some of the growing media, clay pellets do not break down easily. After each growing season, clay pellets are sterilized with isopropyl alcohol then rinsed with pH balanced water. This will save growers a lot of time and money that could have been used to look for another growing medium before the onset of the new growing season.

#2. Excellent moisture retention 

Clay pellets are porous materials, which absorb and retain impressive amounts of moisture. Therefore, hydroponic systems that use clay pellets as growing medium don’t require frequent watering.

#3. Better aeration 

The clay pellets are porous and irregular in size and shape. This increases the aeration in the roots system of the hydroponic plants. Better aeration means superior oxygenation which is vital for the health of the plants. Better supply of oxygen to roots allows optimum absorption of nutrients, which is essential for high yields in hydroponic plants.

#4. Good drainage 

This growing medium offers the best drainage that crucial for maintaining the health of the root systems. In this case, the likelihood of water-logging is reduced. Therefore, the cases of root rot are eliminated when clay pellets are used as a growing medium for hydroponics.

#5. Easy to stabilize pH 

The level of pH plays a crucial role in every hydroponic system. The ideal range of pH should lie in the range of 5.6 to 6.3, and serious problems may occur if the pH falls out of this range. Fortunately, it is much easier to stabilize the pH in clay pellets as compared to other growing mediums. This is so because this growing medium has neutral pH. The growers prefer using clay pellets because they make the job of checking and adjusting the pH much easier.

#6. Affordable 

If you are working on a small budget and want to spend less on growing medium, then clay pellets are the answer. Clay pellets are relatively cheaper to make as compared to most growing mediums. Moreover, clay pellets are readily available in most hydroponic or home improvement stores. Therefore, you will definitely save a lot of money on this growing medium.

Conclusion 

Clay pellets are one of the most popular growing mediums among hydroponic growers. This growing medium offers many benefits that ensure healthy plant growth as well as saving money for the grower.