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20 November 2013

Using Aggregates in Hydroponics

Cultivating plants through hydroponics is an incredibly simple process that is based around hydroculture which involves removing plants from soil and placing them in a nutrient solution where their roots will absorb the nutrients within the water. However, these plants do not always have to be removed from soil before they can be grown hydroponically, some plants can be grown directly from seeds within this nutrient solution.




Hydroponics is not a very new idea as it was first investigated in 1627 by Francis Bacon, although his research on the topic was not discovered and published until after his death. In 1699 John Woodward attempted to explore hydroponics further but he did not have the resources to continue with his work.


A number of experiments were conducted concerning growing plants within water and without the aid of soil but there was limited success up until it was discovered by the German botanists Julius von Sachs and Wilhelm Knop. It was within the years of 1859-65 that the pair of botanists managed to develop a stable technique of soilless cultivation.


How Does it Work?

The idea is that you can grow a plant in water that is not clean, but they thrive when placed in water that is filled with a nutrient solution. The water has to be kept at an optimum pH with no pollutants and the plant must also have access to carbon dioxide and oxygen so that it may photosynthesise.


When placed in the nutrient water an adult plant will begin to take in the nutrients almost straight away through osmosis within its roots; a seedling will first use up its own store of energy before producing basic roots that will continue to absorb the nutrients.


Aggregates and Hydroponics

The use of aggregates within hydroponics was not thought of until sometime later as it was believed that the plants did not soil so they did not need a base either. However the majority of plants seek to obtain a very specific pH and temperature so that they can grow within their optimum conditions. It was due to this need for an optimum temperature that scientists and gardeners alike began to experiment with the use of aggregates in hydroponics.


The idea of the aggregates is that they stabilise the temperature of the water greatly as they absorb heat which prevents the nutrient water from becoming too hot, this in turn prevents the enzymes from denaturing within the plant which would cause it to die.


As well as preventing the nutrient water from becoming too warm the aggregates, usually rocks or sand, can also issue out the heat that it absorbed when the water becomes too cool. This is one of the main ways in which aggregates can aid in the process of cultivating plants through hydroponics.


There are a variety of other ways in which aggregates can aid in plant growth of plants. For more information on aggregates and how you can utilise them to their full potential you can get in touch with us at Aggregate Shop. We’d be more than happy to help.

Category: News
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posted by Aggregate Shop at 17:16

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