Although plants in hydroponic systems do not need to take their nutrition from soil, soil in traditional gardening serves other purposes which must be taken into account:
- Protecting the plant’s roots from the elements and hiding them from bugs and animals,
- Giving the roots something to grip onto, which allows the plant to hold itself upright,
- Temperature control,
- Keeping the right amount of water and oxygen near the roots.
To serve generally these same purposes, we provide plants with a rooting medium, commonly called the media or substrate.
I’ll fill this section in with information and resources later, for today I’ll live demo. 🙂
I’m not fond of small grain perlite or small grain coco coir because media that falls into the reservoir can be a source of mold, but if you line the net cup with netting first, these can be used without
Tip: if you are trying to purge a persistent bug or mold issue or if you want to reuse your media, you might want to sterilize your media before using it again.
We’ll focus on two ways to support a plant with media, net cups and grow bags (seen a little bit later).