Mediums- Hydroponics Vs. Soil
Using Hyrdoponic Mediums
- Many microgreens can be grown without soil
- It is generally agreed that most of the nutrients at the early microgreen stage come from the seed itself.
- You can still get a really beautiful harvest from a good hydroponic system.
- Use a medium that you’re comfortable with.
Types of Hydroponic Mediums
- Coir pith (coconut fibre) - Waste product of the coconut industry, and is the husk of the coconut itself. Difficult to cut. OK water retention capacity. Large oxygen capacity. One word of caution about coconut fibre- there is a commonly available, lower grade of coconut fibre that is high in sea-salt and is very finely grained. This lower grade coconut fibre will produce disappointing results
- Perlite - Has been around for years. Used as a soil additive to increase aeration and drainage. It’s a mined material formed from rapidly heated volcanic gas. Commonly mixed with vermiculite. Inexpensive. Poor water retention capacity. Dust is harmful, so best to wear mask.
- Vermiculite - another mined material. Often used 50-50 with perlite. Inexpensive. Drawback is that its water retention capacity is too high to be used alone. Will drown the roots of the plant. Use a mask.
- Soiless Mix - often a combination of Sphagnum moss, perlite, Zeolite and vermiculite. Most soiless mixes have a good combination of water retention and aeration
- Sawdust - is tolerated by some microgreens. Depends on which tree it comes from, how fine a texture and how thick. Possible to mix in soil.
- Felted jute grass (Baby Blanket) - Very easy to cut and work with. Great water retention capacity and aeration. My family’s favorite non-soil medium. Disadvantage- expensive if not re-used. Can be re-used by sterilizing in boiling water.