Have you ever heard of growing plants without using soil? This is a very practical and popular concept emerging all over the world. States and business-facing challenges with water and plantation are constantly looking for new ways to make the best use of what they have. Fortunately, with the help of modern research and the invention of Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA), it has become possible. These clay pebbles are nothing but the tiny clay balls undergone high-temperature heat. When fired in a kiln these tiny pebbles expand and become porous from within. Some people also call them hydroponic clay balls, Hydroton, clay pebbles, or light expanded clay aggregate (LECA).
More and more people are harvesting their plantation using clay pebble techniques. It’s easy to harvest plants, which can save large-scale hydroponics and aquaponics producers. Moreover, the ECA hydroponics method is a suitable method for both media bed and Dutch bucket techniques. Being a natural and organic substance, clay pebbles is an exceptional material for soilless gardening. These are very helpful in many ways when it comes to hydroponics.
Let’s check out the benefits of clay pebbles.
- Retains Moisture: Hydroton clay pebbles are great in retaining moisture. When you are trying to do planting in a water scarcity location, clay pebble can make the most out of your irrigation facility. It is a great way to retain the water and keep your plants hydrated along with any intent minerals or nutrients poured in there. It absorbs water and stores it inside for plants to take in as per their needs. Undoubtedly, clay pebbles are one of the most popular substances when it comes to hydroponics.
- Increases Aeration: Sometimes, plants suffocate and find it difficult to grow under the soil. Clay pebbles are lightweight and porous which holds air in them and increases the aeration for the root system of the plant. The structural formation of these hydrotons is such that it is light in weight and has enough space inside to capture the air and let it release whenever the plants or harvest needs it. Plants grow better when receives proper air, water, and sunlight.
- Provides Reliable Drainage: Drainage is a real problem when talking about harvest or plantation. In areas where there is a facility or convenience to make healthy growing, clay pebbles are super for water drainage. As mentioned above hydrotons are great water absorbers, it collects the excess water and stores it for later use. It prevents roots from being damaged due to excess water. Generally, clay pebbles are used as a base layer or alongside to help plants get the proper amount of water and air through it.
- Environment-Friendly: The main ingredient in the manufacturing of clay pebble is clay, which is 100% natural and environment-friendly. Soil and water are properly mixed to heat up in a high burning furnace and become porous tiny balls, which are lighter in weight but have various constructive properties. There is no involvement of any harmful gas or component in this process thus the end product is also entirely nature-friendly. It has no harmful effect and it is full of minerals and natural components to help plants grow healthy and faster.
- Long Life Cycle: One of the most incredible facts about clay pebble is that they last longer. You can use these clay pebbles for multiple times to plant your favourite trees or vegetable. These clay pebbles are a perfect gardening substrate for soilless growing. Unless there is major salt deposition or organic built upon its surface, you can always wash and reuse it. There is no predicted expiry date for clay pebbles; their lifespan depends on the usage.
ECA has always been the Nature’s card in this techno-driven world. You can wisely make a choice and move towards better and greener approaches to make the earth a refreshed and green planet. Hope you enjoyed the read, share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.