The Dos and Don’ts of Using Rockwool Growing Medium

The Dos and Don’ts of Using Rockwool Growing Medium

Rockwool is one of the most common forms of sterile growing mediums that growers use for any method of hydroponic gardening. Every growing medium has its pros and cons, and while rockwool is one of the best types of growing mediums for hydroponic gardeners, it does come with its fair share of difficulties. Before you purchase it or take it out of its packaging, you need to know the dos and don’ts of using rockwool growing medium.


Do Wear Protective Gear When Handling Rockwool


Since you’ll be using rockwool for plants that grow fruits and vegetables, you might assume that there is no danger involved with handling it without protection. This is a hazardous mistake to make. Rockwool is formed from melted and spun basalt rock mixed with chalk. When you handle rockwool, you cannot let the dust get into your eyes or on your skin. While newer forms of rockwool are less dangerous than the older forms that were used in homes, irritated skin or eyes are no joke. Wear protective gloves, goggles, and long sleeves when handling your rockwool, no matter what form it’s in.


Do Soak Your Rockwool Before Using It


Dry, unused rockwool will have a higher pH level than average and will sap the water away from your plants if they dry out. Before you plant your seeds in the rockwool, soak the medium in a pH adjusted bath. You’ll lower the base pH of your rockwool grow cubes while ensuring it will provide a happy, saturated home for your plants.


Do Cover the Rockwool


This step is a simple solution to the threat of algae on rockwool. Since rockwool is always wet, many growers fear algae or fungi. Algae and fungi need light to develop, so covering the top of your container is a must when growing in rockwool. Your plants will be able to get light from the hole in the top of the lid. Remember that roots enjoy darkness—leave the wrap on the rockwool cube for algae control and happy roots. Leave a small cut on the bottom to drain excess water.


Don’t Throw Away Rockwool


Rockwool is reusable! Once your plant has finished its growing cycle, you can shred the old rockwool and use it for compost in a soil garden. You may even be able to use the rockwool to grow a different kind of plant. Avoid throwing rockwool away. Because it is made from rock, it will not degrade easily in a landfill. When shredding rockwool, remember to put on your protective gear.


Don’t Forget To Add Nutrients


Like all hydroponic growing mediums, rockwool doesn’t come with the nutrients that your plant needs to survive. Remember to buy nutrients or fertilizer from your favorite local wholesale shop or online supplier of hydroponic growing materials, such as FloraFlex. After learning the dos and don’ts of rockwool growing medium, you’ll be ready to begin using rockwool for any vegetation you grow.