Commercial hydroponic farmers have realized the increasing profitability of Rockwool, and it is now becoming the most popular growing medium. Growers who embraced drip irrigation systems now have a more efficient and timely method to grow their plants. Rockwool has good moisture and oxygen retention, with no impediment to root growth. Its chemically inert properties with various shapes and sizes contribute to the increasing popularity among hydroponic farmers.

How to prepare Rockwool for planting

Rockwool’s manufacturing processes contribute to its high pH of 8.0. High quantities of lime are deposited in the materials throughout the process, raising the pH and neutralizing the acidity. A high pH of 8.0 is not conducive for plant growth, and you need to adjust it before placing your plants. If you plant directly, your plants will lack the essential growth nutrients.

Your hydroponic Rockwool cubes should first be soaked in acidic water to lower their pH. The lime build-up in the fiber dissolves when placed in acidic water to lower the pH to conducive levels. Distilled water is ideal, but tap water is advisable if you cannot access distilled water. Keep the pH at 5.5 but ensure it does not go lower than 5.5 since it can damage Rockwool fibers.

Once you control the pH, you need to place the cubes in water for 24 hours to soak. After this process, you can take them out of the water and put them in the hydroponics system, and do not add any plants until the pH is at 5.5 or 6.0.

Germinating seeds in Rockwool cubes

Planting fresh seeds can be stressful for a grower considering the amount of care needed. You need to add water frequently to provide a wet environment for germinations. You also need to control your watering to avoid dampening the Rockwool cubes.

Hydroponic Rockwool cubes are good at retaining moisture, which makes them the better choice for germinating seeds. With enough moisture, seeds and seedlings will not dry out, and the Rockwool cubes will not stay in a waterlogged environment.

Cloning new plants

Plant propagation is extracting the leaf or stem of an existing plant and joining it to a new whole plant. An identical clone will grow from the new plant and is cheaper than buying seeds for fresh planting.

Plants need moisture to prevent drying out, and without it, they resort to self-defense and will not develop any new roots. This is why the area around the cutting needs should be kept humid at all times. Before growing plants through cloning, you need to ensure the environment is sterile. Keep the hydroponic Rockwool cubes free of fungus and bacteria. The inert nature of Rockwool cubes keeps them sterile and eliminates all the harmful microorganisms that could interfere with the propagation.

Rockwool material is a result of combining natural materials to create a conducive environment for plant growth. However, you should not treat Rockwool cubes as a regular planting medium because they are unique and need more attention. You should therefore carry out special checks to ensure you are maximizing your hydroponic system.