Have you ever seen plants growing without soil? If no then this technique is known as hydroponics and it is a very practical and popular concept that emerges all over the planet. Today, the world is facing challenges with water and plantation are constantly looking for new ways to make the best use of what they have.
Fortunately, they have found a solution with the help of modern research and the invention of Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA). With the help of these expanded clay aggregate growers can support their plants’ roots and maintain a good water/oxygen ratio.
Basically, ECA is tiny clay balls that undergo high-temperature heat and become porous within when fired in a kiln. These clay balls are also known as hydroponic clay balls, hydroton clay pebbles, and light expanded clay aggregate (LECA).
Nowadays, more and more people are using this technique to harvest their plants. Further, it is also a suitable method for the media bed and Dutch bucket method. Apart from that, these hydroponic clay balls are very advantageous that you can read below.
Hydroponic clay balls are great in retaining moisture. This is considerable when you are trying to do planting in an area with less water. These clay balls can make the most of your irrigation facility. These pebbles are a great way to retain the water and keep your plants hydrated along with any minerals or nutrients added. It absorbs water and stores it inside for plants to take in as per their needs. Because of this, hydroton clay pebbles are most of the popular substances when it comes to hydroponics.
You might not know but plants do suffocate and this prevents them from growing under the soil. Here, these clay pebbles will help you as it is light in weight and porous as well. Hydroton clay pebbles will hold air in them and increases the aeration for the root system of the plant. Because of this whenever the plants or harvest needs air, these pebbles will release it.
Provides Reliable Drainage
Drainage is the biggest deal when it comes to harvest or plantation. Clay pebbles are excellent for water drainage, especially in areas where there is a facility or convenience to make healthy growing. As mentioned above, these clay balls are great water absorbers as it collects extra water and stores it for later use. These pebbles also prevent roots from being damaged due to excess water. Basically, clay pebbles are used as a base layer to help plants get the proper amount of water and air through it.
Do you know how these expanded clay pebbles are made? These balls are manufactured from clay, which means they are 100% natural and environmentally-friendly. These clay balls are made by mixing clay and water together and are heated up in a high burning furnace and become porous tiny balls. These balls are lighter in weight but have various constructive properties.
They are entirely nature-friendly as there is no involvement of any harmful gas or component in the process. This also means, it has no harmful effect and is filled with minerals and natural components to help plants grow healthy and faster.
Everlasting Life Cycle
One of the biggest reasons to use expanded clay aggregate is that they last very long. This means that you can use clay pebbles again and again for your favorite plants and vegetables. All you need to do is rinse these pebbles thorough with water and soak it in water for about a day to use it again. These clay pebbles are a perfect substrate for soilless growing. Unless there is salt deposition or organic built upon its surface. Moreover, there is no predicted expiry date for clay pebbles so their lifespan depends on the usage of it.
So, these are some of the benefits of hydroton clay balls in the hydroponic system. However, these clay balls are also used in the lightweight concrete mix to make structural lightweight concrete. This concrete can be used in making buildings to make it light in weight and it also can be used to insulate the building walls.