Clay Pebbles for Hydroponics
What are expanded clay pebbles? Hydroton is a type of growing medium that has been around for decades. It is made from natural stone and comes in many different shapes, sizes, and colors to suit your needs. This article will answer common questions about hydroton with product reviews and useful tips.
Read More: How to use clay pebbles?
What Are Expanded Clay Pellets?
Clay pellets are made from clay that has been heated and compressed into a pellet. They come in various colors, shapes, and sizes. Clay is porous which helps with the water drainage as well as storing nutrients for plants to use later on.
Clay pebbles have many benefits including *Appearance*- It comes in different colors (browns, greens, oranges) so it can give the garden an earthy feel or look more like flowing lava!
Shape – flat pieces of clay offer many interesting design options such as making large rings out of them or even using them to create paths throughout your yard!
You can purchase expanded clay pebbles with either a large or medium-sized size. Medium-sized are used inside the soil, while large is placed on top to provide aeration for pots and outside plantings.
The larger pack of 100 is pricier but lasts 3x as long as an individual bag; it is also not necessary to use lighter ones if using weighty materials such as bark or gravel.
Expanded clay pebbles are used as a soil amendment because they hold more water than most substrates and have a neutral pH. When buying them, take into account that the medium-sized ones are cheaper but require mixing with the potting mix before use to provide drainage (the large size doesn’t).
TOP Brands Clay Pebbles 2022
Best nutrients for dwc
|Mother Earth Hydroton Original Clay Pebbles|
for Drainage, Decoration, Aquaponics, Hydroponics
|Hydrofarm Store Clay Pebbles|
Great for soil aeration and drainage
|GEOLITE Store Clay Pebbles|
Why clay pebbles are one of our top picks for small growers?
Clay pebbles are a top choice for growers because they are more affordable than other substrates and don’t take up much space. They are also lightweight, making them easier to work with and less taxing on the back muscles.
One drawback of using hydroton pebbles is that they do not retain water for long periods; one way to combat this is to add perlite or other absorbent materials before adding plants. However, the roots of plants generally take longer to establish themselves in these substrates than with other types.
It is not advised to use more than 50% of these medium-sized clay pellets as an alternative organic potting mix because there will not be enough room left over for fertilizer if you want to reuse any plant pots from previous seasons.
Hydroton is a soil amendment that can hold more water than most substrates and has much less aeration.
Hydroton expanded clay pebbles are an excellent alternative to gardening in soil. They make the garden easier to work with and they won’t tire you out as much, provide nutrients for plants because it can hold more water than most substrates without becoming slimy like coco coir or straw, has better drainage of excess water compared to other organic alternatives because it provides more air circulation” reducing the chance of root rot from too much moisture while still allowing plenty of air circulation,” and is easier to clean up after harvesting vegetables.
Key facts for clay balls & moisture
- Clay balls are made of pure clay and will hold a lot more water than other types.
- Clay balls can be reused for up to five years if they’re not broken, cracked or wet.
- In full sun, the ball may dry out within two weeks; in an area with higher precipitation it is less likely to happen.
- You can tell when your ball needs watered by moistening just one finger and touching it to the top of the soil inside the pot. When hydrated, clay pots should feel lighter (just as their weight changes) so they take up less space; when bone-dry, that same will become heavier and denser on touch.
How Much Clay Pebbles do You Need
|Pot Size||Pot Height||Bucket Size||Clay Pebbles Bag Size|
|5 liters||7”||1.3 gal||12.5 liter|
|10 liters||9”||3 gal||25 liter|
|20 liters||13”||5 gal||50 liter|
|40 liters||18”||10 gal||100 liter|
|60 liters||23”||15 gal||150 liter|
To figure out how much clay pebbles you need for your one-liter pot, calculate the volume of each pot. Then see how many cubic feet it will take for your plant type.
How many clay pebbles will fit in the 10-liter pot?
It depends on the type of clay pebbles and the size. The best way to find out how many will fit is by comparing them with a pot that you are using now or have used before. To fill a ten-liter pot, about thirty pounds per cubic foot would be needed for expanded clay pebbles while around forty pounds per cubic feet would work better for unexpanded ones.
How many 10-liter bags do you need to fill 5 liters pots?
To fill one five-liter pot with expanded clay pebbles, about three to four bags would be needed. For unexpanded clay pebbles, around two or three would do it.
How quickly will the soil from a 20-liter pot absorb moisture?
It depends on the type of clay pebbles and whether or not they are expanded. If you use an unexpanded clay pebble pot, it will take about a week at most for soil to get completely saturated with water; this is because of its porous material.
Hydroton Original Expanded Clay Pebbles – Review
Choose from 3 different sizes at 10L, 25L, or 50L – you are sure to find the perfect product match based upon what you’d like to plant. Whether it’s on a farm or balcony, this incredibly organic gardening tool can do wonders-especially with an eco-friendly self-watering system there will be less work required in watering your plants.
Mother Earth Hydroton Original Expanded Clay Pebbles
- Lighter than hydroballs
- Ideal Surface Structure
- Great for self-watering systems
Mother Earth is a company whose products are made by “planting seeds, bathing them in microbial cultures and organic fertilizers.” As such, their product quality has occasionally been criticized. These 714123 Hydroton balls may be too expensive for the amount of dust that comes out with just one two-step shake. However, they’re best for creating drainage structures or as an additive to garden soils that need to be aerated.
- Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate Made In Germany.
- Ideal Surface Structure.
- Semi-porous & generally does not float like other products .
- Lighter than hydroballs.
- There are only a few pieces that are broken.
- Great for self-watering systems.
- 50-liter size is Giant balls. It is not a normal size leca.
Tips on using Hydroton
Hydroton can be used to grow a variety of plants and is often recommended for indoor gardening as an alternative to plastic pots or other materials. It expands in water, so it is important that the growing medium stays moist but not wet.
One way to ensure this balance is by using a moisture meter or soil probe when watering your potting mix regularly; if you are monitoring the level of moisture once per day (morning), then take care not to overwater. Remember: Hydroton will expand because it has absorbed the moisture from the clay pebbles!
Clay pebbles to raise moisture around houseplants
If you are looking for an organic and sustainable way to increase the moisture content in your houseplants’ soil, clay pebbles may be a good option. Clay is not as porous as perlite, but it does hold water well enough to raise total moisture levels around plants.
When using clay pebbles, make sure that they are placed on top of layers of the moistened potting mix so that the majority of surface contact with air will occur through or near roots rather than by direct exposure to dry air.
The denser the clay mixture becomes, the less free space there will be between individual particles – this can prevent adequate drainage if too many particles have been used close together. If one wants more drainage and lower water retention, perlite or coarse sand can be used instead to create more space between particles.
When using a clay pebble mixture as a potting mix ingredient, it is important that the ingredients are not too wet before they are combined. If the clay and other components are mixed together while still moist from use in previous containers, then chances of compaction will increase drastically and drainage may be impeded.
For these reasons, many gardeners prefer to prepare batches separately ahead of time rather than combining them right away – this prevents any chance for clumping which could happen if one must work with materials straight out of pots previously occupied by houseplants or another plant species.
Major Do’s for Hydroton Expanded Clay Pebbles
Where we recommend that you use Hydroton expanded clay pebbles:
- In a new garden bed that is subject to periods of drought.
- To supplement your current earth material in areas where the soil has been compacted or lightweight.
How we recommend you prepare your Hydroton Expanded Clay Pebbles before using them:
- To ensure increased drainage rates, poke holes near the planting locations and fill them with potting mix or compost. This is an optional step, but once done, it will allow your plants to slake more effectively than if they had nothing under their feet at all.
- Add potting mix (optional) or arrange the Hydroton Expanded Clay Pebbles on top of your planting location.
Hydroton expands when it’s wet. Take care to not overwater the pebbles—if too much water is absorbed, they will shrink and no longer stay at the right level.
Rinse and Soak Before Use
When using expanded clay pebble products for gardening, it is important to rinse them thoroughly before use. This will help remove any dust or other particles that may have settled on the surface and contribute to clumping once in piles with dirt.
Besides ensuring cleanliness during storage, watering plants can be done more easily if there are some of the fine particles at hand which can be used as a “mist” over leaves so they do not dry out due to lack of humidity. After rinsing each batch separately (to avoid compaction), one should let water soak into every particle before combining everything together.
Read More: How to clean clay pebbles?
Add a Small Amount of Nutrients
A small number of nutrients are often added to the Hydroton when plants are first transferred and then fertilized on a monthly basis thereafter.
Fertilizer usually comes in a concentrated form as powders, liquids or spikes. When soil finishes its life cycle and can no longer provide sufficient nutrients to sustain plants, fertilization will be necessary to introduce new sources of nutrition.
Replenishing water in the clay pebbles
It is important to replenish the water in the clay pebbles so that they retain their moisture-giving properties.
-If using containers with drainage holes at the bottom, this can be done by placing them in a dish and pouring enough water over top to fill it up. The level of dampness should reach about halfway up.
-For vessels without any drainage system, one may need to leave more space between particles, or else there will not be enough room for excess liquid once plants have reached maturity.
In these cases, gardeners sometimes use another product like perlite as an additive instead of adding too many clay flakes which could impair drainage – some prefer sand because it has larger spaces between particles but still retains the same water-holding properties.
Cleaning and rinsing the pebbles
Do not submerge the pebbles in the water. This will cause a loss of structural integrity and bubbles to form quickly around them.
Pass an old toothbrush over the exterior surface, but do not brush any small nooks or terrain on the inside of a container.
Can I re-use hydroton clay balls each year?
The clay balls should be sterilized or discarded after each crop cycle.
Hydroton-clay balls are reusable for many years if you take care of them properly. To do so follow these simple rules:
Each time before reusing, carefully remove visible plant matter and trim leaves to prevent mold growth; Leaves left on plants can provide an environment that will result in root rot or fungi infections.
Soak the hydroton in hot (140 °F/60 °C) water mixed with hydrogen peroxide solution at a concentration of one part 3% hydrogen peroxide to 4 parts water for 15 minutes to disinfect it. Be careful not to use higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide as this could damage your plants roots!!
Benefits and Downsides of Hydroton
Main benefits and advantages:
- Easier to Clean Than Clay Pots
- The Pebbles are Waterproof, So They Won’t Absorb Any Extra Moisture in the Air Around Them and Sog Up Your Pot’s Inner Surface.
Main disadvantages or downsides of Hydroton Expanded Clay Pebbles:
- Can Take a While for Plants to Grow Their Roots Through The Pebbles (A Little Bit Harder on Young Seedlings)
- Might Be More Difficult To Handle With Limited Strength In One Hand Due To Size And Weight; Though This Isn’t A Big Deal For Most People. Hydroton is also more difficult to move from location to location than other potting mediums since they’re so heavy!
Problems that might arise
If your plant dries out and you don’t realize it, then the roots may start to rot. This can lead to a number of problems:
* The plant will be more susceptible to pests that invade because they’re not healthy enough (i.e., Spider Mites). It’s also possible for root-rotting fungi or other pathogens to set in which will make it difficult for them to grow back!
If this is happening, there are some things you can do about it but we recommend seeking professional help if at all possible.
Mineral deposits due to using tap water
-Minerals in tap water can cause a buildup of deposits on the exterior.
It’s not that difficult to combat these by using distilled or purified water instead, but this is something to be aware of when choosing your growing medium!
Insects and pests
-Hydroton does not have a high risk of pests because it is dry.
While you are less likely to be attacked by bugs, there are still some that might infest your garden due to the porous nature of hydroton – namely slugs and snails. It’s recommended that you invest in slug traps for these creatures! Draining water as soon as possible from pots or containers also helps prevent them getting too far into your garden without risking drowning themselves while trying to escape quickly enough.
Cons of Hydroton
The disadvantages of using Hydroton are:
- Expensive – You’ll need less than what you would normally buy but will spend even more money on it! This just becomes an added cost that most people don’t want.
- Requires A Lot Of Soil – If this isn’t something you usually do or enjoy then I recommend checking out some other options instead because there are so many benefits to getting the plants to grow faster than you can grow up to 50% more plants than you could with a soil-based system.
- Requires A Lot Of Water – The water requirements are much higher because Hydroton is heavier and holds onto the moisture, which means your plant will need twice as much water in order to thrive properly. These two points just make it seem like too much work for many people so they stay away from this option!
Best Brands to Use
+Hydroton is a great option for you if composting isn’t important to you, and the disadvantages of hydroton are outweighed by its benefits.
+You can find organic options in smaller bags from places like Amazon! Be sure to get an appropriate size bag that will last your project’s lifespan – otherwise it might be too heavy or expensive per square foot after calculating shipping costs.
-Diatomaceous Earth (DE) with expanded clay pebbles:
+This combination provides good drainage while also providing medicinal properties due to DE containing silica and essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium and silicon necessary for plant growth. It does still have some disadvantages though including having to be mixed with water and needing to be turned over periodically.
+The best DE brands are from Comfrey Gardens or Mountain Rose Herbs, both of which provide powdered forms in smaller quantities per bag – small enough for most individual projects!
-Expanded clay pebbles without diatomaceous earth:
+This is a good option if you don’t need the medicinal properties that come with adding DE powder but still want cheaper pricing than organic options on Amazon. This choice also comes in larger bags so it might not work well if your project needs many different colors to show off all the flowers at once (since this would get expensive).
Alternatives to Expanded Clay Pebbles
+This is a popular choice, especially if you want to add composted material into your project.
+It’s not porous like other options and the benefits are more well-known because of that! The disadvantages would be it doesn’t drain water as quickly or evenly, and can sometimes need to be replaced every year during planting season for best results.
+Another option with different advantages and disadvantages than hydroton; perlite drains water better but also needs replacing on an annual basis – so consider this before making your final decision!
-Coconut Fiber (Coir):
+A good alternative considering its sustainability factor since coconuts aren’t cheaply grown or processed.
+This option is also organic and compostable, so you don’t have to worry about it when your project’s lifespan comes to an end!
+Another popular alternative that’s been used for centuries – just remember this will need more water than other options but can be rewetted as necessary.
+A cheaper alternative with similar benefits to peat moss but a slightly different texture due to its lack of decomposition before use in growing projects. This medium might not work well if the soil isn’t completely covered or if there are many gaps between bark pieces on top because they could dry out quickly from heat exposure during plant growth periods.
Growing Plants in Clay Pebbles
What is the best, economic, and eco-friendly growing medium for plants?
There are many different types of pebble gardens that offer various benefits. They can be used in a variety of areas such as:
- Hydroponics or Aquaponics Systems
- Water Garden Containers
- Top Fill Decorative Ponds (Or Low Profile)
One benefit of using these additives is that they can increase drainage, which is helpful if your garden area faces high winds or periods of drought. The less water you use and the more efficiently plants are hydrated when necessary as a result means they’re easier to manage on clay pebbles.
Hydroton Expanded Clay Pebbles are popular among many growers because they provide a good growing medium, as well as being eco-friendly and affordable. One of the most common questions is “are expanded clay pebbles safe?” The answer is that if you do not ingest or get them in your eyes under any circumstances, then they will be safe.
Which plants to use moisturizing clay pebbles for
Plants to use moisturizing clay pebbles for?
Cacti, succulents, and orchids are all plants that grow well in clay pebbles. While there are some plants that don’t enjoy living on this medium (such as roses) they should be a favorite of those seeking an eye-catching centerpiece.
How often should you water your Hydroton expanded clay pebble garden? Plants need water. You should check the instructions from the plant nursery before you water them too much. They will tell you how often to water them. Some plants are inside and need less water than outside, but never overwater so that their roots stay healthy and alive.
Additional Uses for Expanded Clay Pebbles
In addition to growing plants in clay pebbles, this durable material can be used for other purposes. You may enjoy using them around your house as decoration since they come in colors such as white, brown and black or you might want to try planting succulents – which need very little water because of their unique leaves that store moisture – on top of a layer of expanded clay pellets.
They also make great insulation when placed between walls but only if the materials are from credible manufacturers like Hydroton®! Be sure to do your research before committing so that the process goes smoothly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use clay pebbles for orchids?
Yes! Clay pebbles are a good choice for orchids because they’re broken down into different sizes, so you can find the one that best suits your plant’s size.
You should always make sure to check the instructions from the plant nursery before watering your plants outdoors too much. A general rule is once a week if they’re indoors but never overwater so that their roots stay healthy and alive. However, keep in mind that these materials can retain a lot more moisture than other ones.
Can I use clay pebbles for succulents?
Yes, clay pebbles are a good choice for succulents because they come in different sizes so you can find the one that matches your plant.
It is important to keep in mind that plants need a lot of care. They require regular watering, fertilizing and pruning. When you water your plant outdoors do not allow them to stay wet too long or they could get diseased which can be very dangerous for the overall health of the plant because it will stunt their growth as well as cause root rot.
Make sure also when fertilizing outside on top soil-based planters add an inch high layer before adding any potting mix so that extra fertilizer won’t wash away with heavy rains like powdery mildew spores caused by overwatering indoors where they are more vulnerable due to lack of air circulation from closed windows during cold weather months such time periods may develop mold problems dampness and a musty odor.
Can I reuse clay pebbles?
Yes! You can reuse clay pebbles as long as you remove them from the pot and allow to dry completely before using again.
It is important to keep in mind that plants need a lot of care. They require regular watering, fertilizing, and pruning. When you water your plant outdoors do not allow them to stay wet too long or they could get diseased which can be very dangerous for the overall health of the plant because it will stunt their growth as well as cause root rot.
Can I use just clay pebbles in autopots?
Yes, clay pebbles are a good choice for autopots because they come in different sizes so you can find the one that matches your plant.
It is important to keep in mind that plants need a lot of care. They require regular watering and fertilizing when using clay pebble pots outside.
Do clay pebbles absorb water?
Yes, clay pebbles absorb water because they are porous materials.
The perfect decoration for the home or office, these expanded clay pebbles are a great way to both add aesthetic appeal and function. Not only do they aerate around the roots of your plants, but they also make excellent hydroponic net cups that can be used in either soil-less gardening or more traditional methods of growing flowers and vegetables. If you’ve been looking for an easy way to breathe new life into your decorating style without having to spend much time on it at all, this is it!
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