Why should you switch to clay balls
Clay balls are essentially clay spheres fired in a kiln and made to provide a drainage-friendly growth medium for hydroponic cultivation systems. Environmentally friendly, PH balanced and sterile, they are available in a variety of different sizes and densities.
Clay balls are rapidly gaining popularity for a variety of hydroponics setups. Cost-effective, versatile and easily available, they offer a number of benefits over traditional growth substrates.
They are particularly useful for growth applications that require support for growing root structures. They hold plants securely in place, preventing them from floating on the surface or sinking to the bottom of the container. They are also excellent for draining due to their round shape and porous texture.
Clay balls deliver the three main things plants need for healthy growth namely: adequate moisture, accessible nutrients and breathability. They also retain moisture, which reduces the risk of root systems drying out.
Ventilation is a big advantage, as their lightweight and porous structure prevents water logging and helps roots stay healthy.
However, they don’t change the fundamentals of hydroponics. Adequate plant nutrition, lighting, air and water need to be managed specifically for the crop being cultivated.
In principle, they can be washed and sterilised for reuse, but depending on the plants you desire to grow, that may not be the optimal solution. There is also some evidence that plant matter may sometimes grow into the clay balls themselves, so it is wise to avoid re-using the same clay balls for different crops.
However, they are a cost-effective and plant-friendly material and a wide variety of crops would find them to be a hospitable growth substrate. It is always a good idea to do your research on the specifics of the plant you wish to cultivate and get an expert opinion on whether clay balls are the best-suited material for your cultivation goals.