The porous micro-surface texture and interior porous structure of expanded clay resist clogging and provides superior aeration that promotes growth of delicate, fine root systems. A healthy soil profile can be difficult to maintain. Since most soils consist of solid particles, water and air, it is necessary to maintain a careful balance of these elements to establish a healthy root system. Generally, a good soil profile is approximately 25% water, 25% air and 50% solid particulate matter. However, when soils are compacted an imbalance occurs. Solid particles are pressed together, and water and air are squeezed out. Blending expanded clay with your soil mix easily and economically restores and maintains this delicate balance. As other advantage, the soil weight will be reduced by this lightweight soil mix, therefore it is opportunities offered for reduced dead load of grass or landscapes area on the floors and obviously, earthquake load of structure. As a result, expanded clay has a great capacity for absorbing and storing water. As the soil dries this stored water migrates back to the soil helping to maintain optimum moisture levels.
Mixtures of Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA®) (2-8mm) +Soil + Organic Manure in equal portions have been used to improve the soil structure of nurseries.
- It improves the physical characteristics of these classic substrates for cutting production, for the growth of hothouse plants, flower borders, etc.
- Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA®) Increase air space for healthier root development.
- Reduce watering cycle and compaction of soil and Increase soil porosity.
- Reduce of soil weight of the container, useful when transporting plants from container to customer’s garden.
- Ultimately, labor cost will be reduced, through the more efficient development of the plant.
Rivashaa Eco Design Solutions offer 2-8 mm crushed Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA®), which ultimately helps to reduce the size of macro-pores substantially and to increase the media’s water retention, which is ideal during the sensitive germination stage. These crushed Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA®) of 2-8 mm works as a traditional potting mix until you are ready to transplant into the final system. If a greenhouse plans to start clones using clay pebbles or Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA®), there are two methods growers routinely use.
- The low transplant technique—usually used in deep water culture
- The top drip method
The low transplant technique is simple, one only need to remember two things:
- Provide humidity up top
- Plant your node down low in the pot
In other words, only fill your net pot about one-third to one-half full and then plant the stem 1 inch or so below the Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA®) pebbles or balls.
This allows the portion of the ECA® pebbles or Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA®) to be submerged in the deep water culture reservoir to act as a wick for the couple inches above the waterline where the clone has been positioned.
In the top drip method, which is usually used for drip systems, starting deep water culture systems, or starting ebb and flood systems, clones are placed directly into their permanent grow site.
One must ensure that the drip emitters are placed close enough to the freshly placed cutting and there is a sufficient flow rate. With newly planted clones, whenever possible, one must aim to provide at least three emitters with a more open flow rate of about 3 to 4 liters an hour.
If the Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA®) or ECA® pebbles are properly soaked and the emitters are fastened correctly, clones take root quickly and easily.
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