The Soil.Ninja Guide to Semi Hydro and Growing with Hydroponics

The Soil.Ninja Guide to Semi Hydro and Growing with Hydroponics

So you're making the switch to Semi-Hydroponic Growing and want to know where to start? Then you're in the right place! Regardless of whether you purchased our Semi Hydro mix with or without the slow-release fertiliser, it's time to open the bag and create a small hole at the bottom to initiate the essential flushing process. Dust buildup can occur during transportation and handling, so it's crucial to flush the medium before use.

The best way to flush the medium is to remove the inner pot with the plant and run water through it for a minute or two in the sink or shower. This ensures any salt buildup is dissolved and washed away.

Once flushed and ready to go, choose a suitable pot for semi-hydroponics (even a plastic pot in a cache pot will do) and fill it about one-third of the way with the Semi-Hydro mix.

Semi-Hydro Pot Methods
If you're transferring water-propagated plants, simply place them in the pot and fill the rest of the way up to the top. If you're transplanting a soil-grown plant, make sure to thoroughly wash all soil from the roots before transplanting. Once the roots are clean, position the root system and plant two-thirds of the way into the pot to maximise contact with the growing medium. Clear pots are recommended for monitoring and enjoying the root growth.

Cleaning Roots

When it comes to watering in semi-hydroponics, the basics are straightforward. Ensure the built-in reservoir in self-watering planters is filled, or place a clear pot with good drainage one-quarter submerged for optimal water and nutrient uptake. Regularly check the reservoir to ensure it provides adequate hydration to the roots.

How To Water:

So what are the basics of Semi-Hydro, i.e. watering?
Well, this part is super simple! Just make sure your built-in reservoir is filled in self watering planters or just sit a clear pot with good drainage ¼ the way submerged for the best water and nutrient uptake! Check on your reservoir regularly to make sure it’s providing the necessary hydration to your lovely roots.

Every few weeks, it's essential to flush the inner pot to remove any salt buildup from hard water and nutrients. Allowing salt buildup to persist can lead to root burn, so it's important to avoid this.

Semi-Hydro - Watering

Semi-hydroponics may seem intimidating, but starting with some experiments using props like Pothos, Monstera, and Alocasia can help you learn and become comfortable with the process. It's not significantly different from soil-based growing, but when done right, it can take challenging plants to new heights.

What Does Our Mix Do?

One revolutionary aspect of our Semi-Hydro mix is the inclusion of Zeolite, a detoxifying and buffering aggregate. Zeolite has the ability to remove excess ammonia and potassium, which are common causes of root burn and death. It plays a vital role in nutrient uptake and water distribution, thanks to its highly porous and versatile structure. The macro structure supports primary roots for anchoring, while the microstructure supports secondary, finer roots.

The main structure is composed of highly porous and versatile materials that are second to none for up-taking nutrients and water and distributing it throughout the vessel with grace and ease. By nature these aggregates have no dedicated form, which creates the very best natural grooves and surfaces for a successful root system. Whilst the extremely porous macro structure supports primary roots and their need for anchoring, the micro-structure supports secondary, finer roots as they creep and crawl along the surfaces.

The components in our mix also help buffer the movement of nutrients and water, ensuring roots are not overwhelmed. This promotes better airflow throughout the pot, keeping the roots healthy.

Fertiliser - Regarding fertilisation, our Semi-Hydro mix does not include fertiliser. You are free to add our Slow Release fertiliser or use your favourite brand. Our Slow Release fertiliser provides all the necessary nutrients and minerals for root support and plant health. After 8-9 months, you can consider adding extra fertiliser if needed.

Our 8-9 month Slow Release provides all the required nutrients and minerals for brilliant root support and plant health. And after those 8-9 months are up, feel free to pick up a bumper pack and mix some extra in! Our fertiliser is a hearty NPK of 11-21-9 +6% Mg! It’s packed full of delicious nutrients to make your plants thrive! 

Additional Uses?

Additionally, our mix can be used in active hydroponics systems or as a neutral drainage mix for denser soils. The possibilities are vast.

Coarse vs Fine Semi Hydro

When choosing between Coarse and Fine Semi-Hydro, consider the thickness of the plant's roots compared to the airspaces provided by the substrate. Thicker-rooted plants like Anthurium or Monstera benefit from the Coarse grade, while fine-rooted plants like Calathea, Alocasia, and Cacti prefer the Finer grade. Juvenile Philodendrons usually prefer the Fine grade, while mature ones may find the airspaces in the Fine grade too small.

Can I Use Semi Hydro for my Cacti?

For Cacti, our Fine Semi-Hydro mix is also suitable as a soilless mixture. However, the watering method differs. After flushing the Semi-Hydro mix and removing the old substrate from the roots, allow the pot to fully dry out in a sunny spot. Then, perform a thorough drenching by running water through the mix, ensuring every bit of aggregate absorbs some water. Afterward, place the pot back in its sunny spot without a reservoir. Water the Cacti like you would a normal Cactus, about once a month on average.

Plant Recommendations:

We're excited to see how you use and enjoy our Semi-Hydro mix with your plants. Share your hydroponic journey with us on Instagram: @Soil.Ninja.

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