Gelponics products are a more environmentally friendly replacement for Rockwool, which tends to have a high carbon footprint and is non-biodegradable.
But what is Rockwool made of, and how does Gelponics differ?
What is rockwool made of?
Rockwool is a lightweight hydroponic substrate made from molten basaltic rock spun into fine fibres. These fine fibres are subsequently moulded into various cubes, blocks, growing slabs, and granular products.
Rockwool is widely used in horticulture to produce crops such as vegetables and cut flowers. Some smaller hydroponic growers are also using it to take advantage of improved root zone technology.
Many people consider Rockwool and other stone or mineral wool used in natural horticulture products since they are made from rock.
What are Gelponics products made of?
Gelponics is a group of non-synthetic hydrogel compositions that allow for truly sustainable farming. They are manufactured from low-carbon, sustainable materials and do not include any synthetic polymers that are hazardous to the environment.
What are the advantages and disadvantages associated with using Rockwool?
Rockwool absorbs all of the nutrients and water you put into your growing platform to hydrate the roots of your plants, then dries off before they get oversaturated. So long as you don’t overwater it, the quick-drying material prevents illness and mould development.
The main advantages of Rockwool include:
- maintenance of physical properties over time and with successive crops
- lightweight when dry, so easy to handle and shift into place (it will become heavy once fully irrigated to provide stability to the crop)
- ideal for use with cuttings as it maintains ideal levels of aeration and moisture for rapid root development
The disadvantages of Rockwool include:
- it is bulky to transport and store
- it needs to be placed on a surface that is fully level for the moisture gradient to be even and prevent the development of overly dry or saturated patches
- the dust produced when Rockwool is shifted or chopped is hazardous to the human body – basaltic dust may be kept out of your eyes and mouth using gloves, goggles, and a facemask
- Rockwool contains no naturally occurring nutrients so it will need a hydroponic nutrient solution added at every growth stage
- Rockwool is an inert substrate and so doesn’t contain naturally occurring growth stimulants
- unlike many other grow media, Rockwool is not biodegradable – if you toss old Rockwool away, it will take a long time to decompose in a landfill
What are the benefits of using Gelponics instead of Rockwool?
Rockwool is a synthetic inorganic substance made from volcanic rock. In contrast, Gelponics is a collection of non-synthetic hydrogel compositions.
Gelponics is entirely safe and non-hazardous. The white gel is even edible (although we don’t advise that you do eat it). Gelponics is not only 100% recycled but also reusable and recyclable.
If you have any questions about Gelponics innovative greenhouse technology and its suitability as an alternative to Rockwool, don’t hesitate to contact us via phone or email.