Stonewool Grow Media- plugs, starters, grow blocks, slabs, multi slabs…
Stonewool Grow Blocks:
In the world of horticulture, there is an increased demand for higher yields with less inputs. In order to keep pace for the growing demand of products, the industry has manufactured and developed ways to increase production without stressing the wallet. One of these materials is known as stonewool. Stonewool is a growing media that is created from basalt rock that is melted along with limestone to be then spun and shaped into fibers. After the fibers are strung, a binder is mixed in to allow the fibers to stick and be compressed into a mat. This mat is then cut and shaped into cubes, plugs, slabs, granulate, and other shapes.
When it was originally developed, this man made material was used in the construction industry. In the 1970’s research was conducted to see the feasibility of growing in the material. These studies allowed for the development of stonewool as a growing medium. In today’s industry, this material is used to grow a wide variety of vegetables, flowers, and herbs all across the globe. This material can be modified to meet the requirements of a wide range of crops and growth phases based on the overall fiber configuration during manufacture. This material can be used at all stages of the growing process with specific sizes and shapes for plants at different stages of growth.
Grow Plugs – Starter Plugs – Grow Cubes
Stonewool cubes are small, but mighty as they hold a tremendous amount of water. This water provides an excellent buffer in between cycles in a system reducing the chances of dry-out in the instance of a system malfunction or an unusually high water uptake day. Stonewool cubes will hold roughly eighteen percent oxygen in the fibers meaning that there is excellent oxygenation of the plant roots. This also reduces the chances of over-watering and root rot for crops. These cubes are best for starting and germinating seeds or propagating cuttings. There are various sizes available in plug ranging from 1.5” to slightly larger depending on the needs of the plant at time of germination or propagation.
During the germinating process, seeds are very delicate and require a careful balance of water and air. If there is too much water, the roots will rot, if there is not enough the roots will wilt and die off. Stonewool cubes and related products have the ability to provide a homeostasis of water and air for an ideal growing environment for healthy and happy roots. The key to healthy crops is in the roots as they are the foundations and the means of nutrient uptake for the plant. Another benefit is the cubes can also be easily transplanted into larger slabs and blocks later in the growth cycle reducing transplant stress and stunted growth that is usually associated with transplanting to larger containers. Larger cubes and slabs either have the precut squares for cubes or can be customized to spacing and cube size for larger transplants.
Grow blocks are the next step up in the size and abilities to support plants in the growing process. Grow blocks can come in a variety of sizes to support various sizes and types of crops. These can be an easy upgrade from the starter plugs as the grow blocks have pre-cut holes that fit the stonewool plugs. Not all grow blocks are equipped with pre-cut holes, but they can be easily customized to grow plug dimensions to allow for the transplant of the plugs. By starting with plugs and transplanting into the stonewool grow blocks, this reduces transplanting stress on the plants. Instead of roots being disturbed, the root systems are safely nestled in their plugs and once transplanted into the larger stonewool grow blocks, the roots can continue to grow through the medium and into the new stonewool material.
Stonewool grow slabs have the same characteristics as the grow blocks, however, instead of a single block shape, the slabs have the capabilities to house several plants in one stonewool slab. These are ideal for large hydroponic systems as each slab can grow several plants. Grow block are ideal for larger plants, while the slabs are ideal for smaller or medium sized plants grown in hydroponic or water based systems. Similar to the grow blocks, slabs can be precut with holes perfect for transplanting directly from plugs to the slabs. With the same benefits of reduced root damage and plant stress, and the ease of stonewool in upgrading growing space for crops the use of stonewool has become a very popular choice in a commercial greenhouse. These slabs are also available in multiples for more growing potential in the greenhouse.
In need of high quality, commercial-grade stonewool grow media? Click here to shop RedRock Blocks North American sourced and manufactured stonewool grow media.