Although sand can be used as a growing medium with success, it has poor aeration qualities due to the small interstitial spaces between the grains. Remember, when choosing a soilfree medium for hydroponics, to look for good water holding capacity combined with good drainage qualities. This combination will ensure that your choice of mediums will allow the roots to feed, exhaust CO2, and ingest Oxygen properly. Provided proper nutrient and water circulation is met, you'd be surprised at what mediums plants can be grown in. I once grew a plant in Styrofoam packing peanuts and we've all seen weeds growing from the cracks in cement sidewalks. Recent research has revealed the importance oxygen plays in the root zone. Oxygen is necessary for the plant to perform respiration, which provides the energy needed for the uptake of water and nutrient ions. These studies have proven that increased absorption of oxygen by the roots results in
healthier, larger and faster growing crops. As the results of this research are released, new growing methods are being designed to apply these findings and improve production further.
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