Key Parameters for Evaluating a Substrate

Choosing the right substrate is crucial to the success of hydroponic growing, as it influences plant health, irrigation and drainage efficiency, as well as nutrient availability. Below are the key parameters to consider when assessing the suitability of a substrate for hydroponic growing.

  • Water Retention, Porosity and Drainage

An optimal substrate must be able to retain enough water to provide the plants with a constant supply of moisture, but it must also allow good drainage to avoid waterlogging and root suffocation. The relationship between water retention and drainage must be balanced to avoid problems such as salt accumulation and lack of oxygen to the roots. In simple terms, it is generally considered that a substrate should have around 70% of its volume made up of macro- and micropores, these in turn being equally distributed. To evaluate this, the water release curve of the substrate is used, which determines the existing volume of water, air and solid fraction according to the water matrix tension of the substrate. An ideal substrate would have a pore space of 75-80%, a bulk density of less than 400 g/L, an aeration capacity of 20-30% of the volume and a percentage of easily usable water (between 10 cm a.c. and 50 cm a.c. of matrix tension) of around 20-30% of the volume.

  • Ion Exchange Capacity

The substrate must be able to retain and release nutrients efficiently so that plants can access them when they are needed. The nutritional capacity of the substrate is determined by the parameter Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), which represents the capacity of the cantions of the different nutrient elements to be retained on the negatively charged surface of a solid particle of substrate and which can therefore be stored in the substrate and released into the substrate solution and be available for absorption by the roots. A good CEC is considered to be above 20 meq/100g substrate.

  • Stability and Durability

A substrate must be sufficiently stable and durable to support plants throughout their growth cycle. Biodegradation reactions of organic substrates affect the availability of nutrients, especially nitrogen, creating a competition between the micro-organisms in the substrate and the plant if the material from which the substrate is derived is easily decomposable. It also affects the physical properties, because it would lead to a situation where the macropores of the substrate would tend to shrink and the aeration capacity of the roots would be reduced.

  • pH and Neutrality

The pH of the substrate influences the availability of nutrients for plants. A substrate that has the ability to maintain an adequate pH for plant growth can prevent nutrient deficiencies and toxicity problems. An ideal pH is considered to be between 5.2 and 6.3, as this is the pH range in which nutrient uptake is most available, depending, of course, on the species to be grown.

  • Availability and Cost

The choice of substrate should also take into account local availability and cost. Some substrates may be expensive or difficult to obtain in certain regions, which may affect the economic viability of the crop.

  • Crop Compatibility

Different crops may have different requirements in terms of substrate. Some crops may prefer lighter substrates, while others may thrive in denser substrates. It is important to choose a substrate that is compatible with the type of plant to be grown, which is why versatility in terms of the particle size that a substrate can have is so important, as particle size leads to more or less aeration, which contributes to the plant adapting correctly to substrate growing. The most versatile substrates in terms of particle size are perlite, coconut fibre and almond shells.

  • Environmental Sustainability

Consideration of the environmental sustainability of the substrate is essential. Some substrates can have a greater environmental impact due to their extraction, manufacture and disposal, such as substrates of mineral origin. Opting for renewable and environmentally friendly substrates is an important consideration.

In summary, the selection of an optimal substrate for hydroponic cultivation is a comprehensive process that involves the evaluation of several interrelated parameters. A careful balance between water retention, drainage, aeration, nutrient availability and other factors is essential to ensure healthy plant growth and long-term success in hydroponics.

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Privacy policy

Last updated on 10 January 2023
Effective date 10 January 2023

This Privacy Policy describes the policies of THE GROWERPol. Ind. La Polvorista, Calle Campos del Río, nave i5, 30500 Molina de Segura, Murcia, Spain, email: info@thegrower.es, regarding the collection, use and disclosure of your information that we collect when you use our website ( https://thegrower.es/ ). By accessing or using the Service, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your information in accordance with this Privacy Policy. If you do not consent, do not access or use the Service.
We may modify this Privacy Policy at any time without prior notice to you and will post the revised Privacy Policy on the Service. The revised Policy will be effective 180 days after the revised Policy is posted on the Service and your continued access to or use of the Service after that time will constitute your acceptance of the revised Privacy Policy. We therefore encourage you to periodically review this page.

Information we collect 
We will collect and process the following personal information about you when you submit forms.

How we use your information
We will use the information we collect about you for the following purposes:

Compilation of customer comments
Administration information
If we want to use your information for any other purpose, we will ask for your consent and we will use your information only upon receiving your consent and then only for the purposes for which you give consent, unless we are required by law to do otherwise.

Retention of your information
We will retain your personal information with us for 90 days to 2 years after users cancel their accounts or for as long as we need it to fulfill the purposes for which it was collected, as detailed in this Privacy Policy. We may need to retain certain information for longer periods, such as for recordkeeping/reporting purposes in accordance with applicable law or for other legitimate reasons, such as enforcement of legal rights, fraud prevention, etc. Residual anonymous information and aggregated information, none of which identifies you (directly or indirectly), may be stored indefinitely.

Your rights
Depending on the law that applies, you may have the right to access and rectify or erase your personal data or receive a copy of your personal data, restrict or object to the active processing of your data, ask us to share (port) your personal information to another entity, withdraw any consent you have provided to us to process your data, the right to lodge a complaint with a legal authority and any other rights that may be relevant under applicable laws. To exercise these rights, you may write to us at info@thegrower.es. We will respond to your request in accordance with applicable law.
Please note that if you do not allow us to collect or process the required personal information or withdraw consent to process it for the required purposes, you may not be able to access or use the services for which your information was requested.

COOKIES

For more information on how we use these and your choices in relation to these tracking technologies, please see our Cookie Policy.

Security
The security of your information is important to us and we will use reasonable security measures to prevent the loss, misuse or unauthorised alteration of your information under our control. However, given the inherent risks, we cannot guarantee absolute security and, accordingly, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us and you do so at your own risk.

Complaints/Data Protection Officer
If you have any queries or concerns about the processing of your information that is available with us, you can send an email to our Complaints Officer at THE GROWERPol. Ind. La Polvorista, Calle Campos del Río, nave i5, 30500 Molina de Segura, Murcia, e-mail: info@thegrower.es. We will address your concerns in accordance with applicable law.

Cookies policy

A cookie is a small text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. Its usefulness is that the website is able to remember your visit when you return to browse that page. Cookies usually store information of a technical nature, personal preferences, personalisation of content, usage statistics, links to social networks, access to user accounts, etc. The purpose of the cookie is to adapt the content of the website to your profile and needs, without cookies the services offered by any page would be significantly diminished. 

 

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT COOKIES

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. The purpose of the cookie is for the website to be able to remember your visit when you return to that page. Although many people do not know it, cookies have been used for 20 years, when the first browsers for the World Wide Web appeared.

What is not a cookie?

It's not a virus, not a biscuit, not a Trojan, not a pretty cat, not spam, not spyware, not pop-up windows.

What information does a cookie store?

Cookies do not usually store sensitive information about you, such as credit card or bank details, photographs, your ID card or personal information, etc. The data they do store is of a technical nature, personal preferences, personalisation of content, etc.

The web server does not associate you as a person but your web browser. In fact, if you usually browse with Internet Explorer and try browsing the same website with Firefox or Chrome you will see that the web does not realise that you are the same person because it is actually associating the browser, not the person.

What types of cookies are there?

  • Technical cookies: These are the most basic and allow, among other things, to know when a human or an automated application is browsing, when an anonymous user and a registered user are browsing, basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic website.
  • Analysis cookies: These collect information on the type of browsing you are doing, the sections you use most, products consulted, time of use, language, etc.
  • Advertising cookies: These show advertising based on your browsing habits, your country of origin, language, etc.

What are first-party and third-party cookies?

First-party cookies are those generated by the website you are visiting and third-party cookies are those generated by external services or providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.

What happens if I disable cookies?

To help you understand the extent to which cookies can be disabled, here are some examples:

  • You may not share content from that website on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
  • The website will not be able to adapt the content to your personal preferences, as is often the case with online shops.
  • You will not be able to access the personal area of that website, such as My Account, My Profile or My Orders.
  • Online shops: It will be impossible for you to shop online, you will have to do so by telephone or by visiting the physical shop if you have one.
  • It will not be possible to customise your geographical preferences such as time zone, currency or language.
  • The website will not be able to perform web analytics on visitors and web traffic, which will make it difficult for the website to be competitive.
  • You will not be able to write on the blog, upload photos, post comments, rate or rate content. The website will also not be able to tell whether you are a human or an automated application posting spam.
  • It will not be possible to display targeted advertising, which will reduce the website's advertising revenue.
  • All social networks use cookies, if you disable them you will not be able to use any social network.

 

Can cookies be deleted and/or blocked?

Yes, you can delete and block cookies. Below, we provide links to the settings of the most commonly used browsers so that you can proceed according to your preferences:

Google Chrome: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95647?hl=es-419 

Mozilla Firefox: https://support.mozilla.org/es/kb/proteccion-de-rastreo-mejorada-en-firefox-para-esc 

Safari: https://support.apple.com/es-es/HT201265 

Microsoft Edge: https://support.microsoft.com/es-es/microsoft-edge/eliminar-las-cookies-en-microsoft-edge-63947406-40ac-c3b8-57b9-2a946a29ae09 

Internet Explorer: https://support.microsoft.com/es-es/topic/eliminar-y-administrar-cookies-168dab11-0753-043d-7c16-ede5947fc64d  

Cookies used on this website

Following the guidelines of the Spanish Data Protection Agency we proceed to detail the use of cookies that makes this website in order to inform you as accurately as possible.

This website uses the following third-party cookies:

  Google Analytics: Stores cookies to compile statistics on traffic and volume of visits to this website, as well as the language used. By using this website you are consenting to the processing of information about you by Google. Therefore, the exercise of any rights in this regard should be done by communicating directly with Google (E.g.: -APISID, CONSENT, HSID, NID, SID, _ga, _gat)

Social media cookies: Our "Social plugins"are not integrated into our portal, but only via an HTML link (so-called "shariff plug-in"). This ensures that a connection to the social network provider's service is not created just by using our website. Clicking on a social network button on our website will open a new window and a link to the service provider's page. For rights and settings options related to protecting your privacy, please refer to the providers' data privacy policies:

Disabling or deleting cookies

This website provides users with an easily accessible form to enable or disable the cookies used by us according to the user's personal preferences at any time.



On the other hand, with respect to plug-ins from external entities (such as Google Inc. services) used on our website, we recommend that all users access the privacy policies of each service provider for more information:

http://www.google.es/intl/es/policies/privacy/ 

 Additional notes

  • Neither this website nor its legal representatives are responsible for the content or the veracity of the privacy policies of the third parties mentioned in this cookie policy.
  • Web browsers are the tools responsible for storing cookies and from this place you must exercise your right to delete or disable them. Neither this website nor its legal representatives can guarantee the correct or incorrect handling of cookies by the aforementioned browsers.
  • In some cases it is necessary to install cookies so that the browser does not forget your decision not to accept them.
  • In the case of Google Analytics cookies, Google stores cookies on servers located in the United States and undertakes not to share them with third parties, except where necessary for the operation of the system or where required by law. According to Google, it does not store your IP address. Google Inc. is a company that adheres to the Safe Harbour Agreement, which guarantees that all data transferred will be treated with a level of protection in accordance with European regulations.
  • If you have any doubts or queries about this cookies policy, please do not hesitate to contact us via the contact section.
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