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Soil and Composting: Rockwool v Soil

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Forum: Soil and CompostingReplies: 13, Views: 94
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Rhapsody616
Long Beach, CA

October 29, 2011
12:42 AM

Post #8867688

Has anyone used Rockwool before for growing peppers? I acquired some cubes and thought I would try it this year to grow peppers. Any word of advice is truly welcome!
Thanks

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

October 29, 2011
8:28 AM

Post #8867911

Just remember its CEC is '0', so you'll need to fertilize with a fertilizer that has all nutrients essential to normal growth every time you water.

Al
Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

November 1, 2011
4:56 PM

Post #8872424

Hmmmm...Anytime I have heard the term "Rockwool" used people were talking about asbestos. Obviously this can't be what you are talking about. What are you talking about?
:)

Sonny

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

November 1, 2011
5:34 PM

Post #8872475

Rockwool is used as a grow medium - made from basalt & chalk heated to liquid form at very high temperature and spun into fibers, like cotton candy. It's then cut into chunks or granulated. It can be formulated to be hydrophilic or hydrophobic (water-absorbing or water-repellent).

Al

Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

November 2, 2011
5:02 AM

Post #8873017

Thanks Al

Sonny

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

November 2, 2011
5:08 AM

Post #8873020

I started a lot of seeds one year in rock wool cubes. Never again... but now it's been so long that I've forgotten what I didn't like about it!
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

November 2, 2011
5:40 AM

Post #8873040

What I don't like is that it does not break down. I have little cubes blowing around the yard now. When I dig up the bed, I still find the cubes, mostly intact.
Rhapsody616
Long Beach, CA

November 14, 2011
11:37 AM

Post #8889972

Thank you Al for the info on nutrition!

MaryMcP, you say they do not break down? How did they hold water? Have you had any root rot from them? Did they have good drainage?

Thanks
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

November 14, 2011
12:44 PM

Post #8890068

They seemed to hold water just fine. I just prefer sponge plugs. I use the BioDome system from Park Seed. That system has worked really well for me for at least 4 seed starting seasons. In hindsight, it may be that the rock wool plugs I found blowing around in the yard were an anomoly, doesn't make sense that they would not break down in the soil. I probably am not a good source for information since I have limited use. Sorry for the confusion.

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

November 14, 2011
1:22 PM

Post #8890134

It is a mineral product (rock heated until it's a liquid, then 'spun' like cotton candy), so it breaks down VERY slowly - so slow that for all intents & purposes it's inert.

Al
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

November 14, 2011
1:45 PM

Post #8890170

Thanks for the explanation!

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 14, 2011
4:27 PM

Post #8890360

I wish that rock wool were manufactured as partially-sintered "stiff pretzles" of fine fibers. The unsintered parts would still hold water, but fairly stiff particles that are shaped like rods or tongue depressers would resist compaction better than spherical grains, limp fibers or blobss of wool.

Preferably helical pretzles with varying ptiches, so they couldn't nest tightly.

Corey
Rhapsody616
Long Beach, CA

November 15, 2011
12:40 AM

Post #8890853

MaryMcP, no worries. It all got cleared up in the end! Thanks!
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

February 22, 2012
4:39 PM

Post #9016363

Rockwool was first produced in this country in my hometown about 1905 and was a booming industry for many years. At first they dug and quarried the limestone that was nearly on the surface at the west end of town.
Yes, it is nearly indestructible.

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