Growing Media, Run-To-Waste & Aeration Solutions

November 22, 2018

When you think of the best hydro-growing systems, what comes to mind?



The key to massive reproducible yields when using hydroponics is a highly optimised growing system and environment. Get all of these factors right as often as you can and your yields will be consistently high.


In order to create the best environment for your plants, there are several things that need to be considered. These environmental elements include airflow, light, CO2 levels, relative humidity and temperature.


Apart from these, there are other factors which need considering and are very important in order to maximise your yields;


Growing with Coco Peat                                              

Coco Peat is a growers dream and is very simple to set up and effective as a means of growing your favourite plants. Plants grown in cocopeat can be hand watered or fed using automated feeding systems. Automated feeding systems utilise reservoir tanks, small (or large) pumps, simple plumbing and electronic timer systems for controlling the amount of watering or feeding. The good thing about cocopeat is that if you forget to water your plants or if the pump fails, the cocopeat retains enough moisture to sustain the plant until the problem is rectified. It’s more forgiving than many other hydroponic systems. Cocopeat based systems are one of the easiest to maintain, especially for use in the home hobby and commercial farming installations.


It’s about growing your food plants in containers in your own home garden where soil or potting mix is replaced by a cocopeat growing media, or one based on a coco peat combination with perlite to give better air movement.


Coco peat has a high water holding capacity allowing rapid absorption of water and nutrients, both of which are easily available to plants. It also holds onto moisture better than most other mediums including potting mix, for example. It’s easily hydrated and is a by-product of the coconut industry making it a great renewable resource.



Nutrition Elements

  1. You provide a sound nutritional program to the plants through the use of a well-balanced nutrient and additive program
  2. That the nutrient is maintained at the correct temperature to ensure adequate levels of oxygen are available to the roots of the plant
  3. That the nutrient is maintained at optimum elemental levels and is not allowed to become depleted and/or imbalanced
  4. That the nutrient is maintained at the correct pH to ensure optimum uptake (bioavailability) of the mineral elements required for plant growth
  5. That the nutrient is maintained at the correct EC to ensure that viable amounts of food are readily available to the plants

Different Growing Systems

These days, the market is flooded with different run-to-waste / recycling systems, and it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for you-

Recycling Systems

In these kinds of growing systems, the nutrients are delivered to the plants and then returned to the reservoir. This nutrient is then delivered to the plants again and again and over time this perpetual recycling of the nutrient delivery can cause an imbalance and start to recycle nutrient-depleted substances which can affect the growing quality of your crop and ultimately the yield. Crops with high-intake requirements are particularly affected by this process- and whilst it is possible to run these systems effectively, they do require significant amounts of maintenance and upkeep.

Recirculating systems

Operating differently to recycled systems, a recirculating system the drainage water doesn’t flow away but is reused.


Run-To-Waste System

Run-To-Waste is a system of hydroponic growing where the nutrients are not recycled, instead an inert medium is used that has a similar moisture retention rate as soil, holding it for long periods without the need for constant upkeep or replenishment. As a result, the general feeds are smaller and not as frequent as some recycling regimes.


In the Run-to-waste system, plants are given regulated doses of water and nutrients such that the by the time a new dose is injected, the previous feed has simply drained out, getting rid of the need for re-dosing. Since the nutrients are not recycled, there are some distinct advantaged to this kind of system. They include;


  • No nutrient exhaustion/depletion as the plant receives fresh nutrient at every feed
  • pH stability over and above that of a recycling system
  • EC stability (in nutrient tank) over and above that of recycling systems
  • Nutrient less prone to bacteria/pathogen build up
  • Nutrient less prone to sodium chloride build up where mains water is used
  • Less maintenance
  • Roots are well insulated from heat
  • Moisture retention in medium will last for day or longer in cooler weather


The run-to-waste system is ideal for larger plants with high nutrient uptake needs.

Hydroponic Generations have a wide range of growing products to get you started on your project, or to update your existing set up. For advice on how to get started, or how to increase your yields, get in touch with the team at Hydroponic Generations today!