What are expanded clay pebbles used for?

May, 2022
Darren Spalding

Expanded clay is sometimes called hydroclay, clay pebbles, lightweight expanded clay aggregate (LECA) or simple clay. Expanded clay is sometimes called hydroclay, clay pebbles, lightweight expanded clay aggregate (LECA) or simple clay. Common applications include concrete blocks, concrete slabs, geotechnical fillings, lightweight concrete, water treatment, hydroponics, aquaponics, and hydroponics. Expanded clay is sometimes called hydroclay, clay pebbles, lightweight expanded clay aggregate (LECA) or simple clay.

LECA is used in agriculture and in the countryside. Expanded clay is sometimes called hydroclay, clay pebbles, lightweight expanded clay aggregate (LECA) or simple clay. The high-temperature popping during the manufacturing process gives the medium its large, airy macropores (spaces between each piece of expanded clay) as well as its micropores, which are contained in each piece of expanded clay. Rinsing provides a clean start that won't cause murky problems in your reservoir, and the lesser-known process for soaking the pebbles is critical to really maximizing yields with expanded clay.

Does expanded clay absorb water?

Again, LECA clay is initially more expensive than soil, but it pays off as you can use it for multiple plants or harvests. When you use leca, you can create false soil and lift the roots of your plants from the bottom of the pot. In this way, the clay pebbles contained in the soil can help regulate moisture and the soil can provide nutrients. The heat creates thousands of tiny bubbles in the clay during the process, giving the LECA its pseudo-circular shape.

As I mentioned in How to avoid overwatering your plants, the most important part of growing your plants in Leca is not allowing the roots to sit in water.

What are expanded clay balls?

For potted plants, pull the plant out of the expanded clay pellets and rinse the pellets from above. Growers typically only use hydroton as their main growing medium, or mix it with your materials such as perlite, vermiculite, and hydrotone at the bottom of the mix to improve the drainage of the mix. Because they're so light, easy to transplant and harvest, and easy to handle, they're popular with small producers who use media bedding or Dutch bucket techniques. The clay balls keep the plants from drying out completely but still ensure proper drainage which means less water, perfect for those who forget to water or are on vacation.

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