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Has anyone tried Growstone?

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Old 04-13-2012, 01:38 AM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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Location: Southeast Washington State - Right on the line of growing zones 6b & 7a
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Default Has anyone tried Growstone?

Just wondering if anybody has tried the Growstone medium. I would like to know how it compares to hydroton and perlite both in performace and price. Is it just the new hype or is it the real deal?

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Old 04-13-2012, 03:14 PM
hammerpamf hammerpamf is offline
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Default Growstone Experiment

Recently I was contacted by the company (via a magazine editor), and they asked me to test out a sample of growstone and write up a review. I'll let you know how it goes - but I have a similar concern regarding the pH being 8.
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:36 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
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Hello fintuckyfarms,
I cant say I have tried it, and this is the first I have really heard of it. But I did a search to see what it was, and this is the stuff I found Grow stones. First I'm not really a fan of growing medias that are reusable anymore. Simply because it's not worth the time and effort to clean and sanitize it for reuse. In small quantities that's fine, but not when you have 20 gallons or more of it to clean, well at that point it just takes too much time for me.

With that said, after reading about the growstones. Well I'll start by saying that it's nice that the company is recycling the glass that would otherwise just be in the landfill. However I didn't read or see anything to make it worth the price to me. It seems to have all the same properties of lava rock, but cost about three times the price (or more). I found a retailer they listed, and the stuff costs $30 for 1.25 cubic feet worth. That's not even enough to fill two 5 gallon buckets. Decorative Lava Rock on the other hand is readily available in most any garden center, and runs $3.68 (at Lowe's, as well as Home Depot) for 1/2 cubic feet. Or in other words 1/2 cubic feet x3= 1.5 cubic feet for about $11. I think they mostly focus on it being a recycled product, and that's nice. But I'm not going to spend three times the money just to be able to say I'm being green.

There were a few people a while back that were experimenting with using Polymer water absorbing crystals, but haven't replayed back since.
nutrients-mediums/2000-polymer-crystals.html#post7177" target="_blank">http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/for....html#post7177
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 04-14-2012 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:43 AM
hammerpamf hammerpamf is offline
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Default Any suggestions for growstone experiment?

As per an earlier post in this thread, I am going to be performing a product test and review of growstone. While I have some ideas already brewing, I thought I'd ask if anyone has suggestions for type of system or particular crop for the experiment? Also, I'll be communicating with the company's director of R&D over the course of the trial if anyone has further questions they'd like answered.
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:54 PM
hammerpamf hammerpamf is offline
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While I have some ideas already brewing, I thought I'd ask if anyone has suggestions for type of system or particular crop for the experiment?
As I mentioned on an earlier post, I have been considering what appropriate trial tests may prove valuable to understanding the efficacy of growstones over other, more popular and entrenched, media. Since they manufacture three particle sizes - small (<0.079"), medium (1/16"-7.16"), and large (1/2"-1"), I think it is appropriate to test all three against other competing media. For the small size, which is recommended for propagation, I am considering testing growstones against aeroponics and perlite with herbs (e.g. bail, catnip, etc). For the medium size, which is recommended for soil amendment, I am thinking about testing growstones against rice hulls (which have a relatively-large air capacity) and a hybrid mixture of the two in a recirculating drip setup. Finally, growstone, shredded rockwool, and a mixture of the two will be tested for the large-sized media on tomato plants, conducted in a recirculating flood-and-drain bucket system.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:38 PM
hammerpamf hammerpamf is offline
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Default Growstone Trial Update 1

Hello all again,

I have received a shipment from the company and I've begun setting up the different systems for the experimental trials. Today I kept plugging away at building a flood and drain bucket system for the first experiment: I'll be growing different cultivars of tomatoes in growstone, expanded clay, and a mixture.

I'm still tweaking my ideas for the other experiments; another is testing the soil aeration properties of the medium-sized media, probably using it to blend with each of the following in different proportions: coco, peat, perlite, shredded rockwool.

They provided me with enough media to run a couple more experiments, so if you have any ideas let me know. Arrion - could you expand on what you have in mind for an experiment: and does "drip n/r system" mean a drip non-recirculating? Thanks for any clarification you can give me.

First thoughts - Positives
Growstones are light, thus easy to move around; quite literally I have never moved the number of cubic feet I did without breaking a sweat (well, a little sweat, but then again it was in the 80's today). Also, though I only ran a few preliminary cycles in the system, the stones showed a good water holding capacity; in other words, they remained moist for a decent amount of time after flooding. I'm interested to test the claim of the company that their media is excellent for steering the plant into different phases of growth.

First thoughts - Negatives
Oh my goodness was this stuff dusty right out of the bag - no more so than hydroton, but dusty nonetheless. A company representative recommended a pre-use soak to adjust the pH down from its initial value of 8. Combine soaking with dust and you get one messy muck in your buckets. So I'm going to be monitoring to see if this is a one-time occurrence or if the stones will keep dusting over the course of its useful life. The other thing that might pose a challenge is the tendency of the stones to float during the flood stage; this really isn't a surprise given how light they are. I'm pretty confident they will anchor down better as the tomatoes develop.

Attached is a photo of the growstones in the FAD bucket system; I would have taken more photos, but a thunderstorm was brewing in the distance. More updates to come, and seriously offer some experiment ideas if any spring to mind.

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