If you would like to monitor the growth of your hydroponic plants as they germinate, you can use some hydroponic sponges. Aside from this monitoring purpose, these sponges also protect the roots of the transplanted tree. On top of that, hydroponic sponges will not leave a mess in your farming spot.
However, hydroponic sponges are not easy to get. When you have a shortage of sponges, you might want to reuse the older batches.
Now the question comes – can you reuse hydroponic sponges? If you want an answer to this question, then continue reading this article.
Can You Reuse Hydroponic Sponges?
Yes, you can reuse hydroponic sponges for long periods. However, you will have to clean the sponges after every harvest. Then you can store them for future use.
There isn’t much work to cleaning a hydroponic sponge. Here are the steps that can help you with this task.
- Harvest the plants in the sponge.
- Place the sponge in a large bowl.
- Add some hot water and soak the sponge.
- Allow the sponge to soak for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Squeeze the foam to remove any stubborn roots and dirt.
- Place the washed sponges in a clean bowl.
How Long Can I Reuse a Hydroponic Sponge?
The service life of your sponge depends on how you use the sponge. If you clean the sponge thoroughly and frequently, you can use the sponge for at least 6 months.
Is It Safe to Reuse Hydroponic Sponges?
Yes, you can reuse hydroponic sponges. But before using an old sponge, look out for fungi or old plant material. Also, remember to sterilize the sponge in diluted bleach solution or hot water.
What is a Hydroponic Sponge?
Hydroponic sponges are used in germinating seeds. Made from foam rubber, they can protect the seedlings from root damage. Other types
How to Use an Hydrophonic Sponge
To get the best results from a hydroponic sponge, you will need to follow some guidelines. Luckily, these steps do not require special skills or excess materials.
- Dilute some bleach in a bowl
- Soak the new sponge into the bleach
- Fix the sponge into a waterproof container/ net pot of the same size.
- Add some water to the bottom of the net pot.b
- Get some seeds to plant on the sponge. Ideal seeds include seeds from marigold, lettuce, watercress, and tomatoes. Also, look out for species that grow quickly.
- Sprinkle some seeds on the foam. Make sure that you have enough space between the seeds.
- Pat the seeds or press them into the sponge.
- Cover the container with cling film.
- Poke some holes into the cling film.
- Keep the seeds in a warm place and allow them to germinate.
- Inspect the seeds from time to time and look out for unhealthy plants.
- Mist the sponge lightly with a spray bottle.
- Wait for the seeds to become seedlings and move them to sunny areas like window sills or your home.
- Allow the seedlings to grow to a minimum of 3 inches. Then move them to larger containers.
- Prepare the plants for harvest and wash the sponges for reuse.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Hydroponic Sponge?
There are tons of benefits from using hydroponic sponges. For instance, these tools keep your plants from root damage. Also, they are compact, reusable, portable, and do not cost much.
What are the Best Plants for a Sponge?
The best plants for using a sponge include broccoli, onions, and tomatoes. If your sponge has large holes, try planting peas or sunflowers. With a sponge, you can also grow mustard, radishes, beet, and arugula.
How to Make a Hydroponic Sponge
If you don’t want to reuse a hydroponic sponge, you might have to spend extra time and cash to get a new one. But, you can save some money by making your hydroponic sponge.
- Foam Rubber/Sponge
- Make a square shape on the foam rubber.
- Use the ruler to measure 2 inches on all sides.
- Cut out the square shape with the knife
- Cut out a single line on the foam rubber for your plant.
Can I Have Pests or Diseases If I Reuse Hydroponic Sponges?
Yes, you can have pests or diseases if you reuse hydroponic. Also, you can have the same problem with new and unused sponges. You can avoid this problem by cleaning and sterilizing the sponges before using them.
How to Fight Pests that Attack Hydroponic Plants on Reused Sponges
Although you might keep the sponges indoors, there is a high chance of attracting annoying pests. Popular hydroponic pests include thrips, aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites.
But there are several ways that you can deal with these insects that can destroy your plants.
1. Use a Spray
Consider using sprays to fight pests in your home. But before you use this solution, avoid anything toxic. You can try Rhino Skin as it offers protection from pest attacks. It even performs well against diseases.
2. Hang Up Some Traps
If you are looking for a safer way to defeat any pests, try working with sticky traps. Apart from catching different insects, the cards are easy to use, simply hang them across the room and near the sponges.
To fight different pests at the same time, it would help if you used different colors of cards. With this in mind, blue cards can deal with thrips. Then you can use white cards for whiteflies or gnats.
3. Talk to the Experts
If you need extra help with fighting pests that attack your plants on reused sponges, try talking to local hydroponic stores. After all, such areas tend to offer the best advice for handling pests that can attack your plants.
Extra Tips for Reusing Sponges
Here are some quick tips that will help you with Resuing Hydroponic Sponges.
- Inspect the sponges for mold
- Ensure that the sponges do not dry out
- Do not soak sponges with plants
- Do not wash your sponges with detergent or similar products
- Clean sponges with a mild solution of bleach and water
Since hydroponic sponges might look expensive, you might want to reuse older sponges. Thanks to proper storage and cleaning, an older sponge can work without any hassles.
Before using the old sponge, clean out dirt or fungi with hot water. You can also sterilize the sponge with a mild solution of bleach/warm water.
As you use the sponges, inspect your plants for disease or pests. Also, place the plants in areas with enough air and sunlight.