Hydroponic stone wool growing started in 1969 giving a rise to Grodan that has been continuously evolved since that moment.
Initially, a hydroponic method was applied to avoid disinfection of the soil with heavy toxic chemicals. It was the stone wool Rockwool that was used as a substrate. The first experiments yielded excellent results. The plants were developing well and appropriately, while saving water, fertilizers and chemicals.
In 1969, Rockwool Group established Grogan – this company has been working on improving stone wool growing approaches for 50 years.
The scientists from Wageningen University participated in the first trials of a new substrate. Currently, they are experimenting with growing banana trees on a basalt substrate. This method results in successful protection of bananas from Fusarium, the disease causing huge losses.
The growers who substitute traditional soils with stone wool made of super-thin basalt fiber, enjoy the following advantages:
- high yields with low energy consumption;
- eco-friendly products;
- ability to control the cultivation modes for various crops;
- efficient use of water and nutrient solutions;
- ability to reuse and recycle the substrates.
The stone wool is made of a natural material – basalt rock. This substrate does not contain pathogens, toxic substances and weed seeds. Capillary effect and good aeration allow the growers to monitor and provide the most favorable conditions for the root system propagation.
Once several cycles of operation are completed, a stone wool substrate can be recycled. Grodan pays special attention to recycling methods, leaning towards eco-friendly technologies.
For various stages of plant development, the producer has developed and supplies substrates of various shapes, sizes and densities depending on the stage of plant growing: blocks, plugs, and slabs. Currently, Grodan products are being sold in over 70 countries worldwide.
The company created an interactive way to tell its story, dividing it into five decades, devoted to certain areas and breakthroughs.
Translated by Olga Yurchenko