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Session 8 Substrates Lesson Plan

OVERVIEW: In hydroponics, soil is replaced by a growing substrate or media. The substrate holds the roots and allows the plant to grow rapidly. There are some materials that have been used in hydroponics and perhaps some new ones to be discovered.

PURPOSE: To understand what materials can be used as a substrate in hydroponics.


  1. Understand what makes a good substrate
  2. Know some of the materials used as a substrate
  3. Understand how to mix substrates
  4. Know how to make a floating bed grower
  5. Know how to use solarization

RESOURCES/MATERIALS: The students mix substrates in a practical part of the class. They also wash a red volcanic rock or other dusty substrate.

Home Hydroponic Gardens Media
Growing Media types
Experiment on media


  1. Present the slides for substrates
  2. Take time for questions from the students or comments
  3. Do a practical training where the students wash and mix a substrate for the garden and do a floating bed styrofoam.
  4. Meet for a review of the material

Slide Shows

  1. 8.1 Introduction
  2. 8.2. Organic Substrates
  3. 8.3. Inorganic Substrates
  4. 8.4. Solarization
  5. 8.5. Floating Beds

TYING IT TOGETHER: At the end of the session, the student should understand how to make a substrate that is suitable for growing plants.

Revised: 1 Janaury 2005
Copyright © 2005 Institute for Simplified Hydroponics