A Different Type of Hydroponics System
Using aeroponic hydroponics to grow vegetables, fruits and flowers is the most efficient method of hydroponics available. With this type of system, water loss and the use of pesticides and chemicals can be reduced by over 90 percent. This method also provides a higher crop yield, sometimes 50 percent or more. For over 50 years, NASA has been successfully using this system in space. The only time that a growing medium is used in aeroponics is when you sprout your seeds. You can avoid using any type of medium if you use plant cuttings to start your garden. Once the seeds have sprouted, the plants are transferred to containers that do not contain any of the usual growing mediums. Aeroponic containers are closed with the plant roots suspended in the air. This keeps the roots in a high humidity environment.
How It Works
Aeroponic hydroponics systems employ misting to deliver nutrients to the bare roots. Unlike other hydroponic systems, the roots are never flooded with water or allowed to dry out between feedings. The closed system allows the water to return to the holding tank eliminating the evaporation of the nutrient water. The system repeats this process at regularly timed intervals.
Misting the roots of your plants delivers all the nutrients they need while allowing them to absorb oxygen freely. This process eliminates the stress of the roots searching for food and breathing. Plants are grown using aeroponics to develop much faster than those grown using other types of hydroponic systems.
The advantage is that the roots have access to oxygen at all times. Your plants put all their energies into developing strong, sturdy stems and fruit, vegetables or flowers not breathing or searching for food.
Complex and Time-Consuming
Aeroponic hydroponics systems are more complex than other hydroponic systems. Timers, tubing, lights and enclosed containers increase the cost of other active systems. This type of system is dependent on electricity. If a power outage occurs you may lose your crop in just a few hours. Aeroponics is an active system that requires daily monitoring.
Build Your Own Aeroponic System
Many people have built their own aeroponic systems from parts that are easily obtainable.
- Grow lights with reflecting hoods are important to provide light and if necessary heat.
- PVC pipe provides the delivery system for the nutrient water from the reservoir to the roots.
- A submersible pump is needed to deliver the water to the plants.
- A timer ensures that the plants receive misting at regular intervals. Misting tips are available in many nurseries and farm supply stores.
- Various types of containers can be used to create a growing area that will enclose the roots.
Aeroponic building plans are available through your local library, online and bookstores.
Aeroponic hydroponics is a way to improve your garden’s yields and shorten your plant’s growing season. It is a cost-effective, energy and resource-efficient method to bring fresh produce to your table.