An Introduction To Aeroponics
Most people are familiar with the idea of hydroponics – growing plants in water – but aeroponics is not so well-known. In fact, I just had to add the word to my spell checker. Simply put, aeroponics is growing plants in air.
Of course there’s more to it, as plants don’t do too well in plain air. The roots of plants grown aeroponically (is that a word?) are suspended in an enclosed space and water and nutrients are sprayed on the roots. The main stem and leaves stay out in the open above the container enclosing the roots, allowing them to get air and light.
In 1942 W. Carter first researched air culture growing and described a method of growing plants in water vapor, using the method to make studying plant roots easier, but it was F. W. Went who first coined the air-growing process as “aeroponics” in 1957.
The first commercial aeroponics setup was the Genesis Rooting System, commonly called the Genesis Machine, by GTi in 1983. The device was controlled by a microchip and simply connected to an electrical outlet and a water faucet.
Aeroponics is very popular for cloning plants from cuttings. Many plants thought to be difficult or impossible to clone are now much easier. It has even been used in spaced for plant experiments since the 1960s and NASA has been developing inflatable aeroponic greenhouses for use on Mars.
Benefits of Aeroponics
* Less Fertilizer – Since all the nutrients are contained, they don’t end up in groundwater or sinking too deep into the soil to be of animal jam codes hack any help.
* Less Water – Very important for space travel pixel gun 3d cheats online hack and those in arid climates. Much of the water lost in traditional gardening is from water evaporating out of the soil. The rest of it just sinks past the roots and the plants never get a chance more information to drink it.
* More Cost Effective – Since less nutrient solution is needed as compared to hydroponics the costs to operate an aeroponic garden are less than to operate a hydroponic garden. There are also fewer moving parts and complicated systems involved.
* Reduced Disease Damage – Because the plants are seperated from each other and not sharing the same soil, an infection in one plant has a much lower chance of spreading to the rest of your plants.
Aeroponics does have some downsides. The initial cost to get things up and running can be higher than that of a tradition garden or container garden. There are also more things that can break down or stop working, leaving your plants high and dry.
Aeroponics at Home
You’ve probably seen commercials for the AeroGarden from AeroGrow. It’s the easiest way to get started in aeroponics and comes in different sizes. You can buy seed kits for herbs, lettuces and more, or use your own seeds with the system. It’s a great way to have fresh herbs, lettuce and more all year long.
If you’re looking for something a bit bigger, how about the General Hydroponics RainForest 318 with 18 three inch growing pots. This would work great for growing leaf lettuce for a small family or for growing your own army of Venus flytraps.
If you’re more of a do-it-yourself type there are plenty of resources online with information and supplies to create your own aeroponic garden.
Is aeroponics for everyone? Probably not, but it is a fascinating way to grow plants and can be very educational for kids and adults. Give it a try today!