Aeroponic nutrients solution
The success of aeroponics lies in how the aeroponic system work. Aeroponic systems utilize a unique way of feeding plants. Small nozzles, like tiny sprinkler heads, generate a mist for a brief period every 10 or 15 minutes, 24 hours a day which can be automated as per the requirements. The nutrient solution mist covers the developing roots of the plants, where it remain adhered long enough for some of the nutrients to be absorbed efficiently. As the liquid drips off after saturation, the roots get an opportunity to take in the oxygen, which they also require, until it’s time for the next aeroponic nutrients schedule. The setup of aeroponics is quite simple which makes it open for aeroponics DIY using few components like:
- A reservoir/container to reserve the nutrient solution
- Nutrient pump
- Mist nozzles
- Tubing to dispense water from the nutrient pump to the mister heads in the growing chamber
- Grow baskets to suspend plants
- Enclosed growing chamber for the root zone
- Watertight containers for the growing chamber
- Timer (usually a cycle timer) to switch on and off the pump
Providing all of the nutritional requirements of your plants without using soil is proven rewarding but very complex too. When growing plants in soil, the growing plants can obtain many of the required substance straight away from the soil and this makes soil gardening more forgiving. Often time’s conventional soil gardeners can get away with just providing Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium and still have decent results.
An indoor aeroponic system utilizes fewer amounts of water and nutrients because the plant roots are sprayed in regular intervals at the predefined period of time as per the plant’s growth requirement. This spraying of nutrients is carried out by using a precise spray mist of droplets that can be used most efficiently by osmosis performed by roots to nourish the plant. The best part of using aeroponics is the very little excess nutrient solution is lost to evaporation or runoff. But one has to be very precise and careful when feeding aquaponic plants because aeroponics nutrient deficiencies may lead to any disease or yield loss.
Right formula of nutrients
When you cultivate plants using aeroponics, the plants must be able to find everything they require for their growth in the water provided to them. This means you must have studied and had a complete picture of everything your plant is going to need for their growth. In addition to primary nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium), your plants also have need of considerable amounts of secondary nutrients (Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulfur) and small amounts of various micro-nutrients such as (boron (B), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), chloride (Cl), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo) zinc (Zn) and others). You will have to mix up advanced nutrients for aeroponics of the proper strength consisting all of the required nutrients in the proper proportions (depending upon what your plant needs for its growth).
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Plants need the right concentration (PPM)
As we have already mentioned growing plants take up nutrient by the process of osmosis, for every plant, there is a limit to the total dissolved concentration of all the mineral nutrients that it can handle. There are various methods to measure the strength or concentration of the dissolved nutrients in the solution. The most common way is to measure with the help of electrical conductivity or EC with a meter. Every crop has a specific nutrient strength at which it proliferates for example; lettuce grows well with an EC of 1.6. Every grower must test its aeroponic nutrient solution strength regularly or adjust it to keep your system working properly.
Maintaining the Right pH
Chemically pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration for a solution. Solutions with a high concentration of hydrogen ions will have a low pH and solutions with low concentrations of H+ ions will have a high pH. The pH range nutrient solution reflects its acidity level, which is significant to consider because all plants require different levels to carry their proper growth. The soil’s acidity level also affects the distribution and availability of other significant nutrients, and an imbalance can obstruct a plant’s ability to absorb them.
So when setting you is setting up an aquaponic system you must calibrate the pH of the nutrient solution according to the need of crop being grown. Most of the plants take up nutrients efficiently when the pH is slightly in the acidic range. Most of the ready to use aeroponic and hydroponic nutrients solutions purchased will lower the pH by themselves. These nutrients suppose you are starting with water that’s neutral having a pH of 7.0. So if your water is neutral, and when you add these nutrients, your final solution will be down to 6.0 pH. So you have to measure the pH using pH meter and bring it to the ideal range.
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