Introduction: Hi friends, today we came up with a subject of Aeroponic System advantages, and its components. As our soil quality and fertility continues to deteriorate, people are looking for alternative methods to grow fresh and chemical-free vegetables for their homes. Because of this reason, hydroponic agriculture is becoming more popular and looking as an alternative to conventional farming technique.
Aeroponics is a simple concept yet it is the most technical among all the six different types of hydroponic systems. The Aeroponic system is used by a lot of home growers because it has yielded really good results for them that too effortlessly.
Aeroponics is basically the process of cultivating plants without the use of soil; instead, the plants are thriving in an air environment. Aeroponics vs Hydroponics, if one compares hydroponics and Aeroponics, some of their basic principles are alike but one thing is distinguishing, Aeroponics does not utilize a growing medium. This is mainly due to the fact that an Aeroponics system uses water to supply the nutrients. This method of cultivation usually consists of a kind of hydroponic system, and in some ways, it is.
How does Aeroponic works and Aeroponic System Benefits
Aeroponic systems nurture plants with nothing more than nutrient-laden mist. The concept has come from that of hydroponic systems, in which the roots are held in a soilless growing medium, such as coco coir, over which nutrient-enriched water is pumped at regular intervals of time. Aeroponics simply works without the need of the growing medium, leaving the developing roots to dangle in the air, where they are regularly puffed by specially-designed misting devices.
In Aeroponics systems, seeds or plantlets are planted in pieces of foam stuffed into tiny grow pots, which are exposed to light on one end and to nutrient mist on the other end. The foam also holds the stem and root mass in place as the plant develops.
The main principle behind how Aeroponics works are that it cultivates plants which are suspended in a partly closed/fully enclosed system. With the roots being suspended, a nutrient-rich water solution is sprayed or misted onto the roots directly in certain time interval as per the growth requirements of the plant. This type of nutrient delivery is 60% more efficient than standard hydroponics systems as it facilitates optimal oxygen saturation in the roots as well as the reception of an abundant supply of nutrients. For any plant to develop to its full potential, it is absolutely essential that the root system receives a well-balanced amount of oxygen and water/nutrient solution. The reason why Aeroponics and hydroponic systems work so well than the soil-based systems is that the water is allowed to be received by the roots a while before drying up and it receives oxygen well. With Aeroponics and hydroponics, the watering and application of nutrients are precisely done taking care of how much the plant needs and it is ensured that an abundance of oxygen is supplied. This kind of water/nutrient and oxygen feeding to developing plant is far superior to growing with conventional soil culture.
In the Aeroponic system, plantlets are generally inserted into the platform top holes on top of a reservoir and placed within a sealed container.
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Due to no root zone grow media for plants to anchor in; you have to prepare a support collar that will hold the growing plants in place. These collars must be firm enough to hold plants upright and keep the roots in place but flexible enough to permit room for roots to develop properly.
The nutrient pump and sprinkler installed in the system creates mist (basically which is a hydro-atomized spray mixture of water, nutrients and growth hormones) out of the nutrient-rich solution and sprays the mist in the reservoir, misting the dangling plant roots and to be efficiently absorbed by them. This spray provides the right amount of moisture which stimulates the plant’s growth and permits it to develop properly. The automated timer facilitates the timed spray in regular duration for the plants.
Generally, when growing with Aeroponics, your garden will be free of pests and harmful diseases which are often trouble in a traditional soil garden. However, depending on the location of your Aeroponics system, pests and diseases may still pose a threat – it is -very important to do a thorough spot inspection before installing your system just to be on the safer side. You have to be aware of the fact that Aeroponic system chambers are constantly wet because of the nutrients spray which is convenient for harmful bacteria and fungi to build up. Therefore, it is imperative to clean and sterilize these misters before using, and occasionally take out and keep these chambers treated with the sterilizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide solution, which can be easily purchased at any quality hydroponic store.
What makes this type of growing system so amazing, though, is the method of oxygen and nutrients delivery. The combination of air circulation in the roots as well as receiving mini droplets of nutrient-enriched water will reach the roots very effectively. It is no surprise that many growers are now switching to Aeroponic growing especially one with less gardening spaces due to its exceptional ability to saturate and aerate the roots thereby promoting exceptional growth rate and yields. There are different types of Aeroponic systems available in the market with ready to use setups like vertical Aeroponics and low-pressure Aeroponics.
Components of the Aeroponic system:
- A reservoir/container to hold the aeroponic nutrient solution.
- Nutrient pump.
- Mist nozzles.
- Tubing to dispense water from the nutrient pump to the mister heads in the growing chamber.
- Grow Baskets or pots to suspend plants.
- Enclosed growing chamber for the root zone.
- Watertight containers for the growing chamber where the plant’s root systems will be hanged.
- Timer (preferably a cycle timer) to turn on and off the nutrient pump.
Benefits of Aeroponics include: advantages of Aeroponics are as follows:
Allows maximum nutrient absorption by the plant roots due to no obstruction by growing medium.
Promotes considerable plant growth because plant roots are exposed to oxygen 24/7. This promotes healthy and fast-growth in plants. The mist utilized on the roots to feed plants can also be sterilized to avoid plant diseases.
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Considerably fewer nutrients and water used on average compared to other systems because of the higher nutrient absorption rate by roots.
Portability: You can move system easily or even the whole nurseries as all you need is to move the plant from one collar to another
Fewer space requirements: You don’t require a lot of space to be able to set up this system. Plants can be stacked on top of each other. With this type of modular system, you can maximize the use of limited space as well as beautify your place.
Easy system maintenance because there is no involvement of growing medium. However, you will have to disinfect the root chamber regularly, and the irrigation channels and the reservoir periodically
The system can be cleaned easily and becomes easy to replace old plants with new ones.
Besides many great advantages, Aeroponics also has few downsides that cannot be overlooked such as:
Require constant attention with pH and nutrient density ratio because this is sensitive for plant growth. Understanding what is the right ratio and applying this concept may be initially difficult for beginners.
The cost Aeroponic farming for primary set up can be high
Requires constant supervision
Susceptible to power outages. You will have to water plants manually if this happens.
The requirement of little Aeroponics research and technical knowledge about Aeroponics as it one of the most technical to hydroponic setup. As there is no soil to absorb the excess nutrients, you need to have good knowledge about amounts of nutrients fed to the plant roots
Dependency on the system. : An Aeroponic system is consists of mist nozzles, high-pressure pumps, and timer. If one of these breaks down or misfunctions, your plants will die simply.
Requires customary disinfection of the root chamber (a common disinfectant is hydrogen peroxide) to avoid root diseases. The microorganism can be introduced to plant roots through the water.
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