Aeroponics is a process where you are able to grow plants without soil or another growth medium. In its most basic form, plants are put on racks in a warm moist environment, and then misted periodically with a nutrient solution. This is all plants need to grow and prosper, providing you’ve got the right aeroponics system in place.
There are a variety of aeroponics systems available for your use, and which one is going to be the right aeroponic system for you is going to depend on what kinds of plants you’re aiming to grow, what kind of environment you’re going to be growing them in and how much you can afford to spend on aeroponic systems.
There are three main types of aeroponic systems available, which have their own unqiue strengths, weaknesses and applicability:
Low Pressure Systems
This kind of aeroponic system has the plants suspended above a reservoir, which contains the nutrient solution that the plants need to grow. The plants are periodically sprayed with low pressure jets that draw from the reservoir, and the excess that drops off them is reclaimed in the reservoir. These are generally the smallest and the cheapest of the aeroponic systems, and are mostly suitable for small projects.
High Pressure System
This is one of the standard aeroponic systems, and as you might have guessed, involves spraying the plants with high pressure jets of the nutrient solution. This ensures that the plants get completely covered, and leads to better yields. They are also typically equipped with air and water filtration, nutrient sterilization and other ways to ensure the best possible plant growth. These are the higher end systems and tend to be fairly expensive, so they’re less commonly used by hobbyists.
This is the big dog of aeroponic systems. Commercial aeroponics systems use both high pressure systems and biological systems, which gives them maximum efficiency. They also include data gathering and monitoring systems, which allow the users to tailor their growing process to get maximum results. These are extremely expensive systems, and are only useful for the home gardener if they decide to make the switch to more commercial plant growth.
The very first system that was easily commercially available was the Genesis System, which was named after a device in the second Star Trek movie. This system required only a faucet to provide the water and an outlet to provide electricity. It was easy to use, and was a solid mid grade system.
The Genesis System is still sold today, and remains one of the more popular systems. What kind of aeroponic system is going to be right for you is going to depend entirely on what you want to accomplish, and how much you are planning on spending.
For most people, any of the readily available prepackaged systems is going to suffice, although these are usually fairly small. If you want to go bigger with your system, you may need to construct your own system or buy one of the high end systems. It’s all dependent on how far you want to go with your aeroponic system.