What Is Aeroponics?
So, what is aeroponics? Well, the short version is this: it’s the art and science of growing plants without dirt or another medium, just using mist and water to provide the nutrients. The advantage of this is that you can do a lot with the way you arrange the growing spaces, allowing you to get a lot of limited spaces, and you can grow plants with startling efficiency.
Which is the short version of what is aeroponics but, unsurprisingly, there’s quite a lot more to know. Aeroponics is rightly considered to be a version of hydroponics, where plants are also grown without dirt or soil, although traditional hydroponics does use a medium to grow in, ordinarily some kind of foam.
In aeroponics, the plants are left hanging free in racks, kept in a moist greenhouse type environment. Periodically, a mist is sprayed on them that contains all the nutrients that they need to grow. It’s certainly possible to do this by hand, but generally most aeroponic gardens used fixed nozzle and an automatic spraying system, run by computer.
Aeroponics was first developed in 1942 by W. Carter. His point in developing aeroponics was to make it easier to examine roots when doing experiments and research on plants. Previous to this, it was necessary to dig up the plant to examine the root structure, which could lead to breakage and trauma that could kill or injure the plant, in addition to skewing the research.
Aeroponics, with its open air root system, allows for direct observation of all the plant without any kind of invasiveness. For this reason, experimental research is still the most common use for aeroponics, although it has also become fairly common in other aspects of agriculture.
Aeroponics has a several advantages over other kinds of plant cultivation. The one that has brought it to public attention is its ability to efficiently utilize space and resources. With aeroponics, you can stack plants in ways that would be impossible even with hydroponics, and in ways you could even consider doing in regular agriculture.
Because you don’t need soil and the attendant weight and volume that comes with it, you can also grow quite a crop of plants without a tremendous amount of weight. This is one of the primary reasons that aeroponics is the subject of a lot of research in the Arctic and space area, where weight of transport is an issue. Of course, it’s also handy for the rooftop urban gardener.
The big disadvantage of aeroponics for the regular person is that it’s not a casual way of gardening. Unlike soil based cultivation, you can’t just dump some seeds in the ground and hope for the best. If you’re not afraid of doing a little homework, though, there are plenty of systems that will allow you to practice aeroponics at home through DIY aeroponics.
So what is aeroponics? It’s a great way to make the maximum use of limited space for growing and gardening, and a way to make sure that you’re growing in the most efficient way possible.
Take a look at all the products that are available for aeroponics and decide which is best for you here: