Welcome back to part 5 of Hydroponics 101. This week we take a closer look at aeroponics, another hydroponic system used for both personal and commercial gardens. If you’ve been soaking up knowledge from the previous four systems, and becoming more familiar with hydroponic setups and lingo, the following aeroponics introduction should be a breeze!
Grow bucket/reservoir, water pump, reservoir cover w/holes, foam inserts, misting unit, nutrient water solution, timer, plastic tubing, air stone, and air pump.
Aeroponic systems are slightly more technical than the previous hydroponic systems we’ve introduced. Most commonly aeroponics systems are utilized for propagation purposes. The combination of frequent water misting and oxygen access allows seedlings to reach down, sprout roots, and thrive. You’ll notice aeroponic systems use many of the same materials as the previous systems, but with a few unique adjustments.
Some aeroponics systems utilize separate holding reservoirs from their grow buckets, but for this introduction we will keep it simple and focus on aeroponics systems that require only one reservoir or growing bucket. Reservoir setup begins as always by adding a nutrient water solution to the container. Next, you’ll add a water pump, plastic tubing, and misting unit to the reservoir. The misting unit will provide nutrient water solution to the stalks of young seedlings, and eventually their emerging roots. Commonly these misting units are marketed with propagation kits and include the water pump. Alternatively, misting units can be handmade using pvc piping, misting spouts, and a water pump. Whichever way you decide, you’ll need to attach a timer to the misting unit’s water pump. Introducing a timer will allow the seedlings access to both oxygenated air and nutrient water. This technique of interval misting can prevent over saturation and root rot of your seedlings. Similar to an ebb and flow system, trial and error is necessary to achieve the right duration and quantity of mistings for your own aeroponics setup. To maintain dissolved oxygen levels in your water source, Mainely Hydro suggest including an air stone and air pump.
To complete your all-in-one grow reservoir you’ll need a top to contain the misting and hold your plants in place. The grow top should have small holes, which are spaced out evenly for your plants. Most commonly foam inserts are used as plugs for seedlings or plants. If you are growing your plants to harvest using an aeroponics system, small netted pots can be used instead. The end tips of your plants should sit about an inch from the foam insert, allowing sufficient surface area for nutrient water access and root growth. Now you have an all-in-one aeroponics system for your garden!
After learning a little about aeroponic systems, it’s not hard to understand why they are popular systems for propagation. Aeroponics timed misting technique proves beneficial for strong, healthy root growth for cloning and beyond. Aeroponics pose the same disadvantage of other timer reliant hydro systems. If the power source is disrupted, the plants will suffer. If aeroponics is your sole method of plant production, investment in an energy source backup may be wise.
Overall aeroponics systems are extremely useful to both the personal and commercial gardener. If a self-sustaining hydroponic garden is a goal of yours, consider utilizing an aeroponics system. Clone your favorite phenotypes easily by using aeroponics, and continue to provide consistent relief for yourself, or for your patients! Join us next week for the final installment of Hydroponics 101. What’s left to learn you ask? Three words, deep water culture.Posted on: April 21, 2016, by : cmello