First of all we need to know what is Aeroponics technique and how it works?
Aeroponics is the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or an aggregate medium.
Aeroponic culture differs from both conventional hydroponics, aquaponics, and in-vitro (plant tissue culture) growing.
Aeroponics is a great alternative for growing plants in small spaces, especially indoors.
The basic principle of aeroponic growing is to grow plants suspended in a closed or semi-closed environment by spraying the plant’s dangling roots and lower stem with an atomized or sprayed, nutrient-rich water solution.
What Types of Aeroponics Technique?
Low-pressure units: In most low-pressure aeroponic gardens, the plant roots are suspended above a reservoir of nutrient solution or inside a channel connected to a reservoir.
A low-pressure pump delivers nutrient solution via jets or by ultrasonic transducers, which then drips or drains back into the reservoir.
High-pressure devices: High-pressure aeroponic techniques, where the mist is generated by a high-pressure pump(s), are typically used in the cultivation of high-value crops and plant specimens.
How Does It Work?
The plants can be started from vegetative cuttings by placing them in the openings on top of the growing chamber.
The stems are suspended in the growing chamber. Seeds are started by placing them on a special mesh holders in the growing chamber.
The microcomputer controller releases a pulsed hydro-atomized spray mixture of water, nutrients, and growth hormones into the enclosed air environment of the growing chamber.
The microcomputer supplies the timed spray intervals and duration for the plants.
The plants rapidly develop root systems and grow in a moist air-rich environment. Just lift the chamber top to see how they are developing.
The hydro-atomized spray provides just the right amount of moisture to stimulate the plants allowing it to be turgid as it develops.
How Is Growing with Aeroponics?
Growing with aeroponics is not difficult and the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks.
Nearly any plant can be successfully grown using aeroponics, especially vegetables.
The plants grow faster, yield more, and are generally more healthy than those grown in soil.
Feeding for aeroponics is also easy, as aeroponic-grown plants typically require less nutrients and water.
Regardless of the system used indoors, aeroponics requires little space, making this method of growing plants especially suited to urban dwellers and the like.
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Aeroponics Technique In Hydroponics?
Aeroponic techniques have proven to be commercially successful for propagation, seed germination, seed potato production, tomato production, leaf crops, and micro-greens.
Since inventor Richard Stoner commercialized aeroponic technology in 1983, aeroponics has been implemented as an alternative to water-intensive hydroponic systems worldwide.
The limitation of hydroponics is the fact that 1 kilogram of water can only hold 8 milligrams of air, no matter whether aerators are utilized or not.
Another distinct advantage of aeroponics over hydroponics is that any species of plants can be grown in a true aeroponic system because the microenvironment of an aeroponic can be finely controlled.
The limitation of hydroponics is that certain species of plants can only survive for so long in water before they become waterlogged.
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The advantage of aeroponics is that suspended aeroponic plants receive 100% of the available oxygen and carbon dioxide to the roots zone, stems, and leaves, thus accelerating biomass growth and reducing rooting times.
NASA research has shown that aeroponically grown plants have an 80% increase in dry weight biomass (essential minerals) compared to hydroponically grown plants.
Aeroponics used 65% less water than hydroponics. NASA also concluded that aeroponically grown plants require ¼ the nutrient input compared to hydroponics.
Unlike hydroponically grown plants, aeroponically grown plants will not suffer transplant shock when transplanted to soil, and offers growers the ability to reduce the spread of disease and pathogens.
Aeroponics is also widely used in laboratory studies of plant physiology and plant pathology.
Aeroponic techniques have been given special attention from NASA since a mist is easier to handle than a liquid in a zero-gravity environment.
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