Have you heard of aeroponic cultivation? Do you know what it’s about? Below we want to present you a guide so that you know everything you need to know about this cultivation system and especially if you want to set it up at home.
It can help you, not for all plants, but for a large number of them. However, you have to take into account the characteristics that define it and what you will need to build one at home. Go for it?
What is aeroponic cultivation
The first thing we want to make clear to you is that aeroponic cultivation refers to a system by which plants are grown without the need for a substrate. Actually what is done is that the roots remain suspended in the airalways in a small special cultivation pot in such a way that they are only sprayed with nutrient-rich water.
In other words, it is a plant that develops with its roots in the air and that is nourished by spraying water with fertilizer or similar so that it can continue to grow.
In this way the roots of the plant do not touch the water other than when they are sprayed with them.
To give you an idea, what is done is to put the plants in containers where the plant is illuminated from above, but from below the roots are put in a closed container (and usually dark too). This structure keeps the roots intact, without adding substrate or using an artificial product.
However, below these there are some nebulizers that point upwards, as well as some conduits that carry the nutrient-rich water. Thus, when activated, nebulizers create a kind of cloud of moisture that reaches the roots and nourishes them to feed the plant.
What plants can be planted in an aeroponic crop
If you are wondering right now if any plant could be planted in this system, the truth is that no. Actually, there are some that have a higher probability of success than others. For example, in the case of leafy vegetables, aromatic plants or strawberries, you could have them like this, but other plants are not so easy to achieve.
Therefore, we must warn you that you will not be able to have the ones you want with this system.
As a flowering plant that could opt for this method, you have the orchid, since it does develop better with its roots in the air and feeding on the humidity it receives through the nebulizers (especially if it is rich in nutrients).
What are the benefits of aeroponic cultivation?
Now that you know a little more about aeroponic cultivation, Can you glimpse what are the benefits it has? Here are the most important ones to keep in mind:
There is less cost
Imagine that you don’t have to buy soil, individual pots, etc. That’s a significant saving, especially when you have a lot of plants.
It is true that the system itself is not cheap to assemble. But the investment that is made at first is amortized since the plants can grow and bear fruit to be replaced by others without having to change soil every two by three (as would happen with these).
In addition, neither is spent as much on water or fertilizers.
growth is fast
We are not saying it, there are studies whose conclusions have shown that aeroponic cultivation makes plants grow faster than if they were put on land (or in water). The main reason is that the roots, being in the air, have better oxygenationwhich prevents them from deteriorating (or from being able to suffer from rot, fungus, etc.).
You have a better view of the plant
Although we have told you that it is more complicated to suffer from pests and diseases, they are not exempt from this, which means that you can visually see the state of the plant’s roots. In this way you can act more quickly to save it.
How to create your aeroponic crop at home
If all of the above has caught your attention and you want to have a similar aeroponic crop at home, first, it is not as expensive as you may think. And second, in just 2-3 hours you could build it.
To do this, what you will need is the following:
- A water tank. It can be worth, for example, an aquarium that you do not use. Of course, we recommend that you cover the walls so that light does not reach the water inside.
- PVC pipe. You will need 1 meter or so (better than over than not missing).
- PVC connectors: to connect and establish the systems. Depending on how many you need you can put one or the other.
- Water Pump. Aim for it to be 275-300 gal/hr to give it enough shape.
- Sprinkler heads.
- Mesh pots.
- A surface where to have the pots. It must be the same length and width as the water tank.
To begin, you must make holes in the surface where you are going to place the pots. Make sure you can get them in and they don’t fall off.
Inside the water tank, assemble the system with the tube, the connectors and the heads. Make sure the water pump is working and that it has enough pressure to get the water out of the heads.
Once you have done it, all you have to do is assemble everything and seal. Although in this case it is better not to do it so that you can lift often and see how the roots are doing.
Is aeroponic cultivation worth it?
The truth is that this answer cannot be given by us. It is a very effective method, but is it worth having it at home for your plants? Are you going to take advantage of it? There is no doubt that it saves, but it can have some drawbacks, such as being dependent on electricity (since the water pump must always be connected for it to work). This limits where you can put it and sometimes it’s not easy to maintain (especially because the water can rot or you have to change it every few months.
Do you dare to switch to aeroponic cultivation at home? What plants or cuttings would you try?