Aeroponics is a great alternative for growing plants in small spaces, especially indoors. Aeroponics is similar to hydroponics, as neither method uses soil to grow plants; however, with hydroponics, water is used as a growing medium. In aeroponics, no growing medium is used. Instead, the roots of plants are suspended or hung in a dark chamber and periodically sprayed with nutrient-rich solution.
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 healthier 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. Typically, aeroponic plants are suspended (usually inserted in the top) over a reservoir within some type of sealed container. Feeding for aeroponics is accomplished through the use of a pump and sprinkler system, which periodically sprays nutrient-rich solution onto the plant roots. About the only drawback to growing with aeroponics is keeping everything thoroughly clean, as its continually moist environment is more susceptible to bacteria growth. It can also get expensive.
DIY Aeroponics for the Personal Aeroponic Enthusiast
While growing with aeroponics is typically easy, many of the commercial aeroponic systems can be relatively costly-- another downside. However, it doesn't have to be. There are actually many personal aeroponic systems that you can make at home for lots less than those higher priced commercial systems. For example, one of the easiest DIY aeroponics systems consists of nothing more than a large, sealable storage bin and PVC pipes and fittings. Of course, a suitable pump and a few other accessories are also necessary. So, if you are looking for another alternative when growing plants in smaller spaces, why not consider growing with aeroponics. This method works great for growing plants indoors. Aeroponics also yields healthier, more abundant produce.
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Nikki Tilley has been gardening for nearly three decades. The former Senior Editor and Archivist of Gardening Know How, Nikki has also authored six gardening books.
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