Aeroponics is probably the most advanced and complicated hydroponics method. In this hydroponics method, roots are misted with a nutrient solution while suspended in the air. Because of its setup complexity, a grower will typically buy a pre-fabricated Aeroponic system to start using this system. Once the system is up and running, this system will need to be monitored frequently.
Like the NFT system, above the growing medium is primarily air. The roots hang in the air and the roots are misted with the nutrient solution. Misting of the roots is generally done every few minutes. Because the roots are exposed to the air like, they will dry out rapidly if the misting cycles are interrupted. A timer controls the nutrient pump much like other types of hydroponic systems, except the aeroponic system needs a short cycle timer that runs the pump for a few seconds every couple of minutes.
Advantages of Aeroponics
- High oxygen to water ratio
- Can have a lot of plant sites
- Reuses water
- Increased nutrient solution absorption
- Accelerated growth
Disadvantages of Aeroponics
- Highest fluctuations of pH
- Roots need to be watered more often, for short periods of time. This means they can dry out very quickly if not watered enough
- May need a chiller
- Prone to root disease
- If the pump breaks, the plants will die quickly. This is usually because a clay pebble media is used and clogged the pump
- Sprayer clog easy, it isn’t good with organics
There are two primary methods to get the solution to the exposed roots. The first method involves a fine spray nozzle to mist the roots. The second method uses what’s called a pond fogger. If you decide to use a pond fogger then make sure you use a Teflon coated disc, as this will reduce the amount of maintenance required.