Aeroponic Growing – Gardening in Midair
Aeroponic growing, or more simply known as âgrowing plants in midair,â has been a practice throughout the decades since the initial research done by W. Carter. This study focused on air culture growing in order to examine a plants roots. In 1957, âaeroponicsâ officially became the name of this practice thanks to F. W. Went. The Genesis Machine, invented in 1983, was created as the first commercially available air culture growing device available to be purchased by the public. But since the 80’s, aeroponics has developed into the ease of a “do it yourself” system, urging the growth of healthier plants within the comfort of a persons home. The benefits and simplicity of this project are both extremely convincing!
The benefits of aeroponics begin with the prevalence of Oxygen available to the roots of the plant. While being suspended in the air, the plant has unlimited access to the Oxygen it needs for healthy plant growth. Besides Oxygen, the plant has a continuous supply of Carbon Dioxide, which plays a major role in the process of photosynthesis. Because of photosynthesis, a plant has the ability to convert sunlight into the necessary nutrients it needs to survive. More the reason to allow the roots to be free and soak up as much natural light as possible.
The benefits of this system of cultivation continue with the lesser risk of disease spreading from plant-to-plant. Since the roots from one plant cannot become entangled with those of another, disease has no means of being transferred. But, on the off chance that a plant were to become contaminated, it can easily be removed without the threat of damaging another plants roots and harming its growth. Plus, with the lesser risk of disease, more plants could be grown per square inch providing more crops for the gardener.
So how does one create an aeroponic system themselves? Since one of the biggest downfalls of aeroponic growing is the cost, many people decide to build their own using storage bins and PVC pipe. Below are step-by-step instructions to aid you in building your own aeroponic system! But, I highly recommend leaving the construction up to the pros!
Step 1) Take a large, tightly sealed, dark colored storage bin and flip upside down. Drill equally leveled holes approximately two thirds from the bottom of the container.
Step 2) PVC pipe-Cut the whole pieces of pipe in half, add end caps, and drill anywhere from three to five holes (a straight line) in every section of pipe. Also, make sure you have some extra length on the ends of the PVC so when slid though the drilled holes of the container, there will still be access PVC sticking out from the sides.
Step 3) Take each piece of pipe and slide into the previously drilled holes of the container. Note that the holes that are drilled into the pipe should be facing upward. Add whatever sprayers you choose to nourish your plants. Now glue the extra length left on the PVC pipe to a tee fitting and to the other end of the PVC, an adapter for your hose.
Step 4) Time to flip the container right side up! Add a pump to the inside of the container. Connect one side of the hose to the pump and the other end to the adapter used for the hose. Drill holes into the top of the containerâs lid.
Step 5) You’re almost there! Take nutrient solution and fill the container to measure just under where you placed the sprayers. Also make sure that the lid is secured tightly!
Step 6) Lastly, add whatever plants you have selected to grow aeroponically. Place them in the holes that are drilled in the top of the containerâs lid. And there you have it! You have successfully built your own air cultured growing system!
Now the building of this system may seem a little tedious and difficulty. Besides the cheapness, you will be gifted with beautiful, healthy plants and will be amazed with the overall result. So why not go and build one? If you donât have the patients to build one and feel that purchasing one is more convenient, then do so! Start your aeroponic experience today! You will be more than pleased with the outcome!