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Easy Aeroponics for Beginners

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What is an aeroponics system? It sounds like something fancy and expensive. Maybe, in some ways, it is. But it's not very complicated. There's no reason to be afraid of thinking about starting up one of these types of gardens.

Like other types of hydroponic gardens, aeroponics sounds harder to build than it actually is. Many would agree that the same holds true for flood and drain systems, deep water culture systems and other types of common hydroponic setups. None of them are magical or extremely mechanically intense. They rely on some simple ideas about how to feed plants.

Instead of growing in soil, hydroponic plants grow in sterile media. They get their food from water. They get their oxygen from both water and air, one of the other, or a mix of both.

The aeroponics system is different because instead of using flows of water or trickles of water, it uses a mist or spray.

Situating Plants

First of all, for an aeroponics system, plants have to be in some type of tray or holder with their plant roots hanging down. You can buy certain types of mesh plant pots that will accommodate this type of fixture well. It's easy to simply have a tray or table with small holes that plants sit in. This is a fundamental part of setting up your garden for success. There has to be some kind of barrier or partition between the top part of the plant, and the bottom. Otherwise, the spray will just dissipate into the general space without really nourishing plants.

Below the Belt

With the plant roots down in a particular area below a structural ceiling, growers have to provide a way for nutrient rich mist or spray to reach the plant roots.

Typically, the reservoir is on the floor with a pump in it and the mist or spray area is directly above. Then the plant stems and leaves are on top of the ceiling area at the top.

The trick is how to get the spray going -- growers who are approaching this type of system will often use specific types of heavy spray nozzles that will project a good amount of mist around the general area.

That's the disclaimer here -- that these types of gear are fairly expensive and complicated. Unlike with a flood and drain system or a deep water culture system, you can't just get by with simple mechanical elements. Getting the water into a spray format and moving it around the pant area will require some specialized gear.

Other than that, the system is not extremely difficult to set up or maintain. You can grow all kinds of plants in an aeroponics system. You can grow herbs, greens or vining plants. You can grow a whole host of fruits and vegetables for the dinner table or sell them in a small commercial operation. Once you invest in equipment, you can keep using it for a long time for various plant cycles.

Another easy way to think about aeroponics is that it uses the same types of equipment you might see in high-end supermarkets. Manufacturers make these spray nozzles and spray systems to keep certain kinds of plants fresh and healthy. In addition to misting and spraying the roots, some growers mist or spray the stems and leaves and this also introduces nutrients to the plant.

If you're interested in hydroponics, think about this as just one of many appealing ideas you can use to grow your own food and participate in this kind of innovative gardening. Hydroponics and greenhouse growing has a big potential to change the way we need and the way we buy and select clean, healthy foods. Take a look and you just might see that hydroponics is a lot easier than you had ever expected.

 
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