When it comes to looking at alternative growing methods there are quite a few you can choose from. However the two most common are aeroponics and hydroponics. Both give varying benefits to your plants, but what they both are is a method to grow your crops and plants in varied environments. At MEGAPot we are hydroponic experts, and in this article we will take a look at what is the difference between hydroponics and aeroponics.
Hydroponics is the process of growing plants and crops without the use of soil, but instead using a sophisticated growth medium to support the overall process. By using a growth medium you can have full control over the growing phase. There are also a range of systems in which you can use to accommodate various plant/crop types, space as well as budgets.
Aeroponics is the process of growing plants and crops without the use of soil, or even a growth medium. All of the plants and crops within this system are in actual fact suspended in the air with a grow chamber that is sprayed with nutrient rich solution. The spray comes in the form of water or even a mist. Therefore allowing maximum coverage on the root of the plant. Aeroponics is a subset of hydroponics.
The differences between Aeroponics and Hydroponics are clear and will also give a really good insight into which way of growing may be best for you. Some of the differences you will expect to see include the following:-
Understanding how the set ups work are key to ensuring that your plants and crops are grown in the best way. Both hydroponics and aeroponics utilise various systems which are designed to ensure maximum growth and nutrient coverage.
Hydroponic systems first have plants that are typically placed within some form of growth tray. A water reservoir is kept nearby with a line in or a tube that then connects that reservoir with the growth tray. The pump is the next feature as this is then used to pump solution from the reservoir around the system and into the plants as required. An overflow drain is then used to collect any unused solution which is then transported back to the reservoir.
Most aeroponic systems are typically set up with their roots hanging down as this is the most natural way for them to sit. The baskets in which they sit in are what keep them from tangling with others. Below the plants is a water/nutrient reservoir. Within the reservoir is a submersible water pump which pushes nutrients along the pipes. The misting nozzles which make this type of system unique, are used to create a fine mist, not droplets which gives a better coverage for the plants.
The delivery of nutrients is integral within both systems as moving away from traditional growing methods plants still need basics to live. Within both these growing types they focus heavily on the way in which they deliver nutrients to the roots. This is why they do not use soil so they can allow the root to develop and aid the plants through adequate nutrient supplementation.
Hydroponic Systems deliver nutrients via the water in which the plants then absorb. The solution for the nutrients is added into the reservoir and then circulated around the system to be delivered to the plants.
Aeroponics also deliver nutrients to the plants through the use of water, however this is obtained by the plant is very different. Plants are grown in a humid, fog-like environment which is pumped with mist to keep the roots from drying out, but also at the same time deliver nutrients.
In both aeroponic and hydroponic growing methods, they are known for being much more efficient in their growing as well as being less resource intensive. As they are both such different systems this is where they will require differing sets of resources to ensure their overall working.
Hydroponics use a greater content of water due to various sizes, but also the way in which nutrients are delivered to the plants. However, the use of a reservoir and overflow, means that water is then recycled so the actual usage is very low. Even with this it will use more than an aeroponic system but also may be more efficient in its overall use.
Aeroponic systems on the other hand focus very much on fine mist to maintain the roots. Whilst some setups do have more mist spraying at a more regular interval the use of water is very low. Especially compared to a hydroponic system. The best way to describe an aeroponic system is to look at it like a shower, it covers what it needs to in a more efficient way.
Deciding on what is better will be solely down to the individual themselves and the circumstances they find themselves in. The budget they have, the space and also the plants/crops they are growing will be all key considerations they will need to take into account. What can be said however, is the popularity in both methods of growing as well as well as a whole host of benefits which are attached to each.
The differences between hydroponics and aeroponics are very easy to identify especially with the way in which they deliver nutrients to the crops and plants in which they are growing. Both are very useful alternatives to soil based growing, and which way you choose will be dependent on various factors as discussed above. At MEGAPot we are hydroponic growing specialists with a vast amount of experience in industry. For more information on our products and services please do Contact Us.