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Hydroponics Systems: The Ins and Outs of Aeroponics

Aeroponics is an efficient but care-intensive hydroponics gardening option. Aeroponics is an efficient but care-intensive hydroponics gardening option.

Took a detour from my series on hydroponics systems to talk about how hydroponics has changed for the better, which couldn’t have been better timed because just as I did it, Advanced Nutrients announced the availability in America of its pH Perfect® Technology and Bigger Yields Flowering System®. Those two developments are the biggest changes in hydroponics nutrients since hydroponics pioneer Dr. William Gericke used deep water culture and chemical nutrients in the 1930s.

Gericke is credited with being the guy who started the post-industrial era of growing plants in nutrients and water rather than in soil.

From Gericke’s time until Advanced Nutrients announced its new generation of fertilizers, the acidity or alkalinity of your water (pH) ruled whether your plants got the hydroponics nutrients they needed in an absorbable form.

That’s why you had to worry a lot and spend a lot of money on pH meters and metering.

Now, you are freed from pH worries and your plants get more, and better, nutrition faster. This is relevant to my discussion of aeroponics, a hydroponics nutrients system that gives you many advantages.

If your pH is out of ideal range, your plants have a harder time absorbing nutrients, and again, this is amplified with aeroponics.

I talked to the pros at Capital City Growers Supply in Michigan, and they reminded me that it’s more important than ever to use superior hydroponics nutrients with aeroponics.

We’re talking about nutrients designed and tested for high-value plants and systems, like aeroponics.

Because one distinguishing feature of aeroponics is that true aeroponics systems deliver nutrients and moisture to roots via high-pressure misters that easily clog when you’re using most brands of hydroponics nutrients.

Part of the problem relates to filtration quality control and overall elemental configuration in the nutrients. If the nutrients aren’t filtered properly, they clog the misters. Or if the nutrient elements are sourced from inferior materials, improperly chelated, or buffered incorrectly, roots won’t easily absorb the elements. They could even burn the roots.

Damaging roots with inferior nutrients and/or overfertilization is easier to do in aeroponics because there’s no solid root zone media such as rockwool, coco coir or Pro-Mix to protect the roots by absorbing excess nutrients or diluting nutrients in a bed of water.

If your pH is out of ideal range (ideal range is 5.5-6.3, depending on what kind of hydroponics system you use), your plants have a harder time absorbing nutrients, and again, this is amplified with aeroponics. That’s why using the pH Perfect® Technology in aeroponics is a very smart choice.

We’ll talk in the next article about the special challenges that aeroponics presents, but first the good news:

  • Aeroponics cloners give you extremely fast rooting and clone health compared to standard methods.
  • A properly-tuned aeroponics system delivers more nutrients, water and oxygen to your roots, faster, which results in faster growth and bigger yields.
  • Aeroponics systems have no solid root zone media other than perhaps a small amount of hydroton or similar material right at the top of the root zone for each plant. This means you save money and time because you don’t have to buy, transport, store, treat and dispose of solid root zone media.
  • Because aeroponics systems deliver essential nutrients, oxygen and water directly to roots via contact without the intermediary of rockwool, coco, Pro-Mix, soil or other solid media, you have tighter control over delivering what your plants intake through roots.
  • If you run your aeroponics system correctly, it provides less of an environment for root diseases and pests when compared to solid root zone systems.
  • Aeroponics systems can deliver a lot of plants in a smaller space, especially if you’re doing sea of green.

Those are the great things about aeroponics. Faster, more efficient with water, nutrients and space, and supercharged clone rooting and start to finish growing. In our next article, we’ll talk about overcoming the challenges inherent to aeroponics, and recommend the best aeroponics systems you can buy.

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Last modified on Friday, 13 July 2012 14:53

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