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The Science of Aeroponics

Aeroponics is the process of growing plants in an air and mist environment without the use of soil or an aggregate medium (known as geoponics). Aeroponic culture differs from both conventional hydroponics or aquaponics. Unlike hydroponics, which uses a liquid nutrient solution as a growing medium and essential minerals to sustain plant growth; or aquaponics which uses water and fish waste, aeroponics is conducted without a growing medium.  It is sometimes considered a type of hydroponics, since water is used in aeroponics to transmit nutrients.

Benefits of oxygen in the root zone:

Oxygen (O2) in the rhizosphere (root zone) is necessary for healthy plant growth. As aeroponics is conducted in air combined with micro-droplets of water, almost any plant can grow to maturity in air with a plentiful supply of oxygen, water and nutrients.

Some growers favor aeroponic systems over other methods of hydroponics because the increased aeration of nutrient solution delivers more oxygen to plant roots, stimulating growth and helping to prevent pathogen formation.

Clean air supplies oxygen which is an excellent purifier for plants and the aeroponic environment. For natural growth to occur, the plant must have unrestricted access to air. Plants must be allowed to grow in a natural manner for successful physiological development. The more confining the plant support becomes, the greater incidence of increasing disease pressure of the plant and the aeroponic system.

Plants in a true aeroponic grow system have 100% access to the CO2 concentrations ranging from 450 ppm to 780 ppm for photosynthesis. At one mile (1.6 km) above sea level, the CO2 concentration in the air is 450 ppm during daylight. At night, the CO2 level will rise to 780 ppm. Lower elevations will have higher levels. In any case, the air culture apparatus best patek philippe replica offers the ability for plants to have full access to all of the available CO2 in the air for photosynthesis.

Growing under lights during the evening allows aeroponics to benefit from the natural occurrence.

Disease-free cultivation:

Aeroponics can limit disease transmission since plant-to-plant contact is reduced and each spray pulse can be sterile. In the case of soil, aggregate, or other media, disease can spread throughout the growth media, infecting many plants. In most greenhouses, these solid media require sterilization after each crop and, in many cases, they are simply discarded and replaced with fresh, sterile media.

A distinct advantage of aeroponic technology is that if a particular plant does become diseased, it can be quickly removed from the plant support structure without disrupting or infecting the other plants.

Due to the disease-free environment that is unique to aeroponics, many plants can grow at higher density (plants per square foot) when compared to more traditional forms of cultivation (hydroponics, soil and Nutrient Film Technique [NFT]). Commercial aeroponic systems incorporate hardware features that accommodate the crop’s expanding root systems.

Researchers have described aeroponics as a “valuable, simple, and rapid method for preliminary screening of genotypes for resistance to specific seedling blight or root rot.”

The isolating nature of the aeroponic system allowed them to avoid the complications encountered when studying these infections in soil culture.