As the name suggests Aeroponics is growing plants which are suspended in the air, there is no soil or aggregate to support the plant. The roots are misted with hydroponic nutrients, this provides the plants roots with the maximum possible aeration.
A reservoir is partially filled with hydroponic nutrient. Place a a small pump in the nutrient and attach a series of misting nozzles. The plants are placed in net cups which are in turn placed in holes cut in the top of the reservoir. The roots of the plants need to be partially through the bottom of the net cups, this ensures that the nutrient mist covers the roots.
- The nutrient needs to be kept in a dark reservoir to stop algae growing, you can paint the outside of the container to stop light getting in
- An air pump is not required as good aeration is provided to the plants roots in the mist
- If plants need additional support use string hanging down from an overhead support and tie the plants to it
The the reservoir can be any size, just select a reservoir that fits the location you are going use it. The nutrient solution should partially fill the reservoir, ensure that the pump is completely submerged to avoid overheating.
If you do not wish to make your own homemade reservoir, you will find reservoirs specifically made for Aeroponics available in you local hydroponic stores.
Ensure your reservoir does not let light in and that it is not susceptible to corrosion. Good reservoirs are made of plastic, glass or stainless steel, other materials are fine if you use a plastic liner.
You will require a submersible pump, the pump sits on the bottom of the reservoir tank, attach a pipe to a series of misting nozzles that are situated above the level of the nutrient solution in the reservoir. I simply use parts from an in-ground watering system available from my local garden centre. I attach a piece of pipe to the outlet of the pump, this is around 15cm long. At the top of this pipe I attach a ‘T’ pipe junction and then a section of pipe on either end of the ‘T’ junction long enough to reach most of the way across the tank. Insert 360º misting nozzles into the horizontal sections of the pipe.
Net Cups are used to support the plants. Cut holes in the top of the reservoir big enough to hold the net cups with around two thirds of the cup below the lid of the reservoir. Net Cups can be purchased in a variety of sizes. The plants may also be supported using a Plant Support Disk. For you homemade hydroponic system you can also use black polythene cut into a shape similar to the Plant Support Disk and taped to the list of the reservoir.