When it comes to growing plants, many methods have started emerging these days. Unlike our traditional soil farming or soil gardening, we can grow plants using hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics.
Today we are going to see about two such growing methods, they are Aeroponics and Deep Water Culture Hydroponics. We will explain these two methods in detail before jumping into their advantages, disadvantages, and conclusion. Sit tight when we dive in!
What is Aeroponics?
Aeroponics is a newbie to gardening, it is a technology which has been invented in the 1940s. It is not completely new but it has created a revolution in the realm of gardening and farming.
The important fact you should know about this aeroponics is that it doesn’t need any medium or soil for plants to grow. Yes, you heard right. It doesn’t use any actual land or soil for plant growth. Which is completely opposite to the previous articles about Hydroponics and Aquaponics systems.
All you have to do is just suspend the roots of plants in air, and nutrients and water are delivered to the plants through a fine mist.
In a standard or regular Aeroponic system, plants are usually placed on top of a reservoir which is highly secured and tightly sealed in a container. In this container, there is a pump and a sprinkler from where the mist is sprayed.
The mist contains nutrients that are required by a plant that may include water, nutrients, fertilizers, and many necessary substances. The sprinklers system allows the mist to surround the plant roots and this is how the nutrients are taken by plants.
How does aeroponics work?
Aero gardens or aeroponics use LED lights to grow plants, which results in fast and simple growth of plants. In fact, the plants grown under LEDs are five times faster than the traditionally grown plants. It only takes a little effort to show great results.
To understand better about the aero garden process, you need to look at the following appliances :
1. Aerogarden seed pods.
Every aero garden model comes with a seed pot kit, which contains the seeds you would like to grow. The pods pull in moisture and help in germinating the seed. Around 150 different seed pot kits are available for indoor plants.
2. Grow lights or LEDs
This is a different and unique feature of the Aeroponic method, where the sunlight is replaced with artificial light. But this is more similar to natural sunlight. This will not only help plants to germinate but also helps in performing photosynthesis irrespective of sunlight availability.
3. Water pump.
This water pump helps in preventing the growth of algae or any other bacteria by continuously moving water. It also helps water to circulate over the seeds to keep them moist properly.
4. Alert system.
In the modern or latest aero garden systems, there is an alert system that alerts you when it is time to add extra nutrients or water to refill the tank.
Top Picks of Aerogarden, that rule the world.
- Aerogarden Bounty elite. – Best for gadget lovers.
- Aerogarden Bounty Basic.– Best for Basil Lovers.
- Aerogarden Classic- best for spreaders like mint.
- AeroGarden Harvest.- Better for small herbs
- Aerogarden Sprout. – best for small places.
There’s no doubt that hydroponic farming is gaining popularity—and will continue to do so—due to its convenience, efficiency, and environmental friendliness. But where do you start if you want to join this current gardening trend?
One of the most crucial considerations you’ll have to make is which hydroponic growth system to choose. Your decision will be influenced by how much money you want to spend, the plants you think of growing, and your understanding and level of gardening knowledge.
What is Deep Water Culture? (DWC)
Deep Water Culture (DWC) is a type of hydroponics system in which plants are grown with their roots submerged in an aerated nutrient or fertilizer solution. Deep Water Culture (DWC) System is the cleanest and most basic kind of hydroponics, making it an ideal system for novices.
Deep Water Culture is popular for many reasons, the primary reason is that they are very easy and simple farming methods to start with. The only simpler system is the Wicking system.
Advantages of Growing plants through this method
- Very low maintenance after setting up.
- The fastest-growing time when compared to soil farming method. For instance, you can grow Lettuce in 30 days where it takes 60 days in soil.
- As the plants are located in deep water there is no much need for fertilizers.
- Improves plant absorption due to aeration of roots, also increases cell growth rate.
- Very little moving parts.
Disadvantages of Growing plants through this method
- Every process, every ingredient, and everything has its own advantages and disadvantages. Similarly the Deep Water Culture. The disadvantages are not noticeable if you maintain your garden properly.
- In small systems, pH, water level and nutrient concentration may fluctuate widely.
- If there is an electrical outage or pump failure, roots may drown in low oxygen nutrient solution.
- It is difficult or it can be difficult to maintain consistent water temperature.
- In small systems, it is very easy to over or under-calibrate.
Differences between Deep Water Culture Hydroponics and Aeroponics.
|1.||Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in a nutrient-filled solution, without soil.||Aeroponics is a method of growing plants without soil, but the roots are exposed to the air and sunlight.
|2.||Roots of this method of growing plants are drenched in nutrient rich solutions.||The Roots of plants in this method are exposed to air or nutrient rich mist.
|3.||Chemical inert media like clay, sand are used to hold the plant firmly.||No such media is used.
|4.||can grow various varieties of plants.||Recommended for olives and citrus plants.
|5.||Requires larger amounts of water than aeroponics.||Requires less water than hydroponics.
|6.||Hydroponics is a low-maintenance system.||Aeroponics is a relatively more maintenance system.
|7.||Less prone to outages or less affected by the outage||Mostly subjected to outages.
Nutrient absorption percentage: Hydroponics vs Aeroponics.
- 2.13% in hydroponics, 3.29% in aeroponics
- 0.82% in hydroponics, 1.25% in aeroponics
- 1.81% in hydroponics, 2.46% in aeroponics
- 0.32% in hydroponics, 0.43% in aeroponics
- 0.40% in hydroponics, 0.44% in aeroponics
Every research shows that aeroponics absorbs more nutrients than hydroponics.This also explains why plants grow faster in Aquaponics. In this method nutrients are not wasted which is an advantage in the long run.
Aeroponics uses 20% of the water that hydroponics uses.
Aeroponics is better. This is because of more oxygen being available to the root zone of the plants. It also has much less chance of hosting bacteria and disease due to the fact that the plants are not sitting in a growing medium which may not be getting sufficient air at times.
Aeroponics also clones plants flawlessly and produces more because of the increased oxygen to the root zone.
Another note is that DWC hydroponics can damage the roots if the air stones are blowing out too much air because the pump is too big.
Don’t get me wrong, aeroponics has it’s challenges too but it has proved to be superior in most cases.
Frequently Asked Questions.
1. Is Aeroponics better than Hydroponics?
Yes. Aeroponics is better than Hydroponics. Both hydroponics and aeroponics are high-yielding when compared to traditional soil farming. In fact, they are 3 to 20 times high yielding. Aeroponics also consumes less water for plant growth.
2. Is Aeroponics easier?
In a hydroponic system, we can make a homemade grow setup by using PVC pipes. On the other hand, aeroponics can not be built easily.
It needs proper planning and systems to grow plants effectively. But, in both the systems it is compulsory to check the water daily.
3. What is the difference between Aeroponics and Hydroponics?
Both of these are new methods of growing plants. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants that use nutrient-rich solutions instead of soil. Whereas, Aeroponics is a method of growing plants in the air, without using any soil.
4. Is Aeroponics Cost-effective?
Aeroponics method of farming can be done in vertical methods as well which saves a lot of space. In other words, we can say it produces more crops in less space.
So it is definitely a cost-effective method. It can also be automated that reduces the labor cost.