Chronicology 101: Aeroponics
Some of you may be familiar with the AeroGarden and other aeroponic products. But, what makes them aeroponics? What the hell is aeroponics?
Hydroponics is growing plants without soil, and technically aeroponics is a type of hydroponics. The benefits of using such a system over growing in soil is that you can have much more control over the nutrients that you feed your babies. In a soil grow, the soil provides the nutrients and a support structure for the roots to grow. In hydroponics you must provide your plant with all the nutrients, and support the roots with something like rockwool or hydroton. In aeroponics, you essentially allow the roots to grow freely as they please, supported by nothing other than themselves and air. And, you spray the roots with nutrients so that they don’t dry out.
This sounds crazy, but you will be surprised at how much you can increase your yield and efficiency by using an aeroponic system.
You are going to need to purchase a 5 gallon bucket and a lid. And, you want to spray paint the outside of the bucket and top of the lid black. This will provide the optimal growing conditions for the roots which will die if exposed to light.
Once you do this, you will need to purchase a mesh pot typically used for aquatic plants and cut a hole in the lid to fit the pot. Make sure you don’t cut the hole too big or the pot will fall through. You will also need enough hydrton or rockwool cubes to fill the pot, or a large rockwool cube that fits snuggly inside. If you use a large rockwool cube, cut it into a circle so it fits in the pot.
The easiest way to start a seedling for such an operation is in a small rockwool starter cube.
Now, in order to provide the roots with nutrients you need to spray them some how. And, there are two ways to do this.
One is to create a deep water culture, and this is by far the easiest method. You simply fill the bucket with dechlorinated water and nutrients. Then, you place an air stone, one of the things that makes bubbles in a fish tank, at the bottom of the bucket. The roots absorb the nutrients and water and get oxygen form the bubbles. At first the roots won’t be submerged in the water but over time they will grow, and eventually fill the whole bucket.
The other method which is slightly more complicated to construct works more like a sprinkler system. You still use the bucket itself as the reservoir for the water and nutrients, but instead of having the roots submerged in the water, you spray the water through little sprinkler heads. This method requires a water pump, and therefore, is slightly more expensive. However, you could adapt your same aeroponics bucket into an effective clone incubator by using this type of set up.
That pretty much covers everything. Sorry for the long delay since the last post. We’ve been working 12 hour days at our “real jobs”. And, to Nicholas Davis, don’t worry sir we haven’t forgotten about you. We just haven’t had time to hit up the head shop.
As always, Jah bless. And, thank you for your continued patronage of MJMB.
(at work now, need to get at it, pictures to be added soon)