Aeroponics system has come to farmers’ rescue in the wake of deteriorating soil quality and shortage of land. A highly technological farming system is one of the best alternatives to traditional farming. People can grow fresh vegetables at home, making the most air and enjoy healthy food. While this system is a hope for future generations, it brings many concerns to debate. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Aeroponics take to evaluate the system from both sides.
Aeroponics is the process of growing fruits and vegetables in a mist of air controlled in a highly sophisticated environment. The system utilizes advanced technology and is often practised by home growers due to its benefits. As the name suggests, you need not depend on soil, and the food products typically vary from the ones grown through Hydroponics or Aquaponics.
This technique is evidently a sustainable way to manage crops and indoor plants. Farmers can grow healthier without much effort. It’s also an effective method to produce food in areas with water scarcity. There are many more advantages of aeroponics systems when taken into practice.
Being suspended in the air and supported by moisture, the roots of a plant get maximum exposure to oxygen supply throughout the day. The mechanism is built in such a way that plants grow faster than in other mediums.
The mist can also be used to sterilize the structure and prevent plant diseases. This way, plants can absorb maximum levels of nutrients as there is interference from external agents.
One of the greatest advantages of aeroponics system is its minimal space requirements. You don’t need much space to grow plants through aeroponics methods. The aeroponics design is built flexibly enough that plants can be stacked upon one another, which reduces the problem of running out of space.
You can maximize the full potential of your growing area no matter how spacious it is. This is why aeroponics is gaining a stronghold in countries such as Singapore, where finding land for food production is a major problem.
Maintaining the aeroponics system is as easy as cleaning your bathroom. Since the Aeroponics system doesn’t require a growing medium, the maintenance effort is minimal and affordable. The only vital thing it needs is regular monitoring of the chamber.
The chamber needs to be disinfected at regular intervals. Apart from that, you need to clean the reservoir and irrigation channels regularly to upkeep the health of plants.
The Aeroponics system makes it possible for you to move around plants without disrupting their growth. This is one of the notable advantages of aeroponics system as you can relocate your nursery to a different location whenever necessary.
Grab the collar with the plant and place it to another spot if you want. Then, you can organize the aeroponic garden in the best way while using most of your space.
The system doesn’t need soil to absorb nutrients; it neither needs manure or fertilizers to promote plant growth. So even there is no excess water consumption in aeroponics farming.
The plants neither require labour work as in the case of traditional farming. No soil means no weeds, so you don’t have to worry about using herbicides or weedicides.
While Aeroponics benefits farmers in many ways, yet it’s got several problems. Compared to the traditional farming systems, there are many disadvantages of Aeroponics linked to technology. From setup costs to maintenance limitations, much is to consider before adapting to this form of farming.
The plants must receive regular monitoring in terms of the supply of nutrients and balancing the pH levels. The nutrients density ratio may get disturbed by natural sensitivities affecting the entire system.
Thus, you must be readily able to control such issues, ensuring that nothing hinders plants' growth. Aeroponics challenges are many for beginners as they may find it difficult to get around how it will work.
The process of Aeroponics farming seems easier once setup is done. But, oftentimes, the setup is what seems as the biggest challenges of Aeroponics. The system depends heavily on technological equipment.
If you know what are you are doing, the initial setup could cost you around a few hundred dollars. If you want to go for an automatic system that regulates the mist levels and backup for constant power supply, the cost spikes. A single unit may cost you around $7000, which keeps on multiplying with as many units you want to buy.
Aeroponics is undoubtedly technology-dependent and relies on pumps, tubes, chambers, reservoirs, and other equipment powered by electricity. The automated aeroponics system can’t operate without a constant power supply.
If you plan to grow an aeroponics garden in an area with power outages, beware of the consequences. Make sure you have optimum methods to backup, such as an independent generator.
It’s an uphill task for beginners to get work around the Aeroponics system, and they may take some time to learn how the entire system works. Half knowledge is always dangerous, especially when you are dealing with the technological concept.
The designing and constructs of the system can pose many challenges if you are not technically sound and experienced. It’s up to you to monitor and maintain the moisture level, disinfect the chamber, and nutrients level from time to time.
You need to rely on technology one way or the other to get optimum results. The system operates on individual components such as reservoir, nutrient pump, mist nozzle, suspension baskets, growing chambers, timers, and watertight chambers.
A minor flaw in the mechanism can result in the loss of plants. The setback is even bigger in terms of financial loss. Be it a timer or mist nozzle; every component is of grave significance when it comes to growing plants aeroponically.
Conclusion on Pros and Cons of Aeroponics
Being a sustainable solution to conventional farming, Aeroponics have many answers to future problems. The farming system is widely accepted in the world’s leading metro cities now. As for the pros and cons of Aeroponics, the limitations are more manageable. If you consider growing an aeroponics garden in your place, it’s always good to do your homework first and work out on the challenges first.
Plant roots have greater access to air levels of gases like oxygen in an aeroponic chamber, which improves plant health. However, when plant roots are submerged, they can become water-logged and deprived of oxygen, just as overwatering your houseplant may kill it.
Both Aeroponics and hydroponics produce superior results and yields than soil gardening, and they are also appropriate for both indoor and urban settings. On the other hand, Aeroponics has larger yields, healthier plants, lower running costs, and is likely to develop in the future. In addition, hydroponics is easier to set up and maintain than soil for growing vegetables and fruits.
Aeroponics systems can be constructed using an empty container, net pots, a pump to push air around the roots. The top of the net pot is covered with plastic or cling film to keep the humidity created by the loose plant roots. A system can be made with a raft and hand-watering or without a raft and is based on how deep your chosen container is. A system can also be constructed by suspending roots in an airtight bag that is cut to allow the root systems access to air at the top of the chamber.
Clogged nozzles are one of the most prevalent issues in Aeroponics, and they can all be resolved by simply cleaning filters, pumps, tubes, and fillings. Problems with the system drying out after harvesting but before cleanup are also rather typical.