What is Aeroponic Gardening?
Starting a garden can be a daunting task — from finding the space and sourcing the tools to keeping up with the maintenance. Thankfully, technological innovations have made gardening easy and accessible to all. Aeroponic gardening is becoming increasingly popular, but what is it? Follow along as we dive into the history of aeroponic gardening and its relevance to modern-day growing.
To put it simply, aeroponics is a term used to describe a method of growing plants without soil and using very little water. Plants grown in an aeroponic system are suspended in air, with their exposed roots receiving essential nourishments from a nutrient-laden mist.
Aeroponics vs. Hydroponics
Aeroponics and hydroponics are commonly mentioned together as they are both effective soilless cultivation methods that are gaining popularity among growing communities. While the terms sound similar, their applications are different:
Hydroponics is essentially an overarching term that covers six unique methods of growing plants in a soilless environment. Using this approach, the soil is replaced by another growing medium, such as foam. The plants are then watered with a nutrient-rich solution that allows them to flourish.
Aeroponics is one of the six subsets of hydroponic gardening, but eliminates the need for an alternate growing medium. As explained, the plants in an aeroponic garden are suspended in air and get life from a nutrient-rich mist. This provides growers with multiple benefits that other hydroponic methods don’t offer, such as the ability to grow vertically.
History of Aeroponic Gardening
While the concept of aeroponics is becoming more widespread, primitive aeroponic methods date back more than 100 years. In fact, Russian botanist V.M. Artsikhovski first introduced the concept in 1911 with an article about ‘Air Plant Cultures,’ in which he described his methods for cultivating root systems by spraying various substances in the surrounding air.
Decades later, various scientists across the globe like W. Carter (1942), L.J. Klotz (1944), and G.F. Trowel (1952) saw success using the misting approach to grow everything from avocados to apple trees. The term ‘aeroponics’ was later coined in 1957 by F.W. Went, who used a nutrient mist to grow coffee plants and tomatoes.
The term gained international recognition in the 1990s when NASA announced it was using aeroponic technology to experiment with plant growth in space. NASA discovered that their aeroponic growing systems provided a clean, efficient, and rapid growth option in their space shuttles.
Benefits of Owning an Aeroponic Garden
Aside from sporting a sleek, futuristic design and making horticulture accessible to gardeners of all skill levels, aeroponic gardens come with a myriad of other benefits that highlight why they are growing in popularity.
Bigger Yields with Fewer Resources: According to NASA’s experiments, aeroponic gardens have the potential to yield 3x bigger harvests than traditional gardening methods, using 98% less water, 60% less fertilizer, and 100% less pesticides. Not only that, with grow lights, gardens can thrive inside in areas with little to no sunlight.
Faster Growth & Simple Harvests: With their roots directly exposed to oxygen and key nutrients, plants grown in an aeroponic garden can grow 30% faster than a common garden that requires cultivation. Harvesting plants is also made simple with easily accessible planting ports that separate individual plants and keep them spaced out.
Less Maintenance in Less Space: If you have less than four square feet to spare on your patio or in your apartment, home, or place of work, you have room for an aeroponic garden. With a vertical design, these gardens don’t take up much room. Given that components of modern day aeroponic gardens are now automatic, maintenance is simple and stress free.
How to Get Started
Looking to get started with aeroponic gardening? Check out our Beginner's Guide to Aeroponic Gardening to see how easy it is to grow delicious fruits and vegetables from the comfort of your home.
Tower Garden offers two variations of aeroponic gardens. While either unit can be used indoors or outdoors, Tower Garden FLEX is for those who wish primarily to grow outdoors, and Tower Garden HOME is great for indoor growing. Each garden comes with a set of starter seeds and essential accessories to ensure you can hit the ground running.
Looking for some aeroponic inspiration? Follow us on Instagram at @towergardenofficial to see how our customers are harnessing the power of aeroponic technology to grow fresh produce and create delicious meals for their families.
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