If you have some free time on your hands, you might be wondering what you can do to spice up in your life. We have an idea for you – spicing up your indoor garden! You can add a different touch to it by utilizing aeroponics. So, what is aeroponics? Aeroponics is like hydroponics except instead of using a water body, your plants are misted or fogged instead. While the term aeroponics may not be as common, I’m pretty sure the name “air plants” will ring a bell. These are the plants that are suspended in mid-air and their water source comes from spray mists rather than a full body of water. This form of indoor gardening is one of the most foolproof ones because the plants require little effort to maintain and these plants can also survive on artificial lighting, reducing the hassle of moving the plant about all the time.
Perks of Aerogardening
An aerogarden brings about a multitude of benefits as compared to other forms of gardening.
- Aeroponics helps you save on the resources needed to maintain the vegetation. Aero plants only require a minimal amount of water along with artificial light to sustain itself. Compared to the traditional soil garden, the aerogarden only utilizes a minuscule percentage of water compared to the amount that would be used in the soil garden.
- Aero gardens also cut down on the potential health issues that normal soil plants would be demised by. With the roots being exposed to the air and away from pests and insects, the likelihood of your plant dying from these diseases is significantly lowered.
- With the lack of an apparent water body, the chances of getting water-logged roots are also minimized which also means less mold and mildew will form and develop. This is also reduced by the fact that there is no soil involved in this process.
- Pests and insects not only bring health problems to the table, they are also capable of massive destruction to your plants. So, the fact that it is indoors, and free from the soil means that the problem of attracting these undesired entities are much lower.
Crops for Aerogardening
It is a given that not all plants will be suitable for this form of gardening. The more delicate species like roses and are not suitable for aeroponics. As such, here is the list of plants that are most commonly known to be suitable for aeroponics.
Great in your salad, and also great in your indoor garden. Lettuce is one of the most popular plants that people usually harvest with aeroponics due to certain characteristics such as its foolhardiness. Lettuce requires little special care, and its maximum size is not too massive that it becomes a problem. Its short harvesting period also means that it is usually ready in a month or less. The only thing that you do need to take note of and keep in check would be the temperature and the amount of light that the plant receives. As an excessive intake of heat or light would cause the plant to bolt, turning the leaves bitter.
Slightly more complicated than lettuce are strawberries. But they will definitely be worth the effort because who hates strawberries right? So, unlike above, strawberries require more special attention because strawberries go through the process of flowering and fruiting. What you should take note of here is to ensure that your strawberries are receiving the appropriate nutrient solution at its different stages. When you get past the flowering stage into the fruiting stage, it is advisable to use solutions that are lower in nitrogen and higher in potassium to ensure successful growth. One unique thing about strawberries is that they produce runners which can be good if you are looking to grow a bigger strawberry garden but not as good if your main aim is to produce more fruit first. So, once these runners pop up, cutting them at their bud would bring about a better harvest.
I hope you love fruits because aeroponics is suitable for another kind of fruit, tomatoes. With indoor gardening, you might be thinking of the smaller species which are cherry tomatoes but you need not limit yourself to that because aeroponics can support the development of the larger ones as well with the right care. Like strawberries, there must be special attention paid to the solution to ensure that sufficient and appropriate nutrients are being received by the tomato plant. As with most fruits, tomato plants also go through the flowering and fruiting process so you would need to make the necessary adjustments depending on what you want.
Mint and Basil
Like the lettuce, we bring you to another leafy vegetation which is one of the most suitable kinds of plants to work with when you have an aerogarden. This is because they require minimal effort to be maintained. In particular, for mint and basil, the crops turn out more aromatic when grown in this manner. So, the most important part of these vegetables are their leaves, and to maximize growth in that area, some adjustments need to be made to your solution. Mixtures that contain higher levels of nitrogen compound will propagate the growth of the leafiness of your mint and basil and a pH level that borders on the acidic side will be ideal for it.
I hope you are excited to start experimenting with the kind of plants you want to grow in your indoor garden. If you are, be sure to start out by researching the right equipment to be used in your indoor garden before beginning the work. Aeroponics models tend to be more costly than other forms of gardening like hydroponics or aquaponics, and they are definitely not the easiest one to work with. So, for those of you who have little to no experience in this area, my recommendation is to start out with a smaller aerogarden kit so that you can get used to the specific requirements of this type of gardening. With that said, have fun and you can only learn to get better through experience, so keep trying!