Aeroponics is an incredibly versatile method for growing plants without soil. It uses a microfine mist that is periodically sprayed on plant roots that are suspended in air. The magic of aeroponics is this key word – “periodically”.
Hydroponic systems, on the other hand, typically leave roots continuously in contact with moisture. This method of growing encourages “necrosis," or rot, on the ends of root vegetables. This makes growing tubers, like potatoes and sweet potatoes, and root vegetables, like carrots and beets, challenging. With aeroponics, the nutrient solution is periodically sprayed, then the roots are left to almost dry while they absorb the nutrient solution. This drying period is what keeps the roots from rotting.
This unique aspect of aeroponics opens the door to growing everything, including potatoes and carrots and other root vegetables, as well as tomatoes, peppers, berries, leafy greens, and herbs. This is where the phrase “Grow Anything” comes from.
But the benefits of aeroponics apply to more than just tubers...
Using a mist ensures that every bit of the root structure receives nutrients, so plants absorb more compared to other methods. Hanging in air, the roots also have access to all the oxygen they want. This double bonus of high nutrient and oxygen availability creates rapid plant growth and higher yields.
Because the roots are free to expand in any direction, root growth is vigorous, providing the plant with more surface area for nutrient uptake. And because the roots don’t have to struggle to push through soil to grow, more energy can be put into growing the plant stems and leaves and producing more and bigger fruit.
Spraying roots directly instead of letting them share the same liquid nutrient solution reservoir keeps them isolated and reduces the spreading of disease.
This isolation from disease also means it is safer to grow plants much closer together so you can grow more plants in less space.
Propagating new plants from cuttings is highly successful with aeroponics because even the tiniest new root nubs and hairs receive nutrient solution. Even plants that are difficult to propagate with other methods are successfully grown with aeroponics.
And plants are easily transplanted from an aeroponics system into soil without suffering from any transplant shock.
Farmers are using aeroponics to increase seed potato yields, which can be 4-10 times higher, while also reducing the occurrence of disease in the potatoes. This means local farmers around the world have a larger supply for starting their potato crops. Many countries are turning to aeroponics for increasing their total potato production, including China, Kenya, and Brazil.
Aeroponics really is an amazing technological breakthrough and offers so much potential to Feed the Future. Check out our Eden Grow Towers here, and together, let’s GROW ANYTHING™!