Aeroponics is the practice of growing plants in the air. Nutrients and water are supplied by an intermittent spray on the roots.
Aeroponic crops are a type of crop where the roots of the plants are suspended in the air in a sealed environment, which are periodically sprayed with a nutrient solution.
A highly humid microenvironment is generated inside the container, where a large number of bacteria grow on the roots of the plants. These bacteria assimilate the nitrogen of the air transforming it from a stable N2 molecule to nitrites and nitrates that are easily assimilated by the plant.
In general, controlled closed crops, such as hydroponics and aeroponics versus traditional agriculture have the following common advantages:
- It allows to harvest throughout the year.
- It guarantees the minimization of risks of loss due to climatic factors.
- Guarantees the maximization of production by optimizing growth and maturation factors.
- It allows the reduction of pathogens. In contrast to all other forms of crops, aeroponics have the highest efficiency with respect to the saving of resources such as water and nutrients, since these are recycled through a timed irrigation system (Source: Article Aeroponia as a method of sustainable cultivation, profitable and inclusive in Bogotá DC, Colombia, Paola Martinez).
- A risk of aeroponic crops is that they must ensure the constant supply of energy to the equipment that operates the system. It is estimated around 4 hours as the maximum time that the crops can pass without receiving the nutritive solution. More than that could be harmful to the entire harvest (Source: https://www.hydroenv.com.mx/catalogo/index.php?main_page=page&id=110),
- The economic cost is much higher, since it requires a very appropriate and specific preparation of the space where the roots are located, as well as a water spray system and timers.
- If you want to build without prior knowledge, it is also more complex, since in addition to a water pump you have to take into account the pressure and correct water spray.