eroponics is a farming method that does not use soil. Instead, plant roots are doused in a nutrient-rich mist. This allows for higher oxygen levels and prevents waterlogging – resulting in higher yields and faster growth rates.
There are many different types of plants that you can grow in an aeroponic system, and many of these make good business cases and offer impressive environmental benefits. Here are some plants that you can grow with an aeroponic system:
It is a popular vegetable in high-end restaurants as a side dish or salad mix. In an aeroponic system it is possible to grow large quantities of microgreens very quickly. In our system, varieties such as micro radish and micro broccoli require only 3-5 days in the nursery after germination.
The nutritional value of a plant depends on its stage of development. Microgreens are at their most nutrient-dense stage, unlike when they are still seeds. However, nutrients are not easily absorbed by us in this form, so plants are most nutritious when they are still in the microgreen form. This means you don't have to eat a lot of them to get tall.
Green vegetables, herbs and salads
Perhaps the most common plants you will grow in an aeroponic system are leafy greens and lettuce, which benefit from year-round growing. They are often used in ready made salad boxes, sandwiches or in restaurants. Lettuce has a short shelf life, so growing it as close to the consumer as possible will avoid wastage of food. It also allows you to grow it for maximum flavor rather than making sure the plant survives the long trip to the supermarket. Popular crops are basil, lettuce, and peas.
Offering fruit crops during the winter months not only benefits consumers, but also allows fruit growers to have a more consistent annual turnover and workload. Strawberries are a great choice for growing in an aeroponic system because their growing season is very limited.
Tomatoes can also be grown aeroponically. You see the same benefits of growing all year round and don't need soil. This eases the growing process as young plants do not need to be transplanted. However, tomato plants require more space than leafy greens and greens, which affects their ability to grow vertically. Therefore, aeroponic tomatoes may be more suitable for greenhouse systems. That's not to say that vertically grown tomatoes are out of the question, as there are several dwarf tomato cultivars that are smaller but still fruitful.
The whip is made of wood
Nurseries provide a stable and optimal environment for propagation and growth of trees to the desired size, and it is possible to complete the growth at this stage in an aeroponic system. Successful propagation largely depends on the quality of the seedlings. It is also important to build a strong root system, as survival after planting largely depends on the plant's ability to absorb water.
Aeroponics produces large, healthy root bodies that can support establishment and increase the success of forestry projects. One of the challenges of growing tree whip, whether in soil, water or mist, involves the possibility of transplant shock – a strong root system is key to curtailing it. We plan to carry out further research to understand how aeroponics might interact with other factors related to tree propagation.
Aeroponics can be used to grow a variety of root crops, for example many studies on aeroponic potato growing have shown some of the benefits of this system. At LettUs Grow, we grow baby carrots and radishes. Since the growth of these plant species is very different from that of green leaves, the system needs to focus more on growing in the root chambers. Greater space, support and access to roots is required, so a redesign of the system to grow commercially viable root crops permanently may be necessary.