By definition aeroponic growing means there is no soil involved in the growing process. If you have even a cursory knowledge of plant husbandry, you know that soil is key to delivering nutrients to the plants. So how does an aeroponic system deliver nutrients to the plants?
The simple answer is plants receive their nutrients through the water. In an AERO grow system two granular packets of nutrients are dissolved into water and used as a concentrate when watering the plants. These granulated nutrients are natural minerals which would normally be found in the soil.
Seeds for an AERO aeroponic system are placed in rockwool, a spun molten rock medium. The rockwool serves as a sponge for the nutrient water and provides a soil-like environment for the seed to grow. As the roots penetrate the rockwool, they hang down in the center column of the AERO unit and soak in water as it drips over the roots.
Water flows over the roots and is recollected in the reservoir for the next watering cycle. The reservoir is filled with nutrient water as needed to keep the plants fed. There is one additional measure that must be performed to ensure the plants are receiving the nutrients in the water, and this also happens for soil-based growing. The pH level of the water must be tested and adjusted as necessary.
Having the proper pH level for the plants you are growing is critical to the plant absorbing the nutrients from the water. Most plants like to be in the 6.0 – 6.5 range, on a scale where 7.0 is neutral. An improper pH level could lead to discoloration of leaves, weak looking plants, and other blights because of poor nutrient absorption. Researching the desired pH level for the seed varieties you choose to grow in your AERO unit will ensure healthy plants.
One major benefit of growing without soil… No Weeds!