What is the Difference between Hydroponics and Aeroponics?

hydronics and aeroponics

There has been an explosion of interest in indoor gardening. Many people have taken up this important, environmentally sustainable hobby and learned a number of new things in the process. Even if you have not yet taken the plunge, chances are you have at least heard of hydroponics. But have you heard of aeroponics?

There are some interesting and important differences between the two. One thing that they have in common is they differ significantly from conventional gardening.

 

Hydroponics

The word “hydroponics” has its origins in Greek. “Hydro” means water, while “ponics” is labor. Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants in solutions that include special nutrients. In contrast to conventional gardening, there is no soil involved.

Under a hydroponic system, plants can grow in such unconventional growth mediums as gravel or sand. With the amount of pollution in the air and soil in some parts of the world, hydroponics provides a viable alternative. Those concerned with GMO and the overuse of pesticides can also turn to hydroponics as a way of growing their food at home under conditions they control. Natural light is not a requirement for hydroponics. That makes hydroponics perfect for those who like to garden indoors due to a lack of outdoor space or poor weather conditions. Hydroponic systems are also sustainable because they can recycle water. This is especially important in the future as shortages of fresh water seem likely in the decades to come.
Hydroponic plants also grow faster than their soil-driven counterparts and usually offer a larger harvest.

 

Aeroponics

One usually only sees roots when you pull a plant from the soil. Aeroponics, however, finds the plants growing with their roots fully exposed to the air. This method does not require any kind of growth medium. The fact that you can see the plants while they grow is thrilling for those who love gardening. You can also know well ahead of time if a plant is running into problems.
The plants are suspended and periodically misted at pre-determined times with a special solution containing the required nutrients. This allows those nutrients to go directly to the plants with none lost in the soil. Aeroponics systems tend to be lighter and smaller than hydroponics, so this method will be a definite advantage for some. Equipment for this option is also less specialized and can be less expensive.
As you might imagine, the lack of dirt means it is much easier to harvest both of these crops! Both methods also mean far less chance of damage caused by insects or disease. Whichever method you choose, you are doing the planet a favor and helping to ensure the health of your family. Think about what you hope to accomplish with your indoor gardening, how much you wish to spend, and the set-up you prefer. If you have any questions, the experts at Indoor Farmer are happy to lend a hand! We have the knowledge and the products to help, whether you choose hydroponics or aeroponics. Contact us now to learn more about how you can help contribute to the creation of a sustainable future.
 
Image: lilkin