In the world of hydroponics and aeroponics, there are many similarities. They both use a nutrient solution to feed the plants in a closed environment that is not exposed to soil or any other forms of contamination.
This can be done either with an open system or a closed system. However, when it comes to these two methods, they have some major differences as well.
In this easy simple guide, we'll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method so you can make your decision about which one is right for your situation!
Is aeroponics better than hydroponics?
It's an innovative method of growing plants by the use of suspending the plant roots in air or mist.
The major difference between hydroponics and aeroponics is that while hydroponic systems provide a soilless growing medium, an aeroponics system provides no growth media for the root system to grow within.
An aeroponic system is often referred to as a "true hydroponic" system, which means that nutrient absorption is higher because delivery is directly into the root zone.
It's considered by many professional growers to be better than Hydroponics for growing plants because it can be used with any kind of plant and does not require specialized equipment. If there's one thing I could tell you about aeroponics vs hydroponics, it's that aeroponics is more versatile.
Aeroponic systems can be used with any plant species and are not limited by the types of growing media or environmental conditions like hydroponics. But remember, they're also more expensive!
What are the disadvantages of aeroponics?
Like with most things, it does come with some disadvantages:
Requires constant monitoring
A key drawback of aeroponics is that it requires constant monitoring. Since the roots are not contained in a growing medium, they need to be sprayed at regular intervals depending on environmental conditions.
Very expensive to set up
To get started, you are going to have to invest in an expensive setup. It's usually around $200 all the way up to $1000.
Power cuts happen often
If you are not at home or your greenhouse is out of reach with power tools then something goes wrong, it can be a disaster for aeroponic plants.
You need technical expertise
You need to have a fair amount of technical expertise, so if you are not technically inclined it may be difficult for you.
Can't use any growing medium
As we said before, an aeroponic garden is a true hydroponic system because the roots do not grow in soil or any other type of growing media.
The root chamber needs disinfecting
The root chamber will need to be disinfected constantly because it is impossible to sterilize the inside of a misting system.
They are noisy systems
These systems are noisier than hydroponic and aquaponic systems, so if you have close neighbors then this is something that should be taken into consideration.
Hydroponics vs aeroponics: Comparing both methods
So now we've got a good understanding of what aeroponics is and what the main disadvantages are. Let's now look at a direct comparison with hydroponics.
Cost of setting up
The initial cost for setting up an aeroponics system is much higher than for a hydroponics system. This is because you will need to buy an expensive misting system and the cost of electricity powering it can be high as well.
On average, a professional setup can vary from $200 all the way up to over $1000 depending on what equipment you choose. In comparison, a hydroponics system can be set up for only $50.
Plant growth, harvesting and yield
The time it takes to grow a plant from seed to harvest is usually shorter with aeroponics than hydroponics. This is because the roots are receiving a constant flow of nutrient-rich water and air, which provides them with all they need for fast growth.
Aeroponic systems produce yields that are 25% higher than those produced by other types of systems. The quick root growth in aeroponics systems allows the plants to uptake nutrients and minerals much faster than in soil gardening or hydroponic plants, which results in higher yields.
Maintenance is a crucial factor both systems, but more so in aeroponics. The more complex a system, the higher number of things can go wrong with it and this is true for aeroponics systems as well.
In hydroponic growing media such as clay pebbles or perlite there are no problems that occur from using them, but if you use water then certain types of algae can develop.
Everyone is much more environmentally conscious these days. That's why locally-grown soilless produce is becoming so popular.
Since hydroponics systems use no soil, they have a much smaller environmental impact than other types of growing methods. Plus the water that is used can be recycled and then reused in your system which means you are not wasting precious resources.
Aeroponic systems on the other hand come with a very high energy consumption because of all the misting and air pumps.
The final verdict: Which method is better?
So that covers everything. You know the costs, the pros and cons of each system, and how much time is needed to build and maintain a healthy yield.
But, which one is a better choice for you?
To be honest, both methods have their good and bad points, but they can also both provide big yields. It is best for you to decide which one suits your needs the most and will allow you to grow healthy plants without any problems or setbacks in time for the harvest season.
If we had to choose between hydroponics vs aeroponics, we would probably go with hydroponics. This type of growing method is definitely the most popular one at the moment because it has proven to be effective and efficient for many years now.