Indoor hydroponic and aeroponic systems offer a great way of producing your veggies and greens from the comfort of your own apartment. Until recently, these highly sophisticated systems were heavy, expensive accessible only to commercial-scale operations and labs. However, with the help of technology, we are now able to start a mini-greenhouse, without ever getting our hands dirty!
The advantages of growing with a hydroponic or aeroponic system are significant. First of all, the lack of soil makes these methods cleaner (and therefore, more suited to home growing). Also, the more efficient distribution of nutrients means a better absorption rate from your plants (which translates to rapid growing rates). Finally, both in hydro and aero grows, your herbs are protected from pests and insects that are frequently attracted by the fertilized soil.
While both methods are quite similar, some key differences might help you decide which one suits you best. In both circumstances, you don’t need any soil or traditional fertilizer, to begin with. All nutrients are bottled and administered in doses.
In hydroponics, the plants are suspended inside a pot filled with an inert material that allows the easy flow of water. The roots are submerged in water, and they absorb their nutrients directly from the water. As a result, the plants grow bigger, while the roots stay smaller (as they don’t have to reach out much).
On the other hand, aeroponics is quite similar, with a key exception: Instead of being submerged, the roots are hanging in mid-air! A timed mechanism sprays nutrient-rich water directly on them, giving you much more flexibility over the arrangement of your garden.
Both methods are far superior to soil growing (especially indoors). If you are having a hard time deciding which one is best for you, keep reading to learn more about hydroponics and aeroponics.