What IS Aeroponic Gardening?
Aeroponics is a category of hydroponics. In hydroponic gardening soil is omitted and instead the nutrients plants require are supplemented into water. Nutrients may come in powder, liquid or 'solid' form. They may be synthetic or natural including live fish excrement (aquaponics). In hydroponics water is provided directly to the roots of plants by wicking, or immersion.
Aeroponics differs from standard hydroponic approaches in that the roots of plants are exposed to the air the majority of the time. Mist or water droplets are delivered periodically throughout the day and night. Roots have ample time to absorb nutrients and are supported in doing so by the presence of oxygen in the surrounding air.
Why would anyone want to garden without soil?
The advantages of aeroponics are many:
* Aeroponics allows the grower to work vertically, maximizing space and allowing more production in limited space
* Aeroponic systems can be erected indoors or outdoors avoiding traditional problems such as pests and extream weather
* Aeroponic systems require 95% less water that soil gardening, no pesticides, herbicides or weeding.
* Since gardens can be made vertical they can be made at various heights and widths to accommodate any space, and any physical limitations of the gardener.
* Since there is no weeding, and water and light can be set to a timer aeroponic gardening is extreamly energy conservative
* Indoor aeroponic gardens can be an extremely effective way to create better air quality and a healthful environment over all
If there is no soil what holds the plants in?
There are a number of soil less growing mediums used on the market. Your tower will come with rock wool cubes. We have used these extensively with great success and find them simple. You sprout your seeds in the growing medium and simply transfer the seedling into the tower when it is ready. The plugs fit perfectly into small “net” baskets (also provided) so your plants are firmly held with space for water to pass over the roots.
How do they grow?
As the grow you will add nutrient solution periodically. This will mix with the water which is circulated through the system throughout the day “raining” over the plants roots inside the tower. The nutrient solution is a blend of nitrate, phosphates and potassium. These are the key nutrients all plants require. Since the roots are exposed to oxygen as well as the nutrient rich water they quickly take and use the nutrients and grow very well.
Are seeds included with the kit?
No, seeds are not included with your tower. This is because everyone has their own preference about what they would like to grow. Seeds of any sort can be used and are readily available in most stores and by order on line. As such we leave it to you the customer to make that decision.
What can I grow?
We do not recommend root vegetables in our towers as they will develop inside the structure and be difficult to harvest.
You can grow nearly any vegetable, herb, vine, or flower though!
Fruiting plants require slightly different conditions and care. For that reason we recommend starting with leafy greens and herbs.
*Drought loving plants and tall grasses do not fair well for this style of garden.
Do I need a special light?
It is ideal for plants to get 12-16 hours of daylight. If you do not think they can get the full exposure, you should provide at least one full spectrum grow light. These are provided as part of our started kit or can be purchased separately
How long does it take to grow things?
Most plants are ready between 60 and 90 days of seeding. Every environment is different however so grow times vary.
What if I go on vacation?
If you are going away for a short vacation you can check your system before you go and it should be fine. For extended periods we would recommend either having someone check for you or shut the system down.
Can it grow year round?
If you choose to grow year round it is absolutely possible. Our systems have been designed with this goal in mind. You will most likely need at least 1 grow light
Are the materials use food safe?
The water reservoir is food grade plastic. This is the most important component as this is where the water sits and has the most exposure. The tower plumbing is approved for incoming water intake for home use as is the PVC that is used to create the structure. These materials are stable as long as they are not heated or place under pressure. The finished tower receives 2-3 coats of outdoor paint as well which seals the unit and makes it tolerant to UV exposure.
Grow For You Inc. is committed to long term sustainability and is actively seeking alternative materials to create these units. At this time we find PVC to be the most appropriate material to maintain accessible costs and safe produce. A properly used tower should never make its way to landfill and will save vast amounts of food waste, plastic packaging, transportation costs, pesticide and land use etc.
Can I put it outside?
The tower structure is suitable for out door weather. If you have purchased a wooden base we suggest it be protected from the elements as it was constructed for indoors. A covered patio or porch would be fine and would give you access to natural pollinators making summer fruits a simple option! You can also maintain the base by adding a new layer of polyurethane after the outdoor season.
How often do I need to “tend” it?
About once a week. For approximately 10 minutes. Depending on your crop you may need to do some pruning. Occasionally you should disassemble and rinse the unit which takes about 30 mins.
What tools, equipment or knowledge do I need to get started?
A pH and Ppm meter, nutrients, and pH adjuster are your key components. If you buy a starter kit these are included.
Our new growers guide walks you through the steps.
The basics facts you need to know are:
pH should be 6 (5.5-6.5)
Ppm should be between 800 and 1400
Your plants need 12-16 hours of light
Plugs should be damp, not soaked
You need to provide well balanced nutrients.
If you manage these things your plants will grow! From there you can begin to fine tune your process if you wish. More in depth knowledge will allow you to become a specialist in your crop. We will help guide you toward resources via the website.
How do I place an order?
We welcome orders through our online store, however customers are also welcome to call or e-mail directly. If you have specific requests about what customization are available we recommended connecting directly so that we can be very clear about your wishes.
Payment and Shipping
Shipping is calculated by weight and geography. Grow For You Inc. works to keep these rates as low as possible but cost of shipping is the responsibility of the buyer. If you are local and wish to pick the tower up personally you may opt to do so. In these cases we will accept payment on delivery (cash, credit or e-transfer only please.) Local deliveries may also be possible - this is a case by case basis and some fees may apply.
Secure Ordering & Payment Options
Grow For You Inc. uses common regulated systems to process your payment, your personal information is not accessed or gathered by our team.
Returns & Refunds
Grow For You systems are custom made to order. As such we can not accept returns, however we will work with you to ensure that should you encounter any difficulty with the structure or system components we rectify the problem. Please be sure you have reviewed the grow guide before making your purchase to ensure you are prepared to maintain your system.