You can have fruits, vegetables, and herbs grown in environmentally sustainable Aerogardens at your home.
To build your own Aerogarden, you don’t need a lot of space to grow herbs, fruits, vegetables, or flowers. Your kitchen or a small area in your yard will do.
To build your own Aerogarden, rummage through your garbage bin for some materials. Here’s what you’ll need: a container with a lid; water should not be able to leak. A plastic storage box or Styrofoam box with a lid is perfect; a fish tank pump; seed pots with drainage holes (4 – 6 pieces)
How to Build Your Own Aerogarden
Many people have taken up new hobbies to relax, and gardening has become one. The concept of the Aerogardens is both amazing and so doable that it’s impossible to ignore it!
Procedure to Build Your Own Aerogarden:
Step 1: Remove the lid from the plastic box or Styrofoam box.
Step 2: Make 6 or 7 square holes. It should be smaller than the top of the seed pots. These are for your seed pods.
Step 3: Cut another hole on top of the Styrofoam lid. This is where you will insert the nutrients and water.
Step 4: Insert your seed pots into the lead. Make sure the pot is level with the top.
Step 5: Mix your dirt-free growing medium – mix Vermiculture and Perlite in equal portions.
Step 6: Place dirt-free growing medium on your seed pots and level it off.
Step 7: Place the liquid nutrients according to the package instructions and place about 2 cups full on your water container.
Step 8: Place the plastic box or Styrofoam on the spot you want it to be.
Step 9: Add the water. Allow some space for the air to flow to the seeds.
Step 10: Add the pump to the box.
Step 11: Set the pump to low.
Step 12: Turn on the pump. The liquid solution and oxygen will combine to promote the growth of roots.
Step 13: Plant about 2 to 3 seeds in each pot.
Step 14: Add some nutrients mixed with water. This will help the seeds sprout quickly.
Grow Lights in your Aerogarden
Plants in your Aerogarden will need to grow lights. With grow lights, you can place your Aerogarden anywhere and not just in a sunny window.
Plants in your Aerogarden will love all the light they can get. You should keep grow lights about 4 to 6 inches over your plants.
If you grow different plants in your Aerogarden, expect to have different growth patterns. They will also be in different sizes and shapes.
Basil sprouts in a matter of days and quickly grow tall. If you are planting basil with other plants in your Aerogarden, do not raise the grow light just for the basil because your other plants will not thrive.
Make sure that the grow lights are not too bright for your plants. Bright lights can hurt your eyes because it is just like looking directly at the sun.
This is extremely dangerous, especially if you have children in your home.
Adjust the brightness level or dim the lights in your Aerogarden if they are too bright until you reach the desired effect.
You can also block the light from your view with a board or fabric. The grow lights should target your plants and not bother anyone in your home.
Plants you can Grow in Aerogardens
A plant that grows and thrives in hydroponic gardens does not necessarily do well in an Aerogarden. You need to stay to plants that grow well in Aerogardens.
Tomatoes. If you regularly cook at home, planting tomatoes in your Aerogarden allows you to have home-grown tomatoes anytime. You can also grow small cherry tomatoes in a small Aerogarden.
Make sure to research the proper nutrients and care for your tomato plant so they will flower and fruit after a few months.
Lettuce. This is one of the best vegetables you can grow in your Aerogarden. It’s so because leafy greens do not need much care, and they grow abundantly.
Also, lettuce has a short growing period than any other leafy green. It is important to regulate the amount of heat and light it receives to ensure it grows to have an ideal flavor and texture.
You can also grow other kinds of lettuce together in your Aerogarden such as buttercrunch lettuce, butter king lettuce, garnet rose lettuce, and romaine.
Your Aerogarden is also ideal for growing other salad greens such as:
- Bok Choi
- Collard Greens
- Mustard Greens
Mint and Basil
Mint and basil are also excellent choices to grow in your Aerogarden. They can give a fresh touch and a lot of aesthetics to your Aerogarden. Of course, you can also use them in many of your recipes.
You may be surprised, but you can grow strawberries in your Aerogarden. Fruits can be trickier to grow than leafy greens, though.
Your strawberries will need a lot of attention during their flowering and fruit stage. Patience is important when growing strawberries in Aerogardens.
You will need to provide more light in your Aerogarden if you are growing bell peppers in a larger Aerogarden. Make sure to space out the plants adequately.
You can also grow jalapenos and chili peppers in your Aerogarden. They can also produce a spicy scent in your kitchen to create good vibes.
It is good to have an assortment of herbs in your Aerogarden to have a steady supply of them anytime for your recipes.
Expert Aerogarden growers say they can harvest about $100 worth of herbs from their Aerogarden after every four months. That is a lot of savings on your grocery list.
You can grow leafy herbs such as thyme. dill, tarragon, parsley, cilantro, sage, rosemary, and chives. Make sure to use an ideal pH level and the right solution in your Aerogarden to increase the leaf quality of your herbs.
Make sure not to plant flowers that grow bushy and tall in your Aerogarden such as roses and sunflowers. The best flowers to grow are snapdragons, lavender, and petunias.
Root crops are impractical in hydroponic systems but are ideal for Aerogardens because their roots have plenty of space to grow. The roots are easily accessible for harvesting.
Fruiting shrubs and trees can be impractical to grow in an Aerogarden because of their size.
How to Maintain your Aerogarden
Your Aerogarden can get dirty even if it does not use dirt, but it also needs housekeeping.
The nutrients you use in your Aerogarden will leave some residue. There will also be mineral deposits, plant pieces, and even bugs.
Here are a few tips on cleaning your Aerogarden to keep it running properly.
Change the water in your Aerogarden at least twice a month. Not changing the water will cause mineral deposits (if you are using nutrient tablets) to gather in the components of your pump. This can lead to the malfunctioning of your pump.
Remove all dead leaves or those that fell off. If you do not remove this debris, it can stain the surface of your Aerogarden. Stains will need heavy scrubbing to restore your Aerogarden to its original appearance.
Wipe the top of your Aerogarden every week to prevent grime and dust build up on the surface. This is where the pods are located. If you do not clean the top, dirt and dust will get on and into your plants.
Keeping your Aerogarden clean will make it look good. A clean Aerogarden will protect your plants from anything small elements that may damage your plant. More importantly, it will ensure your Aerogarden will perform in top shape for many years.
What is an Aerogarden?
An Aerogarden is a modern way to grow flowering plants, fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs without soil and the need for too much sun or space.
An Aerogarden is a container with holes on the upper side. It’s a complete indoor gardening system. It isn’t a new technology because it’s a type of hydroponic system.
A hydroponic system is a growing method that uses soluble fertilizer, water, and light to grow plants. It can grow plants without soil. Aeroponics is one of the more advanced systems of hydroponics.
Plants that are grown in an Aerogarden grow faster because they are fully exposed to oxygen. Excellent care though, must be given when using an Aerogarden because your plants can be prone to diseases and pests. Plants with exposed roots are susceptible to these risks.
How an Aerogarden Works
A fully comprehensive LED lighting system replicates sunlight and stimulates photosynthesis in the root system. LED lights can be placed near the roots without worrying about harm. Aerogarden structures can be positioned anywhere in the home and are not restricted to a window for sunlight.
Aeroponic or an Aerogarden uses a hanging root system like the Nutrient film technique (NFP) and a net pot. The roots of your plant hang above the nutrient solution container.
Suspending the plants’ root-ball above a reservoir of liquid nutrients makes sure that there is always a sufficient supply of water and sustenance to encourage and continue plant growth.
Dangling freely in this special solution are the roots, ensuring that they remain vigorous and functioning without becoming too waterlogged or dying owing to surplus water retention.
Plants in an Aerogarden are nourished only with nutrient-laden mist. The roots and root tips of your plant are not submerged in water.
A misting system and a pump deliver the nutrient solution. They provide an exact amount of nutrients and water at specific times for maximum absorption of your plants.
The physical design of an Aerogarden can vary. You can make the upper tray that holds the net pots fit your space.
Seeds in an Aerogarden are planted in tiny pots stuffed with foam pieces.
These tiny pots are exposed to nutrient mist on one end, light on the other. The foam holds the root mass and stems in place as your plants grow.
Pros of an Aerogarden
Plants Grow Faster. Plants grow faster in an Aerogarden than those grown in soil. This is so because roots are submerged in plant-available nutrients solution and sprayed with a nutrient solution fine mist.
Exposure to increased oxygen also makes your plants grow faster. Since the plants are suspended, their roots are fully exposed to the mist and air within the container.
Less Water. Plants that are grown in an Aerogarden need less water than with other kinds of hydroponic systems. This is so because water is misted.
You have to make sure that your plants get enough mist, so they do not dry out. Since the roots are hanging in the air, they always risk dying.
Plants Grow All Year Round. You can grow your plants in any season, including the winter months. Your Aerogarden keeps running all year.
Space-Efficient. Your Aerogarden is compact. It is possible to grow plants even if you have limited space. Your plants will not compete with each other for nutrients because their roots all bathe in the same solution.
Your container has a bracket, the top of which provides support for your plants. It allows the root to hang in the air.
This growing method allows plants to grow horizontally or vertically, saving valuable space in your home.
Cons of an Aerogarden
Needs Cleaning and Maintenance. You need to clean your Aerogarden before planting new seeds. You also need to clean it before putting it away for storage.
Cleaning is important to reduce the buildup of mineral deposits, mold, and harmful bacteria accumulated during each growing cycle.
Your Aerogarden is not fully sterile even if you are not using soil. Mold, bacteria, and algae can grow in the sponges and the reservoir.
Cost of an Aeroponic System
Commercially made Aerogardens are expensive. The cheapest model with about enough spaces for three plants can cost about $100.
You can learn how to build your own Aerogarden and spend less than $100. You can save more if you use recycled materials.
Final Thoughts on How To Build Your Own Aerogarden
Having an Aerogarden ensures you have the leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables you need for your recipes throughout the year.
However, a ready-made Aerogarden system, can be costly.
Knowing how to build your Aerogarden will cost less and allow you to recycle some of the things you have in your home.
With optimum amounts of nutrients, heat, and light, you can grow healthy fruits, vegetables, and strong plants – and even enhance the decor in your home.
Some of us at GGT have already installed our own Aerogardens and are enjoying the benefits. We can’t wait to see what’s next on the gardening agenda of new, progressive and rewarding ideas – spreading the love in the gardening world.