Aeroponics is a method of growing in which oxygen is infused into the nutrient solution, allowing the roots to absorb nutrients faster and more easily. This facilitates rapid growth resulting in fantastic yields.
Aeroponics is a hydroponic technique involving the use of sprayers, nebulizers, foggers, or other devices to create a fine mist of solution to deliver nutrients to plant roots.
Aeroponic techniques are used in the cultivation of high value crops and plant specimens that can offset the high setup and maintenance costs associated with this method of horticulture.
In many aeroponic gardens, the plant roots are suspended above a reservoir of nutrient solution or inside a channel connected to a reservoir. A pump delivers nutrient solution via sprayer nozzles, which then drips or drains back into the reservoir. Aeroponic systems are favored over other methods of hydroponics because the increased aeration of nutrient solution delivers more oxygen to plant roots, stimulating growth and preventing algae formation.
Aeroponics is an improvement upon drip irrigation techniques that have been used for decades by traditional agriculturalists. Contemporary aeroponic techniques are attributed to research in the 1960s and 1970s at NASA's Ames Research Center, where scientists were studying methods of growing food crops in low gravity situations for future space colonization.
A variation of the technique employs the use of nebulizers or foggers instead of spray nozzles to deliver nutrient solution. This technique is considered even more effective, as it reduces the solution to extremely small particles which are readily absorbed by plant roots. It encourages development of a healthy plant root system, whereas with traditional aeroponics the roots can become matted and bound.