You will be amazed at the wide variety of edible plants you can grow with an aeroponic system. Growing lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes and more can be grown indoors or outdoors using a well-designed aeroponic setup. We will first discuss some of the best plants you can grow in an aeroponic system.
So many different types of plants grow well with the aeroponic growing method, it provides a great solution for individuals, families, and commercial growers to produce healthy and delicious fruits and vegetables. All of this can be done in small spaces with less water, less fertilizer, fewer pest problems and requires no bending or digging while providing higher yields than traditional gardening.
A brief introduction to aeroponics
Aeroponics is the name of a method of growing plants and crops without the use of soil. The roots of the plant hang in the air in a semi-enclosed room, creating a moist and oxygen-rich environment. A nutrient-infused mineral solution is delivered directly to the roots, supplying the plant with all the necessary components it needs for healthy growth.
Aeroponic systems can have high pressure, which delivers the nutrient solution in the form of a mist, or low pressure, which drips or pours the solution onto the roots. Both systems require a water pump, a reservoir for the nutrient solution, a root chamber, and electricity.
Aeroponics is a sustainable way to grow and produce large crops in small spaces with little waste or work.
List of plants that you can grow with aeroponics
Cucumbers are a staple of hydroponic gardening that also grow very well in aeroponic systems. Cucumber plants are climbing plants, so you need to make sure you set up your aeroponic system with enough vertical space for vertical growth.
Use a trellis or similar structure to keep the cucumber vines climbing and give them plenty of room to grow. Proper trimming and pruning can help control plant size while increasing yield.
There are many different types of cucumbers that will grow well in aeroponic systems, from large field cucumbers to smaller pickled varieties. Your aeroponic garden has the added benefit of being able to grow varieties that don’t normally grow well in your growing area and enjoy them all year round.
Tomatoes are available for both vines and shrubs. Like cucumbers, vines need a lot of vertical space to grow. The size, shape, and yield of tomato plants are easily controlled with simple pruning techniques and are packed with vitamins, and taste great. If you plan on planting cucumbers in your aeroponic system, you are probably also preparing to successfully grow tomatoes.
Smaller cherry or grape tomatoes are favored, and the added benefits of aeroponic systems ensure that any variety of tomatoes you grow will produce a lot of fruit. Growing different varieties of traditional tomatoes in your aeroponic systems will give you more food options, and provides fresh, and healthy tomatoes year-round.
Okra is a favorite in the South. It can be cooked in stews, gumbos, or in brine and eaten as a healthy snack. Okra generally produces large yields which will only increase if grown with an aeroponic system.
Okra also grows quickly and can be harvested as early as two months. However, most varieties of okra have thorns on the stems that can irritate the skin, so wear gloves when pruning or harvesting.
Melons, like pumpkins, will absorb a lot more water from their aeroponic system than other plants, but watermelon, cantaloupe, and molasses are a great summer treat that can be worth your while.
Melons also have the same care as pumpkins. Prune the plants regularly; giving them plenty of room to spread and grow, and make sure the product is well supported so it doesn’t fall off the weight of the hanging vine.
Strawberries are a staple of hydroponic gardening and can grow just as well in aeroponic systems. Regardless of how they are grown, fruits can be more complicated than lettuce or herbs, as you must maintain the plant through leaf growth, bloom, and fruit growth.
Strawberry plants will grow well with a balanced mix of nutrients as the plants and flowers grow, but to produce large, ripe berries you must switch to a higher potassium mix to help the fruit develop.
An important thing to remember when keeping strawberries is that they turn off the offshoots to allow new plants to grow. However, when planted in an aeroponic system, those runners will not be able to take root. Just cut those offshoots and if you like, put them in a dilute nutrient solution until the roots sprout and then plant them in your aeroponic system.
6. Brussels sprouts
Anyone who has seen Brussels sprouts growing cannot help but be amazed by this massive plant. Brussels sprouts grow extremely well in tower gardens and other aeroponic systems, but they come with a catch.
The leaves of Brussels sprouts plants grow huge, so it is important to consider the space required so that the sprouts have room to grow. Also, when planting multiple crops in a tower garden, the leaves of Brussels sprouts can damage other plants. Plant Brussels sprouts at the bottom of the tower to keep their leaves from blocking sunlight from reaching other crops.
7. Fennel bulb
The fennel bulb has many culinary uses. You can boil the bulbs, and if you let them produce seeds, you can dry them and use them as a condiment. The fennel bulb’s licorice flavor makes it a favorite in gourmet kitchens around the world.
Because bulb fennel grows best in colder climates, you can plant them out of season where you would normally grow other crops. Bulb fennel is a beautiful and tasty addition to any aeroponic system. The efficiency of the aeroponic systems ensures that your fennel bulb produces large and delicious yields.
8. Leafy green vegetables
Lettuce, spinach, kale, mustard greens, kale, various types of cabbage (such as bok choy), and other leafy greens are easy to grow in small spaces with agriculture systems. Vertical tower systems are popular with aeroponic gardeners as a great way to make sure you maximize your grow space and give leafy greens the space they need to grow.
Lettuce plants are extremely sensitive to temperature, so it’s a good idea to build your aeroponic systems indoors or in a temperature-controlled area. If lettuce and other leafy green vegetables get too hot, they turn into seeds and the crop turns sour. Growing them outdoors will make you want to focus on the spring and fall seasons while avoiding the summer heat.
9. Pumpkins and gourds
Pumpkins and other gourds may not be your first thought for growing in an aeroponic system, but these classic fall crops can grow very well in aeroponic systems if properly cared for. Pumpkins and gourds can get very large, as you already know, so make sure to leave enough space between the plants.
Pumpkins and gourds may not grow well in vertical gardens but thrive in single-tier aeroponic systems or on the bottom tier of a tower. Make sure to prune your pumpkin or squash vines regularly.
These plants will use more water, which could discourage you from growing them in aeroponic systems. After all, aeroponic systems are valued for their ability to recycle the most water over and over again. If you really want to grow pumpkins and you don’t have ground space, aeroponics is a great solution.
Herbs are quite easy to grow in most environments and will thrive under the control provided by aeroponic systems. Many herbs require little care and can be harvested all year round. Hеrbѕ еnjоу a ѕlіghtlу асіdіс рH аnd nitrogen-rich mіxturеѕ.
Herbs you might consider growing in your personal aeroponic system include cilantro, thyme, basil, oregano, peppermint, and parsley, to name a few. Fresh herbs have many flavors, and if you grow more than you need, you can dry the leaves to use as a condiment.
Wheatgrass and lemongrass will also thrive in aeroponic systems. Both are easy to grow and will grow well in a vertical tower garden or in a horizontal aeroponic system.
Varieties of peas, such as snow peas or sweet peas, are climbing plants that produce large amounts of product. Like other vines, it is important to give them enough space to grow vertically.
When caring for your aeroponic pea plants, remember that they don’t like acidic mixtures. Many types of pea plants have two growing seasons, early spring and late fall when it is cooler.
Technically, peas belong to the bean plant family, so it’s no secret that many types of beans can be grown aeroponically. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, navy beans, lentils, and other beans, will thrive in your aeroponic system.
However, remember that different types of beans require different care to grow and produce, so don’t treat all your beans the same. Research the best nutrient mixes for the types of beans you want to grow!
Peppers are other upright plant-like cucumbers and tomatoes that do well in aeroponic systems if given the right space and care. Bell peppers are the most popular of all varieties, while cayenne and jalapeño are also easy to grow.
One trick to maximizing the product a pepper plant will produce is to cut off the first flowers it blooms. This will help the plant send nutrients and energy to the crops later in the season to increase yields.
While it is technically possible to grow just about anything with aeroponics, some crops will present more challenges than others. Root crops, such as carrots, could grow in aeroponic systems, while hydroponic systems generally would not work for roots.
Experiment with what works for your aeroponic system. A turret garden system can make it difficult to tell when your roots are ready to harvest, which is why you may want to harvest early. Single-tier aeroponics systems that provide easy access to the root systems of your crops allow you to harvest carrots and other root crops with ease.
Because the root of the carrot is the crop, there are a lot of surfaces to absorb the nutrients from the mineral solution. As with melons and squash, you may want to harvest carrots and other root crops before they grow too big to be supported by your aeroponic system.
Radishes are prized for their uniquely spicy flavor and, as root crops, can thrive in aeroponic systems should they fail in hydroponic gardens. There are many varieties of radishes and you may want to grow a smaller variety for easier harvesting.
Radishes grow very quickly and some can be harvested a month after germination, so pay close attention when they are ready to be picked. Root vegetables such as radishes and carrots are a great way for brave gardeners to test the limits of aeroponic systems.
Adventurous gardeners can also try growing leeks in aeroponics. Leeks belong to the onion family and while it would be difficult to grow onion bulbs with aeroponics, leeks are not a problem.
Leeks are suitable for colder temperatures, so be sure to give them a cool space to grow, whether indoors or out. Leeks may also need more space than other plants in your aeroponic systems.
Blueberries can be grown year-round in an aeroponic system with no problem by spreading the planting to overlap dormant periods. If you want to grow aeroponic blueberries, remember that they need high acidity and 60-75% humidity. You may need to build or buy an aeroponic system specifically for your blueberries for those reasons.
The ultra-high acidity that blueberries need would likely kill most other plants. Choose a high-quality pump to run the nebulizers over time to provide the high humidity in which the blueberries bloom.
Potatoes, like carrots and other root crops, can be grown aeroponically but may require a unique setup dedicated to this culinary staple. Potato plant roots grow extremely long, so the container that contains the roots and the fog system must be high enough to accommodate the potato plants.
Aeroponic potato cultivation can shorten cultivation time and increase yield because potatoes receive a lot of oxygen. Gardeners growing aeroponic potatoes will enjoy the benefits aeroponic systems can provide for growing.
Anyone who has ever grown ginger knows it is easy to grow, but patience is the key. Ginger is a root crop that will certainly grow aeroponically under the right conditions, but ginger can take a long time to be ready to harvest.
The most important thing to remember if you want to grow ginger in your aeroponic system is patience. Loved for its unique spicy flavor, ginger is used as a natural medicine in many cultures to soothe an upset stomach.
Ginger grows best in a growing medium such as perlite, growing aeroponic ginger can help prevent the many soil-borne diseases that affect ginger crops.
Aeroponic systems for the home
Making an aeroponics system isn’t too complicated, but it requires a few hours of research and construction. Also check out what makes the system go wrong during the growth process. For this reason, I always recommend purchasing a complete turnkey system for your first aeroponic gardening adventure. This takes all the frustration and guesswork out of a successful first try and harvest.
Once you are on your system for a few miles, you can choose to build a system from scratch or experiment by changing the way your existing system works. Whichever way you choose, experience is the key to getting the best results.
Tower Garden is without a doubt the best turnkey system when it comes to aeroponic garden systems. The system is a worry-free, easy-to-maintain vertical grow tower of 20+ plants.
Growing vertically allows you to use your square footage as efficiently as possible while reducing water and fertilizer input. I grow tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, kale, strawberries, peas, and many other delicious fruits and vegetables in my tower at home, just a few steps from my kitchen. The yields of the plant are great and the flavors are delicious. There is no substitute for fresh produce all year round and it is an extremely simple and low maintenance system to use.
Aeroponics versus soil
Gardeners have grown plants in the ground for centuries, but plants don’t need soil to grow. Some gardeners prefer to use aeroponic systems instead of soil. Aeroponics is a kind of hydroponic growing method where plants are grown in a soilless environment. Each method has its pros and cons, so which growing method is best varies from gardener to garden.
The initial costs for planting in the ground are considerably lower than for setting up a new aeroponic system. Aeroponic systems require specialized equipment, the cost of which will vary depending on the size of your system and the manufacturer. However, after the initial installation cost, aeroponic systems are less expensive to grow the plants. They can be cleaned and reused indefinitely, and according to NASA, aeroponic systems eliminate the need for pesticides and can reduce water use by 98 percent and fertilizer used by 60 percent. These factors can save you more money in the long run. On the other hand, growing plants in the ground will cost you next to nothing in terms of profit, while an aeroponic system requires artificial light and air, which can translate into higher energy bills.
Pests and diseases
Soil can harbor all kinds of pests, including weeds, insects, and pathogens, that can affect plant health and vigor. The soil cannot be sterilized to eliminate all of these pests, so gardeners must be vigilant to monitor and treat symptoms of pests and diseases. In addition to soil-borne pests, gardeners should also avoid damage from birds, rodents, deer, and other wildlife. In an aeroponic system, you may occasionally encounter insect pests or fungal infections due to improper air circulation, but this is usually not a problem.
Growing your plants in the ground is easy and includes methods gardeners have used for centuries. Aeroponic systems seem intimidating, but once you place your plants in the system, maintenance includes applying the nutrient solutions and setting a timer. The roots will automatically mist with the nutrient solution, but you will need to replace the nutrient solution every two weeks.
Plants growing in the ground get nutrients and water from the soil, but it is up to the gardener to make sure these are available in adequate amounts, which can lead to soil testing and adding amendments such as compost and fertilizer. Aeroponic systems also have their drawbacks, because unless grown outdoors, you will need to provide your plants with light and air. An aeroponic system requires an artificial light source, such as metal halide lamps, sodium vapor lamps, or fluorescent lamps, and it also requires air, which is usually provided by small fans, to avoid wet and stagnant conditions.
Growth and strength
Aeroponic ѕуѕtеmѕ аllоw уоu tо grow уоur plants іn a соntrоllеd еnvіrоnmеnt ѕо thаt thеу receive optimal temperatures, light, nutrients, аnd air. Since your plants don’t use energy to look for these things, they can grow faster than plants that grow in the ground. According to NASA, plants grown in an aeroponic system have been shown to absorb more nutrients than plants grown in soil, resulting in better health.
Plants that grow in the ground vary in vigor and growth rate because the climate, temperature, and nutrients in the soil can change at any time. Seedlings were grown in an aeroponic system and also do not stretch or wilt during root formation, reducing the risk of transplant shock.
These are just 19 of the healthy and hearty plants you can grow in your aeroponic system at home. With research, care, and patience, you can live sustainably year-round from fresh plant foods grown in your home. Aeroponics is the green future of harvesting higher yields with less water and less environmental impact.