Growing plants usually involves soil. But hydroponics and aeroponics are two methods of cultivating vegetables and fruit that do not need to be planted in dirt in order to flourish. The differences between these two types of farming are striking.
Very little or no soil is needed for plant growth in the hydroponic method; this means food can be grown in regions with poor soil or little rainfall. Hydroponic farmers place their plants in circulating water filled with nutrients; the roots absorb the nutrients, while the shoots remain above the water.
The aeroponic method eliminates the need for soil and nearly does away with having to use water. Aeroponic plants are suspended in the air, with frequent blasts of liquid nutrients' mist shot at their roots to keep them moist and enable the plant to grow.
Pros and Cons of Hydroponics
Hydroponics reduces the land needed to cultivate crops and the amounts of water used for irrigation. Hydroponic plants are grown in huge greenhouses with a minimum of water circulating around the roots. The main disadvantage is that the nutrients need to be constantly replaced.
Pros and Cons of Aeroponics
Aeroponic farming needs no soil and little water, since roots are misted with nutrients and the surrounding air circulates the plant food between the roots. The major disadvantage of aeroponics is if the equipment to maintain the plants malfunctions the roots will rapidly dry up, killing the plants.
Cost is probably the determining factor between the two methods. Hydroponics systems generally are cheaper than aeroponics. But plants grown by aeroponics tend to flourish better, producing greater bounty.
- Hydroponicssearch.com: A Quick Guide to Aeroponics for Indoor Gardening
- Aero-Hydronponics: The Wave of the Future?
- Difference Between Aeroponics and Hydroponics
hyrdoponics, aeroponics, farming, growing plants, gardening
About this Author
A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Charles Fredeen is a writer with a love of politics and journalism living in Los Angeles. He has written four published books, including a biography of the journalist Nellie Bly. With more than 25 years of writing, he has also written numerous articles for publications, including the "Los Angeles Times" and "Los Angeles Magazine."