Be in control
You have the power to control your plant’s destiny. Are you using it properly? What power is that? It’s controlling the environment. Many aeroponic systems are built totally focusing on the root zone when they should devote some with the environment. So let’s talk about the best environment for your plants.
Indoor gardens or greenhouse must take full advantage of the benefits of a controlled environment and system automation. By keeping your crops favorite growing conditions, you will get productive crops, faster growing and most important a better quality produce or crop, whether it is tomatoes, lettuce, flowers or herbs. Let’s assume you already have plenty of natural sunlight or high-intensity lights for your aeronponic garden, then the remaining considerations are temperature, humidity, and air quality.
Let me keep it comfortable for you – The Temperature
If you were to control the temperature in an outdoor greenhouse, you will need to install circulation fans. The fans would vent the hot air outdoors while drawing in cooler air from the lower dampers near the ground. The exchange of the air is usually controlled with a thermostat connected directly to the vent fans.
For indoor aeroponic systems, you would do the same function in a similar manner but on a much smaller scale. Some leave the vent fan running continuous while the light is on because some lights seem to function more like heat lamps. The problem here is that the air used to cool the garden is only as cool or warm of the indoor space.
Most popular crops prefer if the temperature is kept near 70F, about 65F to 75F is acceptable.
I’m sweating – Please turn it down
Too high of a temperature will force your plants to transpire a good amount of water to nutrient. Higher temperatures result in rising nutrient concentrations and possible problems with pH and nutrient lock-out.
What are you talking about? All this means is that when your plant gets hot, it’s thirsty. So your plant takes up more water to keep it hydrated. Think of it this way. A dry sponge will absorb more water than a damp sponge. The problem here is that the plant is drinking so fast that the nutrients give it a stomach ache. This happens because the plant can’t break down the nutrients fast enough.
I’m chilly – Get the fire going
Too low of temperature will slow down your plant’s growth significantly. Everything slows down even nutrient absorption. Why? It’s because the plant wants to go dormant. It’s like putting it to sleep for the winter.
There are many commercially available cycle timers that allow the user to preset a particular length of time for the switch to provide power and then a particular length of time for the switch to turn off. The cycle can be adjusted to operate ventilation fans, CO2 gas generators and pumps.
For our aeroponics, we will use a programmable controller to monitor and operate elements to control the environment.
Wet and Dry – The Humidity
The next factor you will want to control in your aeroponics system for indoor gardens is the humidity. If the humidity is too high, your crop will suffer from rot and mold problems. Also, there’s a tendency to overheat due to the fact that the plants can’t transpire moisture into already saturated atmosphere. It’s like using evaporation to cool down.
Humidistats control the humidity in such the same way as the temperature. Thehumidistat can be set to operate a ventilation fans at a certain level of moisture in the air. It’s rare when growing with aeroponics you’ll run into low humidity but the dry winter month\s could become a problem. This because you would be growing in an enclose chamber or in the home’s living space.
A level of 60% to 70% humidity is generally.ideal for most plants. Too dry of an atmosphere will cause excessive water to transpiration (water leaving the plant too quickly) AND LEAVE a high concentration of nutrients is the spray. This very similar to what happens with high temperatures or too high of a light intensity.
There are thermostats (slash) humidistats that combine their function to control fans and heaters.
Unless you plan to keep a constant close watch over your aeroponic system’s temperature and humidity, it is best to invest in an automatic environmental controller. These controllers will not monitor and control the environment but also alarm you of any problem that require your immediate attention.
Now we will going high tech with our system and interface the micro-controller to monitor the humidity and temperature and be able to regulate them both. The system can be configured to set different environments for certain times of the day. Also,a log of all points along with charting will be of great benefit. You want a controller that will assist us with monitoring and preventing failures.