I’ve always been amused by / interested in Aero Gardens, an aeroponic tabletop indoor growing system for herbs and small plants. But $200 seems like a lot to spend on a wannabe space-age novelty item. So I started looking into what exactly they’re doing. And decided I want to attempt to make my own.
Aeroponics is the science behind growing plants in air (very very damp air). Like Hydroponics it uses no soil, and apparently this makes things grow faster. There’s a fair amout of chatter about it on the internet, mostly pertaining to the growing of illicit substances.
The plants sit in a nice sterile looking tray and the roots of the plant are suspended over a vat of water, which is either constantly or occasionally (I couldn’t tell which) spraying mist on them. Some sort of UV light gives the plants what they need to photosynthesize, and everyone lives happily ever after.
There are only a handful of basic things I need:
- Some sort of base container for the water, preferably plastic so I can put holes in it as needed. Roughly the dimensions of this Rubbermaid container.
- A water pump. I found a Micro Jet 450 for $16 on Amazon which is tiny and 120 GPH (gallons per hour) which *might* be enough.
- Tubing and spray nozzles to hook up to said pump. Tubing I’ve got. Not sure where I’m going to find tiny spray nozzles to poke into it. These are apparently rated for 3 GPH.
- Something to hold the plants. I plan on laser cutting this.
- A light fixture and a light which plants will grow under
Looking at my parts list, this thing will probably be quite ugly, which is probably why Aero Garden gets away with being so expensive. Because it looks space age, and not like something you’d use to grow illicit plants. I’m starting my hunt for components, and will update as I find things and do more research.
Filed under: DIY Aeroponics