Hydroponics consists of different methods of growing; hydroponics, aeroponics, fogponics, aquaponics, and all other specialties that have evolved from hydroponics. I wanted to learn what set this method apart from the others I had read about. Aeroponics is a subcategory of hydroponics in which the plant roots are sprayed with a nutrient solution in intervals throughout the day. My first instinct was to build a prototype aeroponics system. During the middle of designing, I questioned to fine the ideal spraying interval for maximum plant growth. After thorough research, the consensus seemed to be that watering intervals of 1 min on, 5 min off was ideal for aeroponic systems. This prevents the roots from drying out and provides ample nutrients to the plant, promoting optimal growth.
The aeroponic system came together slowly, but I finished and was satisfied with the finished product(after I fixed a few leaks!). The last piece of the puzzle was finding a timer with the interval we deemed ideal. I scoured the mechanical timers, but found only 15min interval timer. No bueno. Although recently I have found a hack to mechanical timers allowing 1min on, 5min off cycles, more on that later. Even though mechanical timer are cheap, I wanted to find a cheap electrical timer. I pieced together infromation for the forums and gathered the necessary goods to soldered together a small interval timer. After a few burns and bumps, the timer was done and I was ready to find some Aloe. Amazing what you can get from you local Radio Shack.
I decided to create my own timer because it was much cheaper to buy and build, than anything I could have found on the internet. In the spirit of giving back and spreading knowledge, I’m putting together a “How-to” for any people interested in trying it out.
Check back soon for more!