You know what I love most about having an indoor garden? Everything, because there are so many advantages to having one.
Can’t sleep? Go fiddle in the garden. Inclement weather? No worries. I could go on, but suffice it to say, having an indoor garden, or even just a little growing area with a few plants to raise, can be very cool.
Another aspect I like about indoor gardening is discovering new, innovative techniques that ambitious and creative green thumbs have developed in an effort to reduce costs, increase yields and give us all something new to play with.
My latest discovery is fogponics—a combination of two words: fog and ponos (labor). Loose translation? Let the fog do the work.
An Introduction to Fogponics
Although fogponics has been around for a few years already, many gardeners remain unfamiliar with this method of growing. The name reminds me of a 1950’s low-budget horror movie: “Fogponics...they came from the fog…”
Fogponics is the latest advancement in aeroponics and is an effective way to grow whatever plants you choose inside what could rightfully be deemed a fog chamber.
Inside this chamber is where the roots of the plants are suspended and exposed to the magic of the fog’s hydration and nutrition.
To give you an idea of what it looks like, a dark plastic crate with a sturdy lid is required. If you don’t have a dark crate, you can always do what the Stones did and paint it black. The point is, you don’t want light seeping in.
This crate will serve as your growing chamber. Next, you’ll need to cut out enough properly sized circles in the lid, which will hold the net cups your plants will be growing in. Six holes on top should do it. An additional hole is required to hold the small electric fogger.
Electric foggers, or mist makers as they are also known, are available in single-node, three-node and five-node varieties, to my knowledge.
Their job is to vibrate at 2 MHz (2 million times per second), transforming water and added nutrients into 100% humidity (fog), thus continually watering and feeding a plant’s roots in a nutrient-rich cloud of mist.
There isn’t time to tell you how to completely build a fogponics chamber; my intent here is to merely introduce you to the concept and give you a mental picture. There are several instructional videos available online that discuss the subject of construction and the maintenance of the system.
The results of growing this way are impressive, to say the least. When done correctly, you can expect greater yields while using less energy, and you will have a system that will make you the envy of traditional growers everywhere—even your hydro friends.
Tips for Growing Plants Using Fogponics
Once constructed, some growers use a small fan to circulate the mist, while others say even a small fan is too strong and only forces the fog out through any gaps that may be present. Another consideration is the fogger itself.
A single-node fogger is sufficient, but it all depends on the volume of plants you’re growing and the size of your fog chamber.
General-purpose foggers—not designed specifically for horticultural purpose—typically come with LED lights around them, which you’ll want to paint over as well.
Black paint that you would use to paint a model car or airplane will do. You can buy foggers specifically built for fogponics, but the cost can be five times higher than the general-purpose versions with the LEDs.
One pitfall is that these foggers can quit working when used around the clock. Leaving a fogger powered off for even half a day can cause severe damage to plant roots as they can dry out.
I highly recommend you incorporate an electronic timer that turns the fogger off for a while and then back on, doubling the lifespan of the mister and reducing the risk of a malfunction.
Commercial growers will want to use foggers designed specifically for fogponics, as they will likely be built for constant use (i.e. stronger).
Advantages of Growing Plants Using Fogponics
- Outstanding yields
- Less space required
- Reduced energy costs
- Controlled indoor environment
- Easy to construct and maintain
- Mesmerizing and really fun to play with
There you have it. Fogponics, a.k.a. Aeroponics 2.0, is just waiting for you to give it a try. Best of luck!