Aerogardens are one of the most popular hydroponic garden products today. With an aeroponic system and a built-in reservoir, an aerogarden is a self-contained ecosystem that looks like a miniature greenhouse. Aerogardens allows you to grow fruits and vegetables indoors without worrying about soil problems or unpredictable weather patterns. They are available in tabletop or hanging varieties. They’re also relatively inexpensive to run.
However, this convenience comes with a price - when it comes to maintenance. An aerogarden requires some tending. When you water an aerogarden, the roots absorb the water (because they are right below the waterline), and then the roots expel the water out of their system. The roots are constantly exposed to the air, a perfect environment for harmful fungi and pests to grow. Aerogarden root trimming cuts off a certain percentage of the root mass in an aerogarden’s reservoir to ensure a long-lasting plant.
Reasons to trim aeroponic roots
- One is to keep your reservoir from getting too full. When the aerogarden reservoir is too full, it can lead to excess water getting into the roots, which can be harmful. Excess water in the roots can cause rot and fungus to flourish.
- Another reason for aerogarden root trimming is that roots get larger over time as they grow. The roots of the aerogarden produce a significant amount of oxygen for the vegetables in the container, and as the roots grow, they take up more and more of the reservoir space. If your aerogardens reservoir is too full, the roots will eventually stop producing oxygen.
How to choose the right moment to prune
With hydroponics, your plants get a faster, steady increase in mass. They mature close to 25% quicker than the same plants grown in soil. One of the methods to increase the growth rate of hydroponic plants is by decreasing the root mass. If you see rapid growth in the plant, it’s a good idea to check the roots to see if they need some attention.
When trimming the roots, it is crucial to cut them evenly. The roots of hydroponic plants are more fragile than those of soil plants, so you should trim them evenly to prevent them from growing longer than they should.
Invest in the right equipment
Try not to use household items such as scissors or shears when gardening. When it comes to work, having the right tools is essential. Spending extra money on quality tools will make the job easier and less painful. They will sit around and accumulate rot if you’re uncomfortable using them. So make sure you try them out before purchasing.
When are Aerogardens plants ready for pruning?
The stage of plant development is also important. Some hydroponic growers advise root pruning once there is some solid root development. Start pruning your hydroponic plants once there is some decent root development. You have to snip apical branches that dominate the root mass to reduce their size to the same extent as the surrounding roots.
If you wish to create an even root ball during vegetative growth, you may occasionally prune the most intrusive roots. It will stress the plant out too much and stunt growth. In the flowering phase, you should avoid pruning roots, as you don’t want to disturb plants’ growth. If it is necessary to prune outer roots, you can do this. You can take as little as 5-10% of the root mass.
How to remove pots
Be careful not to let anything fall into the hydroponic system when you remove your plant pots. Trimming the roots aims to create a healthy and safe environment for the plant to continue growing. Anything that falls into those areas may cause bacterial buildup, mold, or algae, for example. It’s also an excellent time to check the plant from top to bottom for signs of illness.
How to recognize healthy roots
You need to be able to tell how to identify healthy roots. Healthy roots for hydroponic plants will be smooth to touch and even color. Nutrients might cause roots to change color. On the other hand, brown spots or discolorations will most likely indicate bacteria problems.
You might notice portions of the root that have dried up or begun to wither away. In this case, you should entirely cut those parts off at the lowest point possible without disturbing the healthy roots around them. You can tell the difference between a harmless blemish on a small portion of a vegetable that is still wholesome vs. a slimy, discolored, or bizarrely textured part that has gone bad.
Keep your roots healthy by avoiding root crowns
Be cautious when trimming your plant, and avoid damaging the root crown. The root crown is where the roots intersect to form a circle and are located at the center. If the root crown is damaged, the entire plant may perish. You must cut away each root you require without damaging the stem at the base of the plant.
Replacing the plant pots
When you are prepared to transplant your plant into a new container, use the same caution you used when you took it out. They may contaminate the reservoir and surrounding area if foreign particles and residue enter the system. You should avoid planting anything new into the system. Knowing how much of the plant you removed and how it develops can help determine if you should adjust its care.
Having the correct equipment, paying attention to signs, and being cautious when pruning are the steps you need to take to keep your hydroponic plants protected, healthy, and growing correctly. Roots are necessary for plants to take in water and nutrients, store nutrients, and support the plant. If you want to keep your hydroponic plants healthy and safe, consider the right equipment, be careful when pruning, and take steps to ensure your plants are not damaged or killed.