Creative gardening solutions like aeroponics have become very popular in recent years, as crops can be planted and harvested year-round without interruption. But what is aeroponic gardening, exactly? Aeroponics is the process of growing plants in a mist environment rather than soil. Unlike traditional growing methods, aeroponic gardening systems use a minimal amount of water, along with liquid nutrients and a soilless growing medium to quickly and efficiently grow plants and produce. This advanced vertical gardening method was popularized by NASA scientists in the 1990s and has become ubiquitous in homes, community gardens, and farms worldwide.
One of the most critical aspects of aeroponic gardening is cleanliness. Maintaining a clean garden system will reduce the likelihood of disease, fungus, and bacterial growth. Plants can also grow faster and stay healthier in a clean environment.
Vital Oxide is the ideal solution for use on aeroponic growing systems and gardening tools. It can be used to clean, disinfect, inhibit mold growth, remove biofilm, and more, all without harsh chemicals, noxious fumes, or harmful residues. Unlike other standard cleaners and disinfectants like chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and isopropyl alcohol, Vital Oxide’s innovative formula is non-irritating to the skin and won’t corrode treated surfaces or tools, even with frequent use. After use, Vital Oxide breaks down to simple salt and creates no harmful byproducts.
Why is it Important to Keep Your Aeroponic Garden System & Tools Clean and Disinfected?
The number one benefit of a clean system is human health. If you don’t keep the growing environment clean, you’ll risk harvesting produce that isn’t clean or healthy. The second benefit is the health of your plants. If you don’t keep your system clean, you’re potentially opening up pathways for disease, fungal pathogens, and pests.
Growers should routinely clean and disinfect their growing system and tools to prevent spreading disease and pests. For instance, if a grower harvests a lettuce head with powdery mildew, and then uses the same clippers for a dozen more heads, then they have potentially spread powdery mildew spores to those dozen plants.
Aeroponic systems should be cleaned and disinfected at least semiannually, ideally between fresh plantings or at the end of each growing season. However, if you’ve had recurring problems with pests or diseases, your garden system and tools need a good cleaning, no matter the time of year. Luckily, this crucial maintenance is relatively straightforward.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Aeroponic Garden System
Cleaning involves physically removing plant matter, mold, and debris and is the first step before disinfecting an aeroponic garden system. By eliminating organic residue from the equipment, the disinfectant will be able to do its job.
There are many benefits to disinfecting your growing and gardening equipment. First and foremost, many pathogens (including bacterial biofilm) can be managed by using an effective disinfectant, like Vital Oxide. Once your garden system has been disassembled and thoroughly cleaned, apply Vital Oxide to clean surfaces by spraying, wiping, or fogging full-strength, and allow it to dwell for at least 10 minutes. There is no need to rinse following disinfection with Vital Oxide; simply let air dry before reassembling your garden system.
How to Clean and Disinfect Your Aeroponic Garden System
You’ll want to follow the manufacturers’ instructions for your exact make and model of the aeroponic system; however, generally, the method is as follows:
- Fragrance-free dish soap
- Small scrub brush (or a clean sponge)
- Vital Oxide
Step 1: Drain and Disassemble
First, you’ll need to remove your plants and detach the growing sections, starting at the top and working your way down––compost or discard plant matter. Clean and save net pots for future use. Next, unplug and drain the aeroponic garden water reservoir.
Step 2: Soak and Clean
To clean your disassembled growing sections, soak them in a container (a bathtub or a 5-gallon bucket works well for smaller parts) with warm, soapy water and a soft scrub brush or clean sponge. A small scrub brush (or an old toothbrush) works great for scrubbing hard-to-reach places. After cleaning, thoroughly rinse each piece with running water.
Step 3: Disinfect and Reassemble
After your garden system components have been thoroughly cleaned and rinsed, disinfect by applying Vital Oxide full-strength by spraying or fogging. There is no need to rinse; simply let air dry before resembling your garden system.At Vital Oxide, we’re proud to offer our revolutionary disinfectant that is powerful enough to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria without harsh chemicals. Learn more about the science behind our product, as well as tons of great tips on cleaning, disinfecting, and more. If you have any questions, please Contact Us or Send Us a Message on Facebook. We’re here to help!