Implementation of an Aeroponic Growing Chamber to Cultivate Lettuce in a Greenhouse
The aim of this work is to implement an aeroponic growing chamber in a greenhouse that allows to inspect the growth process of a lettuce plant with a non-invasive technique. This inspection is focused on the examination of the foliar and radicular systems that integrate the lettuce. It is defined a 30-day period for the inspection, which begins at the end of the germination (thirtieth day) and culminates on the sixtieth day in the growing cycle of the plant.
One of the main characteristics in the presented aeroponic system is that the nutrient solution tank is independent from the structure that contains the plants. With this proposal the roots grow freely suspended and are exposed to an environment with high levels of oxygenation and low levels of relative humidity. Under these conditions, it was noticed a peculiar architecture developed by the radicular system. The aeroponic chamber was tested for three growing cycles to analyze its performance. This analysis considered the fresh mass of the lettuce and the length of its primary root. The results indicate that the proposed system can repeat successful growing cycles and accomplishes with the attributes of an aeroponic system, which are to be ecological and to have low water consumption.
Keywords - Aeroponics, Atomizer, Fertigation, Nebulization, Radicular system, Nutrient solution.