ALT Air Layer Technique is a Deep Water Culture Hybrid.

Flooding and partially draining the water to the level of the plant, the Biogarden behaves like a bay, nourishing and hydrating roots when the level rises.

When the level drops and roots are exposed, the air layer oxygenates the roots and supports a biological ecosystem to help with filtration. Water flows continuously during the flow cycle and never fully drains during ebb cycle.

This cycling makes it possible for plants to become their own biofilter unit, with aerobic microbes binding to the roots, consuming organics that are part of the nutritious cycle for plant growth. The results speak for themselves.

ALT Technique within Biogarden

Features and benefits with ALT

  1. Nutrients easily distributed
  2. Stationary trays for plants creates air layer
  3. Aerate with little energy
  4. Supports more organic elements
  5. Root zone -feeds rhizome bacteria
  6. More dense growth
  7. Easier seeding, easier harvest

One way the Biogarden achieves sustaiability is by improving efficiency of energy power.

The need for mechanical aeration is eliminated using Bioponica’s growing method we refer to as the “ALT Air Layer Technique”. It is a means of growing plants on the surface of the water. Different from the others, yet similar; ALT is a hybrid of  DWC – deep water culture, NFT nutrient film technique and ebb and flow.

ALT is a combination of the following hydroponic techniques:

  • Deep Water Culture

    Wheatgrass growing in deep water raft.

    Deep water culture calls for floating beds with a media blend that anchors the plant and wicks water and nutrients. The roots remain submerged at all times and so water aeration is necessary.

    Deep water culture challenges

    1. Dirt filled trays- more labor, soil pathogens, handling
    2. Energy hog – requires extensive aeration and nutrient mixing
    3. Styrofoam rafts -no air layer, prone to molds, environmental issue, heavy/bulky with dirt
    4. Technique – requires multiple handling stages with germination and transplants
  • NFT Nutrient Film Technique

    nutrient film technique nft roots

    With NFT nutrient film technique, a nutrients solution passes through an enclosed pipe or gutter. Plants with roots long enough to reach the nutrients are placed in the trough. Sometimes nutrients are sprayed with mist (aeroponics). The technique minimizes water need and may be a challenge to remove debris from the channels. This technique increases aeration, though it may be helpful to force fresh air from time to time.

  • Ebb and Flow

    ebb and flow roots

    When water raises and drains the technique is referred to as ebb and flow. There are great results with this approach, however there is a considerable displacement of nutrients from the source reservoir. For that reason it is better used with hydroponics than with aquaponics. ALT Air Layer Technique is quite similar to ebb and flow, except there always remains a deep water level within the trough with ALT.