Vertical Hydroponic System – What Should You Do If You Don’t Have Enough Gardening Space?

What can you do if you don’t have enough gardening space to practice your farming? This has been a challenge that has forced many gardeners to develop a vertical farming concept to solve that problem. Vertical farming involves cultivating more plants by mounding numerous layers of plant surfaces.

Vertical Hydroponic System

This concept has become the most favourable for hydroponics. Recently, the vertical hydroponic system has gained a lot of attention among urban farmers. The hydroponic farm can optimize the growth of plants, hence providing fresh produce. This method uses minimal water, transport, space and pesticides.

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Features

Further information

Mr. Stacky Large 5 Tier Vertical Garden Tower

- Brand: Mr. Stacky
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 13 x 13 x 26 inches
- Item Weight: 3 Pounds
- Material: Plastic
- Color: Black
- Mounting Type: Floor Standing
- Measurement: 12 x 12 x 25 and 13 x 13 x 26
- Over a 5-gallon bucket and had a small 3/4 inch PVC pipe in the center
- Stack width: 30" and 18"
- 20 Plant Site

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Huge Greenstalk 5 Tier Garden Planter

- Brand: GreenStalk
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 19 x 19 x 55 inches
- Item Weight: 15.09 pounds
- Material: BPA-Free Polypropylene Plastic
- Color: Chocolate Brown
- Assembly Required: Yes
- Up to 90 plants (5 tier) in 2 square feet
- The entire 5 tier system assembled is 54.25" tall with a footprint of 19"
- 10 easy-to-assemble pieces: 5 planters; 4 watering disks; 1 water reservoir

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Garden Tower 50 Plants Organic Container

- Brand: Garden Tower
- Product Dimensions: 24 x 23 x 23 inches
- Item Weight: 34 pounds
- Rotation: 360 degree
- 50 plants in 4 square feet
- 50-plant model stands 43" tall, is 26" wide and holds 8 cubic feet of potting soil

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What is Vertical Hydroponics?

It is the setting up of a hydroponic farm in a vertical way. Gravity plays a significant role because water rich in nutrients is fed into the system from top to bottom. Therefore, you should have a variety of stacked planting levels in hydroponic vertical farming systems.

What Is Vertical Hydroponics

Vertical farming is the growing of plants without using soil in vertically heaped layers. The plants receive rich nutrients and minerals directly into the roots through the water systematically and in the correct quantities. You can grow a hydroponic plant in a vertical system using LED lights or a greenhouse using natural light.

Research studies have revealed that a hydroponic system helps in saving water for about 92 per cent. Practising indoor growing of plants reduces issues related to pests, diseases and fickle weather. This system is highly efficient in several ways because you can build, operate and maintain it at your home.

How Hydroponic Systems Work

Vertical Hydroponic Tower and Zig-Zag hydroponic system are the leading designs of the vertical farming system. These designs use the Nutrient Film Technique system (NFT) to use a constant thin water stream flowing into the plant root system. Apart from NFT, another technique that you can use is ebb and flow.

Vertical Hydroponic Tower

A hydroponic pump is used in a vertical hydroponic tower to pump the water to the top layer through a tube connected to the water reservoir. Then, the natural gravity is used to bring the water down systematically back into the reservoir, hence delivering the required nutrients to the plants.

You can also use a single tube to pump water to the top layer or several channels to various layers for optimum nutrient and water delivery. The plants are grown at an angle of 45 degrees.

Zig-Zag Hydroponic System

You can opt to use multiple pipes placed in a zig-zag pattern. House the plants in net cups at an angle of 90 degrees. This system also uses the NFT mechanism to grow plants. Nutrient-rich water is pumped into the top pipe, and it constantly flows in a stream-like manner.

Advantages of Hydroponics

Saving Gardening Space

When practising hydroponic gardening, you must optimize the limited space available. Most gardeners suffer due to a lack of enough space for their plants; therefore, the vertical hydroponic garden is the best choice for urban hydroponic farming. Hydroponic living wall systems are great for fitting into indoor rooms where they cannot use a lot of space.

This can enable using small gardening spaces, hence making it the best option for growing plants. In hydroponic farming, the roots don’t spread out, searching for nutrients; instead, they are immersed in a solution rich in nutrients.

Productivity and Efficiency

You can grow about 3 to 5 plants in space that hold one crop if you use these systems. This type of farming system ensures that your plants receive proper nutrition quantity at the correct time. It enables the crop to produce healthy leaves, foliage, stems, and fruits.

A hydroponic garden allows maximum control of light, temperature, pests and air, giving you quality output production. You can achieve maximum growth using the correct mixture of nutrient and suitable lighting. 

Easy to Maintain

You cannot experience any water run-off because of the constant circulation that occurs in hydroponic towers. Nutrients and water stay in the tube without any leakage. The water is also recycled until it expires and becomes useless. A hydroponic system is suitable for conserving the environment because water that is not evaporated into the atmosphere is absorbed in the soil. Therefore, it is straightforward to maintain just like the horizontal hydroponics.

Soil is not Needed

The common advantage in all hydroponic systems is that soil is not required for planting. Nevertheless, soilless growth is ideal for all types of hydroponics. You can minimize the infestation of diseases, weeds, and pests due to a soil-free gardening environment. This makes hydroponics a practical way of practicing gardening.

Disadvantages of Hydroponics

Definitively, no system does not have flaws. There are various challenges faced by gardeners when practising hydroponics:

Challenge of Water Flow

Delivering adequate water, nutrients, and sufficient light to plant from top to bottom is the main challenge when practising hydroponics. You should vertically deliver water because plants are put above each other. You also need powerful water pumps to send water up to the top level against the gravitational force. If you do not deliver water at the top, it collects at the bottom hence sinking the lower plants.

Insufficient Light Supply

Lighting is a significant factor in a vertical hydroponic system. You can solve light in an outdoor gardening system by systematically arranging cups with plants to access enough sunlight. Plants do not access proper light in an indoor hydroponic garden. So you must invest in electric grow lights to plant systems to thrive.

Demand more Resources

The production in the hydroponic system is very high, which requires the utilization of more resources. Unique equipment needed for the commercial vertical hydroponic systems can be costly, even though you can set it up in a budget with reduced cost.

3 Best Hydroponic Towers

1. Mr. Stacky Large 5 Tier Vertical Garden Tower

You can maximize any available gardening space in your indoor hydroponic farm. Mr. Stacky is the leading and the best manufacturer of hydroponic gardening towers. This garden tower is made of strong food polypropylene materials. 

It is designed for both indoor and outdoor gardening because the roots are shielded from excess light. It is also designed using the flow-through technique to protect your plants from overwatering, which can cause rotting and disease infestation.

This garden tower has about 20 plant sites, allowing you to hold additional plants in one gardening place. You can water your plants using the centre hole hence keeping them safe through the water drainage system. It is one of the best gardening towers existing in the market.

Pros:
Accessible to water plants using the center hole
You can maximize space. 
The flow-through design prevents overwatering.
Black color provides safety for the root zone.
Cons:
No base provided

2. Huge Greenstalk 5 Tier Garden Planter

It comes with about 28 to 30 planting sites for planting a variety of crops. It is made of thick and robust PVC plastic-free and UV-resistant. It is also relatively portable and gives your garden height to your garden room space, hence a suitable hydroponic wall system.

Each tier comes with about 12 drainage holes and can hold one cubic foot mix. The garden planter has 4 watering disks grey, a user manual, 5 planters with 6 planting sites and a top water reservoir. You can also use it for organic gardening.

Pros:
It comes with 30 planting sites for a variety of crops such as tomatoes, corn, or zucchini.
Adds beauty and maximizes your garden
Prevents overwatering and pest infestation
Highly durable
Cons:
Doesn’t hold water well

3. Garden Tower 50 Plants Organic Container

It can hold about 50 plants once. It needs at least 6 cubic feet of pot soil, which is ideal for gardening. It does not use a lot of space because it is built vertically; hence you can nurture your plants in minimal spaces.

You can never worry about weeding your plants because you don’t need electricity and don’t worry about getting electric shocks. Garden Tower 50 Plants Organic Container is vertical self-contained and uses a composting farming system to provide you with exceptional solutions. Water loss is minimized through a convenient water circulation system.

It rotates using a ball bearing system that can support a weight of over 1000 pounds. It is made up of strong and durable food-grade HDPE non-toxic plastic. If you love recycling, then you can use a vermicomposting system.

Pros:
It is a composter, thus giving plants proper nutrients.
Can convert kitchen debris into fertilizer for plant use
Supports growth of all flowers and vegetables
Made of durable, non-toxic HDPE plastic
Cons:
Quite expensive

Conclusion

A hydroponic system is ideal for soilless farming; thus, it increases production significantly. There are several vertical hydroponic towers in the market. And, despite the challenges related to vertical hydroponic systems, it contributes significantly to sustainable farming.

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