Vertical Hydroponics – The Great Space Saver

Hydroponics is defined as “the cultivation of plants by placing the roots in liquid nutrient solutions rather than in soil”.

Vertical hydroponics is simply put the vertical distribution of water. It takes up wall space instead of floor space and works much like normal hydroponics. Many people opt for this type of growing system for growing plants indoors, either for food, herbs, flowers or other oramental value.

A pump does the work of distributing water to the plants in your garden and, if done correctly, yields just as much as that of a normal hydroponic system. It costs just about the same so, if you have limited space, this is the option for you.

The only difference in this system is that water is pumped up to the plants from a central water system at the bottom. Water reaches the plant and the plant receives all the nutrients it needs from fertilizers you mix with the water.

This specific system also uses light more efficiently. Where you had to add more light with each new hydroponic system, the vertical hydroponic system uses less light distributed more widely. Various systems can use the same light, just be careful that the systems do not overshadow each other.

Some systems are made of stackable pots that are insulated to protect the plants from too extreme temperatures. These systems can be bought ready to use.

If you are not much of a builder, you will find the internet very useful. If you still can’t get your head around the idea, you can always opt to buy a system. Most deals include a step by step instruction DVD while other package deals include all the material you will need.

Plants and vegetables that work perfectly with hydroponic systems:

  1. Tomatoes
  2. Lettuce
  3. Ivy
  4. Parsley
  5. Basil
  6. Flowers
  7. Herbs
  8. Corn
  9. Strawberries
  10. Peppers
  11. Eggplants
  12. Broccoli

An outdoor vertical hydroponic grower with solar panels.

At this time, vertical hydropinic farming is not commercially adapted because there are still a few problems such as the effects of gravity. It will affect the plant and how it yields its fruits. Sustainable, organic farming with good soil management techniques is still the optimal way to grow food and plants.

However, these kinds of innovative hydroponic systems are perfect for those of us who do not have a big garden or yard. It is one of the steps you can take in terms of self sustainability. There is no harsh environmental impact and it is something that can be used for a home or even in communities.

Compared to sustainable farming practices, vertical hydroponics is much less energy effcient and frankly an un-natural technical eco-system. It does however provide yields that can be managed relatively easily and a wonderful supplement to traditional growing practices, especially for people living in an apartment or urban area where soil is scarce. -ANNABEL SCHOEMAN

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