In this day and age, Hydroponics is a great way for one to be able to garden and grow vegetables even within small spaces. Unlike the past where one would need a huge backyard for them to be able to grow their own produce, Hydroponics now makes it available to anyone. Hydroponics gardening is low maintenance and easy and it even allows for one to live a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Hydroponic farming is made even more compact and accessible with the concept of vertical gardens. It also allows you to be able to grow more plants for your household. Basically, with vertical Hydroponic farming, your setup is one that is built upwards. Less physical ground space is actually being utilized and this clears space for you to grow more plants. Vertical Hydroponics is highly feasible for many as they can build such systems anywhere within their house – balconies, garages, yards, or even empty spaces within your home.
There are many different types of vertical setups and they range from a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes. All that you would have to really decide on is how you want it to look eventually and pair that with the budget you’re willing to spend. To help you with designing a vertical Hydroponic setup at home, we’ve come up with this article to give you a few ideas.
1. The Ultimate Basic
This is the easiest and most basic setup for a Hydroponics System. It’s relatively cheap and easy to set up as you could simply use PVC pipes, some tubing, a submersible pump, and a bucket or container. PVC pipes are easy and cheap to purchase. You wouldn’t need to get a specially built Hydroponics tray. Instead, PVC pipes can be easily used by creating holes along the pipe for the plants to grow through. The container is then used to store the nutrient solution for your plants and the pump is used to pump it into each PVC pipe. For ease, you could have it pumped directly to the top pipe and let the rest of the nutrient solution flow down naturally.
This system is easy to build and it can be placed both indoors and outdoors, according to your space constraints. If it is indoors, you could even mount it to your wall to ensure even lesser space is needed. This is the perfect set up for you if you are just beginning and do not want to invest too much into materials.
2. Garden Towers
The garden tower set up is just like it sounds, it looks like a tower, and your plants will grow along the sides of the tower. This setup is aesthetic and would look highly professional if you are running a vegetable or gardening store. These setups are great because they are water efficient. Whilst traditional farming methods for lettuce would need up to one hundred gallons of water per head, a tower would only need ten gallons.
However, this setup is a little more expensive as you would have to purchase specially constructed materials and have them set up. This is well worth it if you can afford it and you want to add an aesthetic touch to your living space.
3. Living Wall Setup
Similar to a garden tower, a living wall setup is also another great aesthetic decoration to add to your house. As the name implies, a living wall set up would be a wall where you could have a hydroponics system mounted completely against it. This would look like a forest was growing out of your walls. This is beautiful and useful as you can use such setups to grow vegetables useful for cooking in your own house. This makes it much easier and you can save on buying vegetables too. Instead, you can regularly harvest your own whenever you need some. This also has the added benefit of providing your house with cleaner and better air quality.
This system is low-maintenance as once it is set up, little to no work is needed to maintain it. Therefore, it can be very great for busier households. However, this setup is expensive and requires special materials and setting up. Therefore, it might not be for everyone.
4. Vertical Countertop Hydroponics Setup
This is another great way to run a Hydroponics system within your home. You could simply have a set up that can fit onto your countertop. This would look minimalistic yet useful for your household. Such setups come in a variety of sizes and you can pick one that completely suits your needs and space constraints. According to the size, you could grow as many plants as you would need for your own dietary needs. If you have smaller spaces available and can only have a small Hydroponics setup, you can still grow useful herbs for your cooking needs.
Special setups could cost more as they would be specially made. There are also more technologically advanced models available that allow you to control it through a smartphone application. These setups can be great as you can control and monitor the conditions of your plants. However, they are more expensive. You could also make your own countertop set up with PVC pipes if you want to be thrifty!
5. Rotary Style
This is an interesting setup that was initially developed by NASA for outer space use. Such setups thus have a more sci-fi look and can definitely add an interesting element to your house decor. This system essentially has plants growing within a rotary wheel. At the center of that would be the light source and your plants would grow towards the said light source. These systems are highly sophisticated and can be controlled by smartphone applications. The rotary wheel also constantly rotates to allow all the plants to receive an equal amount of light.
This system is more sophisticated and hence, costlier than most setups. However, it is highly automated and can be extremely fun and educational to own.
6. Garden Bottle
If you are looking for a simpler and more DIY Hydroponics set up, this could be the one for you. All this set up essentially uses is a few plastic soda bottles, some growing medium, socks, and seeds. Essentially, you’d be building a system where the sock would serve as a wick to absorb water up and into the medium. The soda bottle is cut into two and the lower portion serves as a container for the nutrient solution. The top portion holds the medium and plant and a sock connects the two to allow for water to be absorbed.
This method is simple and can be easily created with materials around your own home. If you have children, this could also be a great educational tool for them too!
7. PVC gutters
This is a slightly more complicated DIY set up. Essentially, you would have to build a basic frame to hold some PVC gutters. These PVC gutters will then be used as growing spaces for your plants. At the side of the entire build, there will also be a gutter for the water to flow down off. Essentially, it would almost be like a fountain as the nutrient solution would be pumped up to the gutters, and then it would flow back down into the container. With this, there would not be a worry for stagnant water being breeding spots for mosquitos or pests.
This can be challenging to build but its basic building materials are easy and cheap to obtain. Therefore, if you are looking to build a cooler and educational Hydroponics setup, this is one to try!
Hydroponics is something that you could easily try at home. With these few suggestions, we hope you can build the vertical garden of your dreams!