What is Rotary Gardening?
Rotary gardening is essentially the culmination of hydroponic innovation. Its revolutionary design takes conventional hydroponics and further improves the efficiency and cost of operation.
Interestingly, this style of farming was one of NASA’s many innovations. Industrially, these rotary farms can potentially produce plants for medical purposes. For example, CBD medicinal plants. These medicinal plants are grown according to the appropriate guidelines by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and produced in the best and cleanest environment. Now, there are rotary hydroponic systems in the market for the masses to get their hands on (called Rotofarms).
Like traditional hydroponics, a rotary garden uses water as the growth medium instead of soil. But other than that, rotary gardens are a complete upgrade from a normal hydroponic system. Besides having a sturdy structure made of stainless steel, silicone, and strong glass, it is also pleasing to the eye (although this is not the reason why its creator created it). The creator of Rotofarms, Toby Farmer, had emphasized the importance for users to see the functional value more than the visual value of the Rotofarm. It is made to complement the user’s kitchen needs and space while allowing users to have a beautiful garden right on their tabletop.
Another feature of the Rotofarm’s function is its automation and the fact that it is so easy to use. Based on the principles of rotary hydroponics, Farmer managed to produce a planter that produces crops at a faster rate.
One such principle of rotary hydroponics is the fact that it’s rotating technology allows the plants to spend about 30 minutes every round upside down, which is said to double the plants’ growth rate. In addition, users merely need to save a space spanning about 11 inches or 30 centimeters on their tabletop to accommodate almost five times the length of greenery given that the plants are able to grow all around the circular surface.
Other than the plants, the other most noticeable thing about the Rotofarm is the LED grow light fitted right in the center of the circular vegetation patch. It ensures that every vegetation is sufficiently illuminated. Additionally, the LED light is divided into four illuminated areas that can be separately controlled for the ideal lighting condition needed for each type of plant.
The LED light is designed to imitate natural sunlight but with a little more red spectrum light so that the rate of photosynthesis is enhanced. This leads to a faster rate of growth for the plants. Such a powerful light source requires some form of protection for the user’s eye. Therefore, the Rotofarm comes equipped with a detachable magnetic cover that not only prevents glare to the user’s eyes but also allows users to see the plants inside.
These countertop rotary gardens are also a sustainable solution for individuals looking to replace the traditional vegetables bought in-store. Unlike store-bought vegetables, homegrown vegetables don’t require any pesticides or artificial chemicals. This makes the crops last right until you harvest them. With the Rotofarm, you can obtain fresh produce for less money. It is also space-saving for your fridge and leaves less carbon footprint on the environment by using fewer products and services from the supermarkets such as plastic packagings.
The best part about the Rotofarm is how seamlessly it fits into the lifestyle of many. For instance, it alerts growers when a crop is ready to be harvested.
Potential produce from the rotary system
The rotary garden is great for growing vegetables, making it perfect for vegetarians, and plants with medicinal properties. On a larger scale, these automated gardens can serve as a great supplement to the current agricultural provision. Given its space-saving properties and highly efficient production rate, this could potentially be a revolutionary way of cultivation, especially for big cities. Furthermore, the benefits of rotary farming have a ripple effect on other aspects of urban planning as well. For one, having produce right in the middle of cities can greatly decrease plastic usage in the transportation of these products. What’s more? This could finally be the answer to carbon footprint and other harmful chemicals like preservatives and pesticides.
Even if all these might seem like a stretch now, the rotary farming is an entirely possible solution to many of the modern problems we face in our world today. At the very least, it is hard to argue against rotary farming as a potential long-term answer to the shortage of plant products in industries like cosmetics and pharmacy.
The key benefits of indoor rotary hydroponics
First of all, hydroponics bring the garden indoors for a more controlled environment that is more convenient for growers as well. With the depleting global supply of freshwater, growing produce at home can save this precious resource. In parts of the world where the weather is disadvantageous to the growth of medical plants, this system could be of great help. Hydroponics is also great for cultivation cycles. After choosing the mother plants from which the clone is retrieved from, these clones can be rooted for about two weeks before moving them to an aeroclonator for another week for the roots to fully mature. Finally, these plants can be transported to huge Rockwool cubes to be placed in the rotary hydroponics device. They should be able to reach the vegetative stage within one to two weeks, and the flowering stage in nine weeks. Thereafter, they are ready to be harvested.
In terms of the benefits specific to the smaller-scaled Rotofarm, its LED lights are energy-efficient, using only about 40% of power as opposed to other light sources. They also use about half the water that conventional soil gardening requires and they save plenty of space in your home. Should you get one for your home, you can easily and quickly obtain the finest produce right from your home. In fact, you can get up to five cycles every year! Its automotive system also uses gravity to reduce the burden on your end by watering the plants and enhancing their growth at the same time. If you have a rotary farming system to plant medical products, its function allows for minimal contamination from contact with humans.
An example of the data regarding the quantity of dried flower yield that can be obtained from this system is as follows: assuming 30 to 40 grams of dried flowers can be obtained per plant. That means for 266 plants, you can get about 10.6kg of yield. Therefore in a year, the mean weight of dried flowers you can get from four cycles is roughly 42.5kg. Of course, this only serves as an example and the numbers heavily depend on your method of agriculture and the plant genes.
It is clear that rotary hydroponics has great cultivating potential both on the small and large-scale. Thus, it is worth considering given the host of benefits that it has for everyone. But, whether or not this product will become part of our daily lives is yet to be known.