Everything You Need To Know About A Vertical Hydroponic Garden

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil in a horizontal or vertical hydroponic garden. Nutrients are dissolved in water, and the plants’ roots are submerged in water to absorb nutrients. You can grow fresh vegetables in any settings. Hydroponic gardening utilizes less space than traditional soil farming. 

Hydroponic gardens have become popular because of their flexibility. You can set up a hydroponic garden in any manner. Vertical hydroponics is a system that allows the vertical growth of plants. This article will dive into detail about vertical hydroponic garden.

vertical hydroponic

Advantages of Vertical Hydroponics Garden

  • Save on water and nutrients.
  • Most hydroponic towers only require a smaller floor space allowing you to build more vertical hydroponic gardens.
  • They require minimal maintenance because of the closed nutrient-water flow system.

Disadvantages of Vertical Hydroponics Garden

  • Getting water to the top layers will require pumps with a higher power in a hydroponic tower.
  • An indoor hydroponic tower will experience light supply issues because the plants are stacked.
  • A vertical hydroponic wall garden will constantly require more power to power the motors.

How Does A Vertical Garden Work?

The idea behind a hydroponic wall garden is to utilize a tube system with a pump to supply water to top layers. Additionally, it would be best to have tubes to get the flow down to your reservoir. A custom-made hydroponic tower uses PVC pipes as the central tower. Smaller holes for individual plants are then drilled into the pipe.

Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) is best for a hydroponic tower. The NFT hydroponic system delivers nutrient water to a tray of plants and recycles water. In NFT, pumps push water from a reservoir to the trays in the tubes. Plants in the trays are supplied with little water at a time, or they may drown, or roots may rot in excess water.

Trays that are smaller and short are ideal since they utilize nutrients well compared to larger ones. You can have a single tube or multiple to enhance the efficiency of your wall garden. A hydroponic tower uses pumps to work. The pumps have to work constantly to ensure that you successfully grow your plants. Your crops might die if your pump breaks and is not fixed in time. Ensure that you have a backup plan for your hydroponic tower system and constantly check flow problems to produce good yields successfully.

How Do You Build A Vertical Garden?

Do you have less horizontal space or want to grow your plants beside an attractive wall? A vertical garden might be what you need. A hydroponic tower can be relatively expensive, but building your tower garden can cost you way less. Your custom-built tower can be used to grow plants if lights are provided to the tower.

 Building your hydroponic wall doesn’t have to be stressful. Below are some easy steps to help get your tower standing. The vertical hydroponic garden can grow up to 20 plants in one square foot of floor space using a 23-liter bucket.

Requirements

  •         7- feet of 4 inch, 10- feet 1½ inch PVC pipe
  •         One 5-gallon bucket with two lids
  •         4-inch collar PVC bracket
  •         Pipe solvent cement
  •         5- inch PVC square
  •         6 feet of half-inch poly tubing
  •         One ½ -inch barbed T
  •         Aquarium silicone
  •         Two ½ inch bolts with nuts
  •         One pump (submersible) one that can pump 6 feet high
  •         Two 2-inch net cups
  •         An airstone and air pump
  •         Seedlings

Tools

  •         A drill
  •         Miter box, miter saw
  •         Hacksaw
  •         Jigsaw to cut 45-degree angles of the PVC pipe
Hydroponics Tower

Steps

  •         Cut two parts of the 4-inch PVC pipe of equal length. One length of 5 feet long, followed by the other with 4 inches in length.
  •         Trace four equally spaced lines around the 4-inch PVC pipe. A straight wood of equal length to the pipe may help you draw the lines. The lines should run at least 3 1/2 inches apart.
  •         Since we need net cups to host the plants, stagger the holes in the pipe by making a 5 inches mark from one end of the pipe. Make the other mark at15 inches followed by a mark at 25, 35,45 inches, respectively, on the same first line.
  •         On the second line, make a mark from 10 inches from the marked side of the pipe and the remaining at 20 inches, followed by 30,40, 50 inches from the top of the PVC pipe.
  •         On the third line, the markings should be the same as the ones on the first marked line on the PVC pipe. ½
  •         Your markings on the fourth line should be the same as those on the second line. The spacing ensures excellent spacing between the plants.
  •         Cut 20 net cup holders from the 1½  inch pipe. These net cups will host the plants. Using a miter box is helpful in this step. Make the first cut at a 45-degree angle, then measure 1½ centimeters to make a second straight cut. Make 20 of these cups.
  •         On the marks you made in the PVC pipe, put one cup to trace around it where you made marks. Make similar traces for the other 19 marks on the PVC pipe. The 45 degrees cut of the cup should face the bottom of the pipe.
  •         Drill a hole inside the cup marking and use a jigsaw afterward to cut a hole around the cup marking. Remove burrs using sandpaper. Your cup should fit well to avoid sinking into the pipe or not fail to glue together.
  •         Next, glue your cup holders to the PVC pipe while applying PVC solvent to the inner rim of the hole on the pipe. Apply the solvent to the outer rim of the net cup holder to make sure you curb spaces that may cause leaks.
  •         Fix the cup holder into the hole. You may need to squeeze it into fit well, leaving no gaps. You may use a wooden handle to make sure they stick well.
  •         Repeat the procedure for the other remaining cups.
  •         Once all the cups are dry and firm, apply adhesive silicone to fill any spaces along the pipe and leave it to dry for 20 hours.
  •         Trace the inner side of your PVC collar onto the PVC cover and outline the ½ inch tubing in the center of the cover to fit amply.
  •         Drill twenty 1/8 inch holes into the PVC cover and remove the burrs with sandpaper.
  •         Drill two holes in the bucket and tight the PVC bracket with the bolts and nuts, leaving the room so that the lid can close.
  •         Measure the length from the inner rim of the bucket to the 4-inch pipe, then place the PCV pipe on the lid and trace its outline. Trim out the 4-inch circle using a jigsaw.
  •         Using the second lid, cut out the excess part so that the lid fits well inside the bottom of the bucket. With the pipe inside the bucket, straighten it then draw its outline on the lid in the bottom of the bucket. Cut out a 4-inch circle. The bottom lid helps keep the pipe securely in place. Glue the PVC collar with the top of the 4-inch pipe and place your pump in the bucket.
  •         Mark where your tubing exits the bucket and cut out a hole there.
  •         Drill more holes along the base of the pipe and place your tubing through the hole in the cover. Insert ½ inch tee fitting into the poly tubing.
  •         Put the cover into the collar, then cut a notch on the bucket’s inner rim where the pump’s electrical cord and the air tuning will exit. Insert your finished tower through the lid into the bucket and connect the poly tubing to your pump.
  •         Test run to ensure the cups do not leak. Apply more silicon and allow more than 20 hours to dry.
  •         Fill the bucket with nutrient solution and place seedlings in the cups.
  •         Your hydroponic tower is now complete.

What Can You Grow With A Vertical Hydroponics Garden?

Below are some plants proved to grow successfully in a hydroponic tower.

Vegetables

Beans, garlic, pepper, tomatoes, kale, lettuce, spinach, cabbage

Fruits

Strawberries

Medicinal plants

Aloe vera, yarrow, lavender, patchouli, catmint

Conclusion

A hydroponic tower utilizes less space and works great like any other types of hydroponic system do. It is less convenient when the pumps in the system fail. Pump failures can cause the death of your plants and the rotting of the plant’s roots. Despite pump failures, your hydroponic tower requires a powerful pump to get water and nutrients to the top layer of the tower. Building your vertical garden requires precision when measuring the cut-out holes and the cup holders. This article has outlined simple steps to help you create a simple vertical garden. Once set up, your hydroponic wall garden can grow several foods, even strawberries.

Happy gardening.

hydroponics strawberries