Vertical gardening is the practice of growing crops and utilizing vertical space to maximize land and increase water efficiency.Vertical farms come in different shapes and sizes, from simple two-level or wall-mounted systems to large warehouses several stories tall. All vertical farms use one of three soil-free systems for providing nutrients to plants: hydroponic, aeroponic or aquaponic.
Hydroponics involves growing plants in nutrient solutions that are free of soil. The plant roots are submerged in the nutrient solution, which is frequently monitored and circulated to ensure that the correct chemical composition is maintained.
Hydroponic farming allows for faster growth and higher yields than traditional soil-based growing systems. To grow hydroponically, you need plants, a container, water, a way to anchor the plants, nutrients and a light source.
Plants grown in well-managed hydroponic systems are living the good life. Since roots are bathed in all the nutrients they need, plants spend more time growing upward and less time and energy growing extensive root systems to search for food. Growth rates vary based on the type of system and quality of care, but hydro plants can mature up to 25 percent more quickly than the same plants grown in soil, with increased crop yield, to boot.
It’s important to understand that hydroponic farming can be a bit more involving than outdoor farming. This means that a farmer needs to keep an eye on the water flow, the amount of water, the pH of the water, and the number of nutrients in the water. Learning to adjust may take some time, but once the crops start to grow, it should be easy enough to maintain it.
Aeroponics is a method of growing plants without soil. Instead, roots are suspended in the air and irrigated with a nutrient-dense mist.This form of farming is different from hydroponic systems where plant roots are regularly submerged in a nutrient-rich solution. In aeroponics, the roots have greater access to oxygen, which results in healthier plants, significantly faster crop growth rates and increased yields.
In aeroponics systems, seeds are put in pieces of foam stuffed into tiny pots, which are exposed to light on one end and nutrient mist on the other. The foam also holds the stem and root mass in place as the plants grow. One thing to note, the nutrient concentration of the water must be maintained within precise parameters and even a slight malfunction of your equipment can cause the loss of a crop.
Aeroponic systems rely on electrical power to pump water through the tiny misting devices. And while they can be employed in the natural light of a greenhouse, they are more often used with energy-intensive grow lights. Solar power energy can be used as an alternative source hence making it a bit cheaper.
Aquaponics is a form of agriculture that involves the rearing of fish (aquaculture) and the growth of plants in a soilless medium (hydroponics). This is a cooperation between plants and fish and hence the term originates from the two words. Aquaponics relies on the food introduced for fish, which works as the system’s input.
Tilapia is one of the best fish to raise in aquaponics because they are hardy fish and can adapt to their environment and withstand less than ideal water conditions. They are resistant to many pathogens, parasites and in handling stress.
For aquaponics to be successful, there are some components that must be present. These are;
- The concentration of macro and micronutrients
- Air temperature
- Water temperature;
- CO2 concentrations in air and in the water;
- Dissolved oxygen in air and water
Vertical farming systems can be used to grow a wide array of plants, such as vegetables, fruits, herbs, and even flowering plants. Some of the benefits associated with vertical farming include higher rates of production, improved crop quality, lower water usage, reduced fertilizer usage, reduced area required for production, and the potential for year-round production at just about any location. These systems can be quite profitable and have the potential to be part of environmental solutions if properly designed and managed.
A successful vertical farming system is one that promotes good air porosity, drainage, and nutrient retention.
As Mazero Agrifood, we have a wide range of quality and affordable products for vertical farming and also team of qualified personnel that are well versed with the installation of vertical gardens. Contact us on 0729777711.