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How to start a basic "Wall Farm" with Hydroponics

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Wall forms or vertical farms are one of the most trendy new types of hydroponic systems around. You'll see these in universities, in small businesses and in the hobby gardens of a lot of people who have some resources to throw at hydroponics.

So how do you create one of these innovative gardens? Some of the basics are the same -- but other fundamental aspects of creating and installing walled gardens are different. Here's a bit of a guide to help you put together your wall garden and make sure it's done right.

Decide on the Type of Hydroponics

Hydroponic gardeners have several basic options available for setting up hydroponic systems. They can choose from deep water culture, ebb and flow, or other types of tray table designs. They can set up Dutch bucket systems or other elaborate types irrigation setups.

For a walled garden, you're probably not going to want a deep water culture system, but you can decide whether you want water to sit in open vertical plant trays, or whether you want it to go through tubing into plant pots and then get directed back into a reservoir at the bottom. These design choices will determine a lot more about how you set up your walled garden.

Anchoring Walled Gardens

Growers ignore this major point at their peril. You can set up all kinds of fancy walled gardens, but if there's any chance of the thing falling down all around you, you're going to want to fix that up front. Otherwise, you'll be out a lot of time and money.

Make sure that shelf systems are firmly anchored to walls, or that floorstanding systems are either anchored to the ceiling, or built with sturdy anchoring to the floor. Look at all kinds of weight ratings and estimates to understand whether your wall system is safe from unanticipated emergencies.

Pick Your Crops

Choosing hydroponic crops is also going to be important. In general, growers tend to choose things like herbs and greens over vining plants, because they'll stay in their plant pots better and grow in a vertical setup. Vining plants will require additional tools like strings or trellises to keep them growing directionally within a vertical wall system.

Check Pump Power

You're also going to make sure you have the correct air and water handling equipment to give your plants what they need on a regular basis. Check the ratings and the quality of equipment and materials to make sure you get a good result.

Picking Schedules

It’s no good creating the perfect hydroponic garden if nobody's around to harvest. Make sure you have defined schedules for when crops get harvested, and that you have enough labor to help you out when it's time to take advantage of what you've grown.

 
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