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Introduction to Mass-Scale Hydroponics

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Looking into the idea of creating big gardens with hydroponics?

It seems to make sense -- after all, if you're going to take the trouble to set up elaborate hydroponic systems, why not scale the project up to get more produce? As long as you've got the room, there shouldn't be many other limiting factors to scale.

However, it's important to think hydroponics projects through fully before implementing them, and one good strategy is to start out with a smaller more controlled grow area, and expand gradually.

History of Mass Scale Hydroponics

The idea of creating ‘macro’ hydroponic gardens isn't new; it's actually been around for a long time. This article covers a Stanford undergrad who cites different kinds of research showing hydroponics a large-scale was under consideration as early as the World War II era. For various reasons, it never caught on for the large institutions and businesses that grow most of our food -- but that's slowly changing.

In the article, you'll see a list of big hydroponic gardens, many of them operating in urban spaces. An entrepreneur may take over a factory or warehouse and convert it into a full-scale hydroponics garden. In some cases, these gigantic gardens can churn out a lot of fresh produce for commercial delivery to supermarkets or other distribution areas.

Strategizing Large-Scale Hydroponics

One critical piece of large-scale hydroponics is irrigation. Growers have to have pumps that are built with enough power to push the water through the system where it needs to go. Tubing has to be versatile, yet durable. And there has to be some amount of precision.

Hydroponics is all about micromanaging, and each plant has to have access to water and nutrients, light and oxygen. Growers have to control temperature, humidity and pH value to really give plants a chance to thrive. All of this has to be built into these larger systems -- for example, grow lighting has to be spaced out so that it gets delivered to each plant. Air handling equipment must be designed to serve the whole garden space.

Growers can also add additional tools like bulk carbon dioxide or sanitation systems to a large-scale hydroponics garden. Whether they are using automated or manual approach, there will be a lot of routine maintenance and inspection of plants through every stage of their life cycle.

For more on large-scale hydroponics, check out Dealzer and everything that we offer growers. We can help you build a mass scale project or try out a smaller system to get started. Ask us about how to move forward in this exciting, innovative space.

 
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