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Vertical Vs. Horizontal Hydroponics - When and Where?


When you're thinking about setting up a hydroponics project, one big consideration is structure -- how are you going to lay out plants and various parts of your garden infrastructure? What makes sense in terms of the footprint and the specific ways that you’ll nurture plants to maturity?

So when you're thinking about this issue, you might consider vertical or horizontal hydroponic systems. When is each one a good fit? It has to do with your specific project needs, but there are some common guidelines to go by.

Fitting a Space

Obviously, one big consideration with vertical versus horizontal hydroponics is the space that you have. Vertical systems are great for fitting into the corners of rooms or any other small spaces where they can be less intrusive and less in the way. By contrast, horizontal systems are often for show, or take up the majority of a room or space.

Off the Floor

Vertical systems are also a good idea for when the system needs to have a minimal impact on a floor surface. Think of it this way -- you may need to have an outdoor hydroponic garden that doesn't kill the grass, or you may need an indoor hydroponic garden that you can clean under, on the floor. Vertical systems can be set up on relatively thin legs, to allow them to basically hover over a space and not take up square footage on the floor.

Ebb and Flow Tray Table Systems

Another primary consideration regards the type of hydroponics that is used. For a deep water culture system, where plants are fed from a central reservoir through tubes, a vertical system may be entirely appropriate. However, for different types of tray table or drip systems, or ebb and flow systems, horizontal will be a better fit. That's because many of these are designed to passively flow water down over a slight decline, while plants rest on a tray or table where their roots can access that water. So a vertical system really wouldn't make sense in these types of cases.


You also want to optimize lighting. In some cases, growers actually train plants to grow horizontally because they want optimal light from above to reach all parts of the plant - the other option is to have lighting projected from the side, but this is difficult for various engineering rates.

For more about the nuts and bolts of hydroponics and how to go about it, check out Dealzer’s web site.

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