Saturday, February 26, 2011

Commercial Hydroponic System for the Backyard Gardener

We're members of a local Community Support Agriculture (CSA) vegetable farm.  They use a commercial hydroponic system from Verti-Gro as their primary growing method, but they also have a smaller system set-up for demonstration purposes that they use for growing herbs.  Members are encouraged to choose a few of their favorite herbs each week, at no extra charge, and they get a mini-course in how their food is raised at the same time.

Four tower hydroponic system from Vertigro
Nutrients are stored in the plastic trash can and then pumped through the plastic plumbing pieces into the top of the vegetable towers.  The water then trickles down through the stacks providing water and required nutrients for the veggies.  The growing pots in each of the towers rotate 360 degrees to make harvesting a breeze. 

This type of gardening system is often used in areas with poor soil quality due to environmental factors such as hot and arid climates with sandy soils. The basic system provides a commercial quality food production system option for backyard gardeners without the time, effort, and expense involved with building above ground growing beds. 

If I understand the price lists correctly, this system is sold for approximately $400.  That may sound like a lot, but if you price supplies to build a traditional above ground bed separately you might be surprised to find that $400 isn't quite as high as it might first seem.  Counting the water savings alone versus traditional sprinkler and drip irrigation, the break even point might surprise you.  Plus you don't have to worry about weeds, cultivation, bending, stretching, etc. to harvest your food.

For comparison purposes, here's a picture of the main hydroponic system used by the CSA to provide weekly vegetable supply for CSA members and a couple of local produce stands.

Commercial hydroponic tower systemm from Verti-Gro


  1. This looks great, and we'd like to create the same. How to get started? Any help would be much appreciated. We are located in Guatemala, Central America, with a temperate climate of 60 to 75 degrees year round. Thanks, CatherineTodd2 (at) gmail (dot) com.

  2. How do I sign up for new entries to this blog? Ooops... found it, and signed up. Thanks!