Gardening is a hot topic. Especially now since food prices have been rising. There are so many benefits from growing your own plants. You can grow organic food that is nutritious, straight from your backyard, saving you money and making healthier meals for your family.
We are sure you have considered the best ways to grow your plants at home. And you probably are reading this because you are interested in vertical hydroponic gardening where water simply starts from the top and channels into each of the plants. We can understand why. It is one of the very effective ways to manage your garden and it is well known that hydroponic plants grow 30-50% faster than plants that are just grown in soil alone. Who wouldn’t want their food to grow faster? You may already be convinced to go with vertical hydroponics because of more rapid growth rates.
If so, then the question is which type of hydroponics should you use for your vertical hydroponic garden?
Are there several types of hydroponics?
Yes, hydroponics has evolved into several different kinds, each with its own advantages. They are listed below:
Hydroponics (The original)
Any one of these can be used in your garden. The original Hydroponics system is versatile and entails soaking plants in water rather than in soil. It’s cousin Aeroponics, uses a similar method but instead of soaking, it continuously sprays mist to the roots. Both methods grow plants faster than soil and are 2 types of soil-less gardening. However, both have a serious drawback. Neither is a natural ecosystem that self-sustains itself. Consequently, you would need to cover for the shortcomings like below.
1) Needs constant electricity to nourish the plants. 2) Power outages would make them vulnerable. 2) Powered systems can be noisy. 3) Cannot skip a watering day like you can with soil or plants will die. 4) Demands more of your time, monitoring and maintenance. 5) No soil buffer, waterborne diseases can possibly destroy your garden. 6) Not beginner-friendly. There is a learning curve. 7) Expensive to set up. Higher up-front costs. 8) Requires the use of chemical nutrients, which can be expensive. 9) Nutrients have also become somewhat scarce, driving up costs. 10) Water needs to be disposed of regularly. 11) Regular sanitization of your system to prevent diseases and pests.
Since your system is not a self-sustaining ecosystem where plant needs are met naturally, you must nourish it yourself.
But what about putting an ecosystem into the vertical hydroponic garden?
Yes, that would be ideal. Nature could be used in a way to automatically nourish your garden. It would save you time and provide you with healthier food, as nature intended. In fact, growers have been leaning toward ecosystems not only because of the self-sustaining benefits, but also because the natural fertilizer resulting from them are far superior than store bought fertilizers. Nature produces it for free. Fertilizer (compost) with superior nutrition equals bigger plants, rich with vitamins and minerals.
To achieve the goal of a self-sustaining ecosystem, a modification of hydroponics to include fish was developed, called Aquaponics. This method was a cooperation between plants and fish to form a self-sustaining ecosystem.
Basically, you feed the fish, the fish feed the plants and the plants clean up the water and channel it back to the fish. It’s one continuous cycle that takes care of itself, naturally. And fish feed that’s used in an Aquaponics system is much more affordable than buying chemical nutrients.
For Aquaponics, you would need a tank for fish and this is where you would feed the fish. The fish release waste which is converted directly into nitrates by the surrounding bacteria. These nitrates are used as food for the plants. A pump carries the nitrate-infused water out of the tank and directly into the bed of plants. Then the planting beds absorb the nutrients in the water and naturally clean the water from harmful contaminants. Water is then pumped from the planting beds back to the fish tanks where the process starts over. It’s a clever approach to food production.
- The nutrition is naturally produced by the fish.
- Plants automatically get to work absorbing and cleaning.
- Your time spent on maintenance is drastically reduced since the ecosystem takes over many of the chores.
- As a result, the growth results are more efficient and faster than the original Hydroponic system.
But we still have a problem.
1) Electricity is still required for the pumps, with even more power. 2) The noise is still there, maybe even more so. 3) Mechanical systems can fail. Plumbing can also fail. 4) Not many crops are available with this. Root vegetables grow in soil. 5) It’s expensive to set up and there are higher up-front costs. 6) It must be professionally installed. 7) Additional space is needed for the fish tank which is very expensive. 8) On top of that, fish can smell, especially dead fish.
Fish? We wouldn’t want our living area smelling would we?
We hear you. Fortunately, we have another modification of hydroponics that include a self-sustaining ecosystem also. And it does not include fish.
And just look at the benefits.
1) Requires no electricity. 2) Quiet as a whistle. 3) No mechanical system to worry about. 4) Practically all plants are available with this approach. 5) And cheaper than any of the other systems. 6) Easy installation, no professional help needed. 7) No separate tank of fish required, thank you very much. 8) One that doesn’t smell.
To top it off, this system modification’s growth rates are even faster than an Aquaponics system. This ground breaking new modification of hydroponics is called Vermiponics.
Vermiponics is a more recent off-shoot of Aquaponics. Several Aquaponic growers realized that red worms could happily live in the beds of an Aquaponics system, processing solids and releasing nutrients for plant roots to uptake. This led to trying worm-only systems in soil, which is now known as Vermiponics. And worms are easier to keep alive than fish because they can withstand larger changes in temperature and pH. And Vermiponics does not require equipment for heating or cooling because operating range for Vermiponics is 45F-90F.
Did you say Soil?
Correct, we are actually including soil in this new type of hydroponic system, and for a good reason. Enabling the use of soil naturally provides more robust nutrition and more of the natural flavors is retained. This is especially valuable for fruits and vegetables. You simply add the best quality soil you can buy to start and the system takes it from there permanently, an ever churning ecosystem that sustains itself.
What about the compost?
You can feed the red worms (Also known as red wigglers) food waste and garden trimmings for example. The worms gobble it up and create what is called a super-compost that is converted into a liquid nutrient called Vermicompost which is extremely rich in minerals and full of nutrition. The nutrient density of Vermicompost is approximately three times that of Aquaponics. There is more microbial diversity in a Vermiponic system which creates greater ecological stability. Each unique item in the food waste is alive with its own microbial community which creates biodiversity. For example, in testing the Vermicompost effect on turnips, it was discovered that plants grown in 20 percent Vermicompost were about the size of baseballs, compared to the ping-pong sized root vegetables grown without Vermicompost. No wonder the growers are waking up to the method. Plants crave it.
What about the space needed?
Vermiponics knock it out of the park here too. Their systems are 10-100x smaller than equivalent Aquaponic systems with fish tanks. As a result, Vermiponics is hands down the very best way to quickly grow organic produce in smaller areas, especially areas where the soil is not good. All kinds of fruits and vegetables, including those with underground roots, can be grown by using vermicompost as the primary fertilizer.
Where can I get this?
We would like to introduce you to a brilliant system that fits the bill perfectly. One that employs the use of vertical gardening with vermiponics, the best hydroponic method available. It is the advanced garden planter called The Garden Tower, a vertical vermiponics 50-plant garden composting system.
Here is why we like this system better than anything else out there.
Watch this video.
You can tell people love it.
BUY it here -> The Garden Tower.
Check out the customer reviews below
Proudly 100% Made in the USA.
Backed by a 5-year manufacturer warranty.
Click here to Buy the Garden Tower.
Also, we previously mentioned that one of the best place to buy worms is at Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, the #1 supplier of composting worms in the USA. They will ship them right to your door. You can order here.
So what do you plan to plant? What about herbs? We have an article for that here - Medical Herbs, Better Ingredients Better Medicine.
Also, in case you wish to keep the food you grow in long term storage, we have an article for that too - Freeze Dried Food, Doing It Yourself.