We are huge advocates of vertical farming here at Gelponics as it is the most sustainable option for food production, especially in urban areas. It allows people to grow food year-round in smaller spaces, irrespective of any climate issues they may have.
Vertical farms allow producers to create the optimum growing conditions for their chosen crops, taking that crop from seed to harvest in less time and obtaining a higher yield.
What is a vertical farm?
Science Focus defines vertical farming as “a way of taking the controlled environment of a modern commercial greenhouse to the literal next level by stacking plants vertically on shelves or tall pillars.”
Some of the benefits of vertical farming include the following:
- Stable crop yields all year around
- Protection for crops against adverse weather conditions
- Protection against pests
- Water savings of up to 95%
So, how do you set up your vertical farm to ensure it is successful?
Top tips for a successful vertical farming set-up
- Choose the right site. Site location is less critical than access to water and electricity, and a connection to a sewage system. Some popular sites for vertical farm placement include former supermarkets, underground car parks, and basements of multi-storey buildings.
- Create a model of your vertical farm. Before building your vertical farm, consider the arrangement of the sewers, power supply, ventilation and drainage. You will also need to ensure you have an accessible fire exit. Play around with the arrangement of your racks at this stage too; it is much easier to do in the planning stage than on site.
- Think about the climate, lighting and spacing. When creating a model of your vertical farm, consider maintaining the best climate conditions, getting the lighting right to improve crop yield, and ensuring the spacing between plants is optimised.
- Construct your vertical farm. You can do this yourself or hire experienced contractors. A small vertical farm (100m squared or less) can be set up in 5 weeks, whereas a larger vertical farm (1000m squared or more) may take up to 4 months.
- Start farming. Once your vertical farm has been planned and built, you can plant your seeds and start farming!
How can Gelponics help your vertical farm be successful?
At Gelponics, we have developed a range of synthetic hydrogel formulations that enable genuinely sustainable agriculture, using environmentally-friendly polymers which are low-carbon.
Our products are an excellent replacement for coir, peat and stone wool – all of which are much less environmentally friendly. Peat might be banned in the UK and Europe from 2030.
If you are interested in setting up a vertical farm and want to learn more about how Gelponics can help you control the nutrition levels of your plants and save water, please get in touch. You can call us on 07867 502247 or email us at email@example.com