ZipGrow Greenhouse System Review

 

ZipGrow Greenhouse System Review

Vertical Hydroponic Greenhouse Farming

For our ZipGrow greenhouse system evaluate we’re rising a number of types of everbearing strawberries (day impartial) and Genovese basil in a CEA (managed surroundings agriculture) greenhouse. At grozine.com we’ve got operated a wide range of vertical hydroponic and aquaponic techniques through the years, usually as DIY set-ups whereas using skilled grade parts and elements.

Happy hydroponic strawberries, vertical hydroponic farming.

Vertical hydroponic farming has confirmed to offer us with extra harvest from the identical quantity of area versus linear hydroponic gardens; the distinction could be fairly substantial. Making use of vertical rising area can successfully double yields in a given space when rising compact crops. Clearly, vertical hydroponics is changing into an vital resolution for supplying city or distant areas with contemporary wholesome meals similar to greens, herbs and fruits. ZipGrow is nicely acknowledged on this space and has been delivering a wide range of vertical rising techniques over the globe for a while now.

Naturally, we jumped on the probability to offer them a go when the chance arose. The timing was glorious, as we had deliberate to do some early Spring updates in our hydroponic greenhouse and occurred to have the proper sized space obtainable for the brand new ZipGrow Greenhouse System utilizing their 5 foot tall ZipGrow Towers.

ZipGrow Towers

Before we get into the specifics of our ZipGrow Greenhouse System Review, let’s have a fast lesson or refresher within the primary design and performance ideas supporting the effectiveness of the ZipGrow Tower.

Essentially, a “C” formed sq. channel (a tube with a gap working up and down) is suspended above the bottom. Inside the channel, there’s a folded block of synthetic substrate working up and down your entire size.  The substrate is much like pond filter media:it’s chemically inert, gentle weight, permits water to circulate via and could be very sturdy.

The plant’s roots are “sandwiched” into the media and a strip of felt wicking materials, which is then inserted into the sturdy channel(s) which might be supported vertically above the bottom.

Plants are firmly anchored in place by the sunshine weight substrate within the ZipGrow Tower meeting. The ZipGrow Towers are suspended straight up and down or with a couple of levels of pitch. A drip emitter delivers a sluggish stream of recirculated nutrient resolution on the high of the towers. The moisture cascades evenly down the tower via the wicking materials and substrate, feeding plant roots with water and vitamins.  The resolution drains out the underside and is recaptured and despatched again to a reservoir for recirculation via the system.  The circulate could be fixed or equipped intermittently with a timer.

ZipGrow Greenhouse System

In a lineral space of roughly 5’ X 12’ we function 25 5 foot ZipGrow Towers,  Plant spacing is variable inside every tower, as is the power so as to add or take away particular person towers to realize any goal planting density necessities. We planted 5 vegetation per tower (strawberries and basil), giving us a complete of 125 vegetation in a modest lineal foot print. The top of the system is round six ft tall for utilizing 5 foot towers. Note: the system could be equipped with eight foot tall towers.


Vertical Growing System Construction

The system is delivered with every little thing wanted for the help rack, towers, medium, overhead drip irrigation and catchment troughs.  We equipped our personal reservoir (water barrel), irrigation pump, irrigation predominant and catchment return (condensate pump).

The supplies equipped are of very prime quality and refinement; clearly made for an extended actual world service life. For instance the metal tubing help system is giant diameter, thick walled stainless-steel.

One of the benefits we famous throughout meeting is that there’s a stage of flexibility to the system foot print. We have been in a position to shave a couple of inches from the tubing to make for an ideal match within the space (we use each inch of our small greenhouse). As a juxtaposition, this isn’t doable with frequent rising trays.

A single in a position bodied individual with some expertise constructing from drawings can simply assemble the steel help body and overhead irrigation system in a day. All framing members are equipped reduce to the proper size–only a hex head wrench is required for the framework. We personalized the nutrient return and supply system for our utility and put in the towers in a further afternoon.

Planting ZipGrow Towers

After watching one in all ZipGrow’s many beneficial hands-on on-line movies to familiarize ourselves with transplanting or “sandwiching” younger vegetation into the substrate and towers, we felt assured to begin rising.

Having a glass sheet on an outside transplant desk was excellent. We had plenty of area to work with and the towers and substrate slid along with ease on the glass floor. It was additionally simple to maintain clear.

The basil transplants have been began from seed in small rockwool propagation cubes and additional divided at transplant.  Conceivably, we may have established the vegetation extra earlier than planting. However, the local weather within the greenhouse was excellent for transplanting and establishing the vegetation into the system.

This being our first semi-serious try at cultivating strawberries got here with a small studying curve; extra to do with sourcing transplant materials versus rising within the system.

Our first spherical of mail-order plant inventory was subpar to say the least.  The main Eastern Canadian plant inventory provider shall stay anonymous.

Searching in our native Facebook Marketplace proved to be serendipitous. We situated a couple of varieties of lovely wholesome strawberry transplants inside an hour’s drive and at a fantastic worth.

We are cultivating Albion, San Andreas and one other one merely referred to as “T” to us.

Transplanting wasn’t terribly time consuming or laborious and went quick sufficient as soon as we discovered our approach.  If we didn’t should rinse our strawberry inventory first it could have gone quicker but. It took only a few hours to plant up 25 5 foot excursions, holding 5 vegetation every, for 125 vegetation whole

Soil-Raised Transplants VS Soilless

As talked about our basil transplants have been clear, as they started in rockwool.  However, our exceptionally wholesome strawberry transplants got here to us in dwelling soil. We gave every plant a great dunk and rinse in a light hydrogen peroxide resolution to take away undesirable soil and to decrease the microbial load current earlier than sandwiching into the substrate and ZipGrow Towers.

ZipGrow Greenhouse System Review, Performance

We set our irrigation time to cycle 7 minutes ON and 20 minutes OFF constantly. Constant feed is an possibility too, nonetheless, we prefer to have some dry again time. Additionally if we had a leak or undesirable drips in our contemporary set up, this supplies a small security internet earlier than the system would run dry.

zip grow greenhouse system review

A 55 Gallon meals grade water barrel serves as our reservoir cistern. We added Cultured Solutions vitamins and components to RO filtered water for an preliminary EC of 1.0 with pH at 5.8 to six.2. Using vitamins meant for hydroponics not solely improves plant efficiency, it cuts down on potential complications.  For instance, our pH stays predictable and pretty fixed.  Working with liquid concentrates makes mixing simple, constant and tidy. Reservoir temperature is maintained between 65 to 75 deg F. An aquarium heater was added through the early a part of the rising season.  The reservoir is nicely aerated through with an air pump and air stones constantly.

With the system in operation for round two months now, right here’s what we’ve got to notice:

-very low upkeep as soon as working; there’s actually not a lot to do besides preserve the reservoir (only a few minutes a day)

-water consumption could be very conservative; very minimal nutrient resolution is misplaced to evaporation

-because the vegetation dangle vertically off of the bottom there’s much less threat of predation from pests or animals

-light supply stays surprisingly even and constant up and down the vegetation within the 5 foot ZipGrow Towers; even in keeping with our gentle meter.

-once established, vegetation actually took off demonstrating distinctive well being and progress charges.

-vertical grown vegetation appear to develop sturdier than their lineal grown counterparts; there’s much less stretching or stem elongation.

While we’re newer to working the system, we will say that it performs very nicely and is of sturdy development. The substrate is reusable for a number of crop cycles; that is one thing we’ve got but to expertise. However, which will take some time, as we plan on cropping our everbearing strawberries for a long run; there’s plenty of well being and vigor within the vegetation.  Hydroponic root techniques are compact and environment friendly, so vegetation changing into root sure can take a substantial interval versus conventional cultivation strategies.

Stay tuned for extra and watch our cultivation progress each day on INSTAGRAM and FaceBook.

Meanwhile, we get pleasure from our each day harvests of contemporary, clear and attractive strawberries and basil! Next up, a tower or two of Nasturtiums for harvesting edible flowers.

 

Tags: vertical farming, vertical hydroponics, zipgrow evaluate, zipgrow system