Hydroponics is a very convenient way to provide your family with fresh herbs and vegetables. This type of growing is available to both city dwellers and those who live in the suburbs.
The minimum space you need for hydroponics is 4 inches by 12 inches. This is the size of the smallest hydroponic device. It also needs 11 inches in height. In such a hydroponic system, the spacing between the plants is about 3 inches.
If we’re talking about a large hydroponic system, it can be several square feet to several tens or hundreds of square feet. The space needed for a hydroponic system depends directly on the goal you want to achieve.
Next, we will talk about how much space the most common hydroponic systems need. You will also learn how much space different kinds of vegetables and herbs need.
Read also: 5 Best Hydroponic Growing Systems For Indoor
Small hydroponic devices
The first type of hydroponics is small home gardens. This is usually where most people are introduced to hydroponics.
In fact, they are very handy and beautiful devices that can be placed almost anywhere. The most common representatives of this type of hydroponics are:
- Aerogarden Sprout
- Aerogarden Harvest
- Smart Garden 3
- Smart Garden 9
Typically, the space they occupy ranges from 4×12 inches to 17×23 inches. At the same time, the height can be up to 20 inches. So you can place such a device in your kitchen and get the necessary ingredients for cooking.
The distance between the plants in such systems is quite small and is about 3 inches. This value may vary depending on the device.
In general, small-scale hydroponics are best for growing herbs. In order to get large vegetables, you need to use medium or large systems.
Also Aerogarden Sprout and Smart Garden 3 can provide greens for 1-2 people. If you have a family of 4 or more people, Aerogarden Bounty Basic or Smart Garden 9 is a better choice.
Medium hydroponic systems
Mid-sized hydroponic systems do not require much space and can be placed almost anywhere in the house. They are able to provide the family with some plant food.
In contrast to small hydroponics, you can grow larger plants such as leafy greens, spinach, and lettuce with medium-sized ones. You can also successfully grow some vegetables on them, such as cherry tomatoes.
The most common medium-sized hydroponic systems are:
- Aerogarden Farm 12XL
- Aerogarden Farm 12
- Click & Grow 25
They usually require 30×18 inches of space. And they can be up to 50 inches tall. Such a unit can hold up to 25 plants. The spacing between the cells is a little larger than in smaller systems and can be as much as 4 inches.
Agree that’s not a lot of room to get fresh plant food to cook. However, you should not expect this system to provide your family with a full supply of vegetables or leafy greens. You need to look at larger hydroponic systems for a larger crop.
Large hydroponic systems are probably the most exciting because they can provide large amounts of vegetables. Imagine having your own supermarket at home that supplies you with plant food all year round at a low price!
But to get a good harvest you have to work hard. First, you have to decide what kind of hydroponic system you want and how many plants you need. Then from this, you have to calculate the space you need.
In general, you need about 200 square feet of space to fully provide one person with vegetables. This means you would need 800 square feet of space for a hydroponic system that can feed a family of four.
However, a lot depends on the type of hydroponics. Some systems are more efficient than others and can produce more crops from the same space. The most common are:
- Ebb and Flow
- Deep water culture.
To get ahead of which one is best you need to delve deeper into this topic. It’s actually quite fascinating as you can find a lot of variants of such systems. Moreover, hydroponics is very DIY-friendly and you can create your own unique system.
Also here it should be said that for large hydroponic systems, it is better to use a greenhouse because there might not be enough space in the house or in the basement. Also, a greenhouse will save money on lights but needs heating in winter if you live in a cold climate.
If you have a space problem, use vertical hydroponics. You can get three times as much yield per square foot.
The concept of vertical hydroponics is very simple. It is a three-tiered rack of hydroponic devices. Another version is the multi-cell vertical tubes through which the nutrient solution flows.
On each level, there is a LED lighting system that provides enough light for the plants. Due to the fact that the device uses free space in height, it does not require much space on the floor.
Typical vertical hydroponics are:
- The Rise Garden
- Gardyn Home Kit 3.0
- Click&Grow The Wall Farm Indoor Vertical Garden
On average these systems need 2-4 square feet of floor space and can be up to 7 feet tall. This small size allows them to be installed in the kitchen next to the cooking furniture.
As a result, you can get an entire wall of fresh vegetables with only 2 square feet of room space. If vertical hydroponics is placed near a window, you can expect an even more bountiful harvest.
Hydroponic towers are a type of vertical hydroponics. They are just as effective as the other types with the difference that the plants grow from all sides in 360 degrees.
The Farmstand from Lettuce Grow is the best-known example. This system takes up about a square foot and a half of space and can even fit in a hallway.
The advantage of hydroponic towers is that you can place them on a porch and use 3 solar exposures. Some of the plants will get direct sunlight in the morning, some in the afternoon, and some in the evening. This way you use the sun more efficiently.
You can also rotate the tower from time to time to change the sun exposure for each plant. As a result, all your vegetables will get an approximately equal amount of light. As a result, you get more efficient use of space not only horizontally but also vertically.