If you live in an apartment or have very small yard, it can be hard to find space to grow a veggie patch. Using hydroponics can be a great way to make use of your vertical space by having a garden wall rather than a flat vegetable patch. Here are some tips to consider when you are planning a vegetable wall.
How much natural light does your wall get?
Garden walls are often set up in courtyards or other locations where they get some natural light. If you have a very shaded courtyard, it can be useful to either choose varieties that can cope with low light or look at providing supplemental lighting.
What foods do you eat the most?
Hydroponic walls have a comparatively high yield compared to growing in dirt as they are given an optimum level of water and nutrients. This can mean that you want to alternate the seedlings that you plant, unless you want to plan a lot of meals around the same ingredient for a few weeks! Hydroponics can be great for a range of foods, from herbs to vegetables (including tomatoes and salad leaves) to fruits and berries. Planning a varied crop can let you have some of your delicious freshly grown produce all through the week in different meals.
How hot does it get in your area?
Even if your wall is not in direct sunlight, ambient conditions that are extremely hot or humid can limit the plants you can grow. So it's important that even if you are using a hydroponic set up, if the wall is externally focused and at the local temperature and humidity, you should choose appropriate varieties of seedlings. Your local hydroponic store can often give some useful advice about which kinds of plants tend to be successful in hydroponic set-ups in your area.
How much time do you have for gardening?
While some hydroponic gardeners love the chance to get out and monitor their crops, others just want to enjoy the fresh produce. If you are a set-and-forget gardener, you might want to choose an easier hydroponics set-up that requires less tinkering and some hardy plant varieties.
It can be very useful to contact a hydroponics store with some pictures and measurements of your prospective veggie wall, so that you can choose a suitable set-up and mix of plants to suit your household. Happy gardening, and happy eating!