Growing Methods

Non-Hydroponic Methods

Shelf Unit

Shelf units are a lot of fun and are very versatile. The spacing between the shelves can be adjusted according to what you want to grow and different types of containers can be used on them as well.  The best thing about the shelf units, also called grow racks, is they are vertical so you can grow a lot in a little space.  These can be placed in a house, garage, basement, apartment, office building, etc.  These shelf units need grow lights so you can grow with them year round.  Here are a few examples of what can be grown on them:  can be used for propagation, to grow microgreens, baby greens (kale, spinach, arugula, mustards, etc.), green onions, carrots, radishes, herbs, and beets.
 

Grow Bag

Grow bags are especially wonderful for someone who does not have a lot of space in their yard for a garden or poor soil. They are more economical than pots (only $.28 each!) and can grow almost anything. A few examples are tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, radishes, beets, peas, green beans, herbs, strawberries, edamame, collard greens, okra, flowers, raspberries, etc.


Hydroponic Methods

Ebb and Flo System

The Ebb and Flo system is a basic hydroponic concept, or the process of growing plants without soil.  There is a reservoir located below the grow tank where the plants are that is filled with a water and nutrient mixture.  This is pumped into the grow tank to the plants and circulates back down to the reservoir where it will be pumped up again to the grow tank.  This system can be used to grow kale, spinach, Swiss chard, lettuce, arugula, herbs, radishes, beets, and carrots.
 

Deep Water Culture

The deep water culture system utilizes the basic hydroponic concept except water flows through the grow tank to the reservoir much slower so the water in the grow tank looks as if it is still like bath water. The plants are actually floating on rafts on top of the water.  Pretty cool!  Examples of what you can grow in this system are pak choi, broccolini, herbs, lettuce, arugula, spinach, and mustards.
 

Tower Garden

The tower gardens use the same basic hydroponic concept except they go up in a vertical form.  The tower gardens are easy to grow in and you can grow just about anything in them.  You can also purchase cages that go around the tower garden if you would like to grow tomatoes, eggplant, etc.  With a standard tower garden you can grow microgreens, lettuce, herbs, spinach, arugula, mustards, pak choi, mizuna, and broccolini.
 

Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) System

Nutrient film technique system is the basic hydroponic system that is explained for the Ebb and Flo system, but NFT utilizes small gutter type grow tanks instead of one large grow tank.  So imagine a bunch of gutters lined up next to each other on a table.  In the NFT system you could grow herbs, Swiss chard, lettuce, arugula, mustards, spinach, flowers, broccolini, tatsoi, mizuna, and kale.
 

Farm Wall

The farm wall is like the NFT system (gutter style) but is vertical against the wall.  It is best to grow crops in these that don’t get too big such as spinach, lettuce, arugula, low growing flowers, etc.