Plant Placement – Plants Need Elbow Room Too

Whether your hydroponic garden is vertical or you have large horizontal planting trays like the Solaris Gardens, plant placement plays an important role in how bountiful your harvest will be. When plants become crowded and deprived of light, they can not grow or produce fruit efficiently. 

Hidden within the jungle of catnip to the left is a lightweight trellis netting to help the plants stand up straight. You can also check out more growing information on catnip by clicking the underlined name above or viewing it in our plant data base, here

Below are a some tips to help you place the right plants in the right spots next time you’re transferring seedlings in to your hydroponic garden. 

1. Consider the mature height of each plant:

Just like when taking a family photo, you position the tall ones in the back and the short ones in the front. This allows visibility of all your crops. If you grew a front row of tall herbs such as dill or basil, it would make it harder to see or easily maintain anything growing behind that row. Not to mention it also just wouldn’t look as nice! 

When growing vertically, you would place the shortest plants towards the bottom and the tallest plants on the top so that they can all receive light without being blocked by high reaching stems and leaves. 

2. Large root systems and drains don’t get along:

No matter what, you will still need to occasionally check to make sure no roots are exploring your drain tubes. The Solaris Garden has in place drain baffles to help limit this problem; however, you can also help prevent any future catastrophes by placing the plants with a smaller root system away from the drain entrance. 

For example, tomato plants in particular are know for loving hydroponic growing conditions, so much so that one single plant can completely take over an entire system! You would want to place a tomato seedling on the opposite side of the drain to make sure the roots have enough room to grow without clogging up your drain. Regular root trimming can also help alleviate this problem. Click HERE to check out our blog post on the root trimming basics. 

3. Climbing and/or large plants will need support:

If you plan on growing plants such as bush beans, sugar snap peas, or peppers, you will have to provide some support. When plants grow in the ground, they depend on their strong root system to anchor them into the soil; however, even when growing in the soil some plants still need a trellis or netting to attach too. 

Plan ahead to make sure that you are placing your seedlings in a location that will be feasible for you to provide support later on. For example it would be much easier to train a sugar snap pea vine to climb along the frame of your hydroponic system or for a pepper plant to be tied up to the side frame supports. If you are planning on dedicating an entire planting tray with climbing or larger plants, netting works great! Make sure to attach the netting to your hydroponic system when your plants are still seedlings so that they can grow in and around the provided support. 

The more and more experience you have growing hydroponically, the more you begin to pick up on the simple tricks that lead to a more successful harvest. Planning out your plant placement, just as your would in your conventional (in-ground) garden, ensures all of your plants will be able to grow and develop to maturity as quick and efficiently as possible. 

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