RupertofOZ

Critique of the latest suggested "vertical tower" implementation

34 posts in this topic

Hi,

Off topic, sarcastic / antagonistic replies deleted.

Cheers

Toga

APN Mod Team

Can we get the same treatment on the threads derailed where we started talking about sand beds?

I need to find the video where he gives a life expectancy of tower media. It seems like a combo of plant roots and worm activity that eventually derail it.

crsublette likes this

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Hi Rosso,

 

No public discussion will take place on how we moderate...My advise to all, is to take heed of our advise and don't take threads to a place where mods have to severely moderate...Thank you...If you have further problems with this, Pm Kellen for guidance....

 

I suggest we get back on topic now and continue...

 

Cheers.

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Nearly everyone that fills towers with media reports issues with them clogging rapidly... with both solids and roots..

Resulting in water losses through overflow... and poor plant growth... most probably because they've become anaerobic...

Putting media filled towers draining into media beds would very likely compromise the underlying media beds them selves IMO...

Pumping unfiltered, or semi-filtered (rolls eyes) solids a la the schematic posted... would appear to be just plain asking for trouble...

And given the discussions of years ago.. as suggested by Gary.... it would seem an extremely retro-grade step...

Similar discussions surrounded media filled horizontal pipes... which again seem to have become flavour of the month.. including "A frame" implementations.... and usually referred to as NFT... when in fact they're more a "shallow water culture"....

The same issues as media filled towers becomes apparent rapidly....

But it seems for some reason that people feel an urge to go "vertical"... often cited as the "future" of plant production...

Even with loose void media like the matala media that's incorporated in the "zip towers".... are the claimed benefits real???

I always thought vertical towers main appeal was a conservation of limited space. ITR they are hard to beat. Cleaning issues? Is there a system that includes fish that does not require periodic cleaning? Edited by Strider (see edit history)

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Cleaning issues? Is there a system that includes fish that does not require periodic cleaning?

 

No, every system with fish requires cleaning to some degree or other... it's a matter of how often, and how easily it can be done...

 

Especially if the system is large...;)

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SO my question is this - what is a better producer in an AP system if they go vertical?

 

The actual vertical towers or the horizontal gravity feed stepped tubes?

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I look at NFT vs DWC and think NFT looks easier to clean.  What are your thoughts on that Rupert?

 

Vertical grow systems will only help if the plants are pretty small.  Large plants will shade and reduce growth of lower level plants.  I guess the first question to answer is what plants do you wish to grow and is a vertical system proper for that application.

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I always viewed vertical systems for plants that do not want full sun such as various greens and herbs that grow well enough in light shade. Particular greens will actually bolt (i.e., go to seed) sooner if they are given too much sun.

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Examples of some shade tolerant greens.

 

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/shade-tolerant-vegetables-zm0z11zsto.aspx

 

 

Plants actually reflect more sun off their leaves more than folk realize... If plants did not do this, then I would not be able to grow corn at 15 inch centers with a seed placement of every 6 inches for 125+ acre fields. 

 

Also, particular plants reflect different light spectrums back to the plant. In response to this, a natural defensive response occurrs within corn to change its growth pattern (i.e., divert energy from ear production) so to give the corn plant a dominant edge, except does not always favors the plant.

 

http://www.weeds.iastate.edu/mgmt/2004/lightquality.shtml

 

http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1614/WS-D-10-00166.1

 

As far as I am aware, this defense mechanism particularly applies to corn.

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Actually, while I was jamming out to some tunes, thought came to mind....  :jig: 

 

Early bolting, due to excessive sun exposure, could be considered as a defense mechanism for plants that only need minimal sun exposure to grow. Extended sun exposure may be "telling" the plant potential stress is coming and need to reproduce (i.e., make seed) sooner rather than later.

 

As I mentioned in post#22 of Vetiver Grass thread, "Plants really have alot in common with insects with how they both respond and communicate through various stimuli."  Interesting stuff.  :rock: 

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