Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening Systems

Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening:

The following information is about Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening.

Introduction: Hydroponic gardening is the technology of growing plants without soil in a controlled environment– this science of growing plants will protect the plants from soil-borne pests and fungal diseases. Hydroponically growing plants in a greenhouse are carefully monitored under controlled environmental conditions.

In a hydroponic greenhouse, gravel is commonly used as the growing medium that gives support to the plant’s roots. In a hydroponic greenhouse growing system plants are supplied with mixed nutrients and then fed to plants in liquid forms at periodic intervals-and this method of growing is called sub-irrigation culture. After sowing seedlings remaining work all done by an automatic system. In hydroponic greenhouse farming, there are built-in sensors within the gravel, which are used to determine when the plants should be fed with nutrient solution and when to turn on the pumps, and these sensors supply the plants with the right amount of nutrient solution.

In a greenhouse where plants are hydroponically grown are fed with the exact nutrients that are needed for the rapid growth of the plants and production rate. And many greenhouse hydroponic gardeners use special categorized tanks that are made from big drums that are cut in half. The bottom of each tank is brazed with brass tubing. A hose is clamped to one end of the tube. And the other end of the hose is attached to a similar tube which is brazed into a small can.

Inside the tanks, the can is painted with asphalt-based paint to protect metal surfaces from rusting.  And the tanks are filled with a thin layer of small-sized gravel pellets. In hydroponic gardening, the growing process starts with planting the tanks, by first starting seedlings and are carefully prepared paper cups full of vermiculate to allow the hydroponic solution to enter. Once the plants start, the paper cup is placed in the gravel. The roots of plants are irrigated from below and the fluid flows down the hose and into the gravel. And the hydroponic system is set up to ensure that the crops are kept constantly with moist conditions and are never flooded with a solution for more than a few seconds.

Hydroponic Greenhouse Strawberries.
Hydroponic Greenhouse Strawberries.

Advantages of Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening: There are numerous advantages of Greenhouse Hydroponic Gardening. Listed below are some advantages:

  • Crops are grown hydroponically produce high yields over conventional agriculture.
  • More plants can be grown in a compact area, which means yields can be increased up to 60 to 300 tons when crops grown in greenhouses using hydroponics.
  • Other than high production, there are many other advantages. The second main advantage of Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening is, cultivation system in hydroponic greenhouse gardening extends the growing season.
  • Maintenance and labor charges in hydroponic greenhouse gardening are very less, as most irrigation is done through completely automated systems.
  • Water stress in hot summers is very less, and yields look better and last longer.
  • Crops in hydroponic greenhouses mature faster and are less affected by pests and diseases. Maintains optimum climatic conditions for maximum photosynthetic performance.
  • Generates more energy from the photosynthesis process that increases the yield of crops.
  • Greenhouse hydroponic systems improve water usage.
  • More space efficient: The surface requirements in this farming system are less for the same production when compared to traditional growing.
  • Solves and reduces problems caused by soil depletion and Facilitates the use of labor.
Advantages of Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening.
Advantages of Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening.

Hydroponic Systems Implemented in a Greenhouse:

Growing crops in Hydroponic Farming are gardening methods of irrigation without using the soil. In simple words, this farming system extracts the microbes in the soil and supplies them directly to the plants with nutrients implementing complete irrigation techniques. There are many different hydroponic growing systems, and each hydroponic system has its own advantages and disadvantages. Below are some suitable types of hydroponic farming systems.

  • Deep Water Culture of Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening: 

The deepwater culture hydroponic system is the easiest hydroponic system to set up. A five to 7-gallon bucket or any plastic container can be suitable for a deep-water culture system along with a few parts from the nearby hardware stores. In a deep-water culture system, the plants stocked up and placed in a small amount of inert medium, growing medium used is gravel or clay pebbles. And there are many majorities of the plant with roots that do not grow in the medium, but, they can be dropped down into the container and they are submerged in the nutrient liquid solution. These hydroponic systems are great because they are easy to build and can produce quick, vast growth of plants. The main disadvantage of deep water culture systems, it is more how susceptible to temperature changes. As the roots of the plants are submerged in the nutrient solution, and the temperature fluctuation of that solution will show a great impact on the way the oxygen supplied to the roots of the plants. When temperatures are too warm, the plant’s roots will not receive the oxygen they require, and the plants will be affected by pathogens. And for this reason, deep water culture hydroponic systems should only be used by greenhouse located in cooler climates or with greenhouses in building with the latest cooling devices, like water chillers or air conditioners. Without a cooling device, it is a tough task to keep the system’s temperature in the desired range (65-75 degrees F) in a hydroponic greenhouse gardening.

  • Top-Drip- Greenhouse Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening: 

In this top-drip hydroponic system, a drip stake or drip line emitter is used to supply nutrient solution to each plant. Each plant is categorized into modules and will vary from system to system, most commonly all the top-drip hydroponic gardeners use potting containers. And the medium for the containers can be any sort of inert medium, either nutrient solution or even the soil, as per the gardener’s wishes to have one more hybrid hydroponic/soil systems in greenhouses. The Top-drip hydroponic systems are built as a recirculating system or a run-to-waste system. Recirculating top-drip hydroponic systems will need a reservoir or tanker for storing the nutrient solution and the reservoir should be aerated. A timer is set up with a trigger to pump the nutrient solution at a feeding interval. The time duration will change depending on the crop’s requirement depending on the stage of growth. Even though top-drip hydroponic systems are a little bit expensive compare to deep water culture hydroponic systems, they work much better at higher temperature fluctuations. Top-drip systems are many preferred hydroponic systems for commercial farmers.

  • Flood and Drain of Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening:

In case of a flood and drain hydroponic system, a table or container is flooded with nutrient solution for a specified amount in certain time intervals and then drained back. In a typical flood and drain, systems use gravity to send back the nutrient solution to the reservoir. When the pump runs the nutrient solution to the growing table in stops, the nutrient solution will drain back to the reservoir. The growing containers or pots will be filled with a medium like hydration, stone wool, coco coir, or any other sales mix, are used in the folding tables; And the growing medium can be filled directly in the growing table or trough. Flood and drain hydroponic systems are the best solution for the gardeners who are to experiment with hydroponics and/or new gardeners, as these hydroponic systems very easy to set up and it is suitable to use a wide range of growing mediums. Same as top-drip systems, flood, and drain systems this hydroponic system can also offer a hybrid hydroponic/soil system to farmers who are planning for soilless gardening.

The above-listed hydroponic systems are mostly used by new gardener’s hydroponic growers or experimental gardeners who are looking to experiment with greenhouse hydroponics farming systems. And other hydroponic growing systems, like Aeroponics, nutrient film technique, and current culture, are also used, but using these techniques should have good knowledge in hydroponic farming techniques 

How to Build a Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening System?

A hydroponics system can be set up both indoors or out. If planning for hydroponic farming outside, then greenhouses are the best option. For building an outdoor hydroponic system, it should be placed under a cover area otherwise the rain will dilute the nutrient solution and it will imbalance the pH levels. And a greenhouse can provide good warmth, humidity, and pest protection and is used to grow plants under a controlled environment making a greenhouse hydroponic system one of the best methods to set up an outdoor hydroponics system.

To build up your own portable hydroponic greenhouse gardening system,

  • Selecting the Site for Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening System:

To build a greenhouse hydroponic system, firstly, select and prepare the site to build up. For a Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening plan for a portable greenhouse that is too easy to maintain and that gives an ideal solution for an outdoor hydroponics growing system. The greenhouse site should have easy access to water resources and receives at least 4 to 6 hours of sun daily and should be close to an electrical outlet. And a portable greenhouse should of size is 18 feet by 14 feet and away from pollution.

  • Greenhouse for Hydroponics Greenhouse Gardening System:

We have listed some hydroponic greenhouse construction specifications, you need to know concern while some of your choices are for constructing greenhouse projects, or important terms and concepts you will need to know while choosing and making a right choice while purchasing a fabricated greenhouse whether you install it yourself or contract others to assemble your kit for you. 

Size of Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening:

The size of the greenhouse shows a great impact on the investment. The larger the size of the greenhouse lowers the cost of investment per square foot. Get complete knowledge about the capital investment for the construction of greenhouses and inputs per square foot.  Learn about how much heating you may need, what you are growing, output potential, and compare the cost per square foot for small-sized greenhouses to large and medium-sized greenhouses.

Suitable Types of  Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening Systems: 

  • Cold frame Greenhouses for Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening: 

A cold frame greenhouse is usually used during some part of the year to overwinter nursery stock, and these greenhouses commonly used as a propagation house by commercial greenhouse farmers in the early part of the season. These greenhouses are used around the year and the plants are in a climate-controlled environment.

Advantages of Cold frame greenhouses- these are low investment greenhouses and easy and quick to build.

Disadvantages of Cold frame greenhouses-don’t suit for more occupancy and cannot stand with heavier wind and snow loads, typically lower vertical heights to the ridge

  • Free Standing Greenhouses for Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening: 

This is another type of greenhouses, with some modifications with a cold frame greenhouse. These greenhouses have gothic arch structures that provide more winter light and a snow shed. These arches (upright “hoops”) are made of heavier gauge galvanized steel and have a larger diameter and are spaced more frequently versus cold frames.

Advantage of Free Standing Greenhouses- these are the best choice for growing crops around the year. And these are less expensive, and these are gutter-connected for smaller to mid-size installs.

Disadvantages of Free Standing Greenhouses: In these greenhouses, there are limitations for the height of crops.

  • Gutter Connected Greenhouses for Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening:

These greenhouses are built like being set-up like factories for plant growth and make a variety of common greenhouse works easier with a machine setup. Material handling, including things like deliveries and pickups by trucks, etc.

Advantage of Gutter Connect Greenhouse -These greenhouses are adaptable and expandable bets options for commercial growers.

Disadvantages for Gutter Connect Greenhouse: construction cost for these greenhouses are very high.

The Basic features of a Greenhouse:

  • Ground anchoring system.
  • End wall framing.
  • Ventilation provision.
  • Heating Systems.
  • Complete drainage system.
  • Coverings.
  • Plumbing materials.
  • Gas fitting.
  • Benching.
  • Lighting Facilities.
  • Temperature Control Systems.
  • Fans.
  • Roof Vents.
  • Doors.
  • Roll-up sidewalls.

Building the Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening System:

To build a homemade hydroponic system in a greenhouse, Drill holes in the 4-inch diameter PVC pipe. And Make them ¼-inch smaller than the diameter of the container you are using.  For herbs, they need to drill the holes every 6 inches and for medium-sized plants, drill 12 inches, and 18 inches for large plants, like tomatoes.

And drill a ¾-inch hole at the end of the pumping pipe, make sure that the end of the cap will not cover any part of the hole. One needs to be on top of the pipe (water in) and the other on the bottom (water out.). And install a ¾-inch length hose coupling on both holes.

Use a ¾-inch size hose and connect it to pump the water into the hole. A pump of 110 to 120 gpm at 1 PSI is enough for most types of hydroponic systems. Use a ¾-inch hose to connect the water out the hole to the water tank. Connect the pump to the timer or trigger, lower the pump in the water and turn it on to test the system for leaks

It is best to choose top-drip or flood and drain hydroponic systems for greenhouses. Instead of using a building of your own, ready-made hydroponic systems are available in the market and online stores.

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Suitable Plants for Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening:

Hydroponic greenhouses produce more yields than normal greenhouses. Some plants should be grown carefully in hydroponic systems. And some plants grow well in cool weather and don’t stand with high temperatures. And some plants need more care. Below are some plants listing suitable greenhouse hydroponics farming.

Hydroponic Strawberry Plants.
Hydroponic Strawberry Plants.
  • Strawberries: Strawberries are the best crop for Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening, the size of plants is compact and is well suited for hydroponic greenhouses. You can grow many sets of plants and easily thrive well in all configurations of hydroponic systems. And all the berry plants grow in hydroponic greenhouses.
  • Potatoes: Rooted plants like root crops will grow well with good depth. And these plants are root-based plants, most growth depends on the root area as well as the stems. And small rooted plants can be grown in Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening with enough depth.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes grow well in hydroponic systems. And tomato plants need support systems to grow, same as the normal gardening process. Some types of tomato plants grow large and cherry-type tomatoes are growing well in greenhouse hydroponics farming. Vining vegetables grow in greenhouse hydroponic are peas, beans, cucumbers, and pole beans.
  • Mint: There are many varieties of mint plants that grow well in all types of greenhouse hydroponic systems. Mint plants spread quite large and provide the best support for setup. Mint varieties grow in Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening are peppermint, spearmint, ginger mint, etc.
  • Basil: Basil is the best herb that grows well in Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening systems. The basil grows well with great taste when grown in good moist conditions.
  • Lettuce: All types of lettuce are suitable for growing Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening. All varieties like iceberg lettuce and romaine lettuce, produce taste lettuce leaves.
  • Cabbage: Cabbage is a cool-weather vegetable that grows well in this greenhouse environment. You may need to adjust the growing conditions for these types of cool-weather vegetables. Plants should be grown as per their growing conditions. Change the temperature settings according to the crop requirements.
  • Green Beans: Bush vegetables like beans thrive well in typical weather conditions set in a hydroponic system. The size of green beans is easier to deal with these pole beans in a hydroponic farming system.

Plants that don’t grow in Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening:

  • Plants that take a good amount of space to grow are not suitable for growing in hydroponic greenhouses. The fruits like watermelon, squash, corns are some of the vegetables that take a huge amount of space and not suits for growing in a compact area.
  • Vegetable plants like pumpkin are geared to grow huge. And the pumpkins spread in a large horizontal space when planted outside and increase in size all they want. So, all pumpkin varieties are not suitable for growing in hydroponic greenhouses.
  • And the plants that are not self-pollinated, means the plants that need pests or insects to pollinate. When these kinds of plants grown in greenhouse hydroponic systems need labor resources.
  • When Flowering plants are grown in green hydroponic systems they need varied growing conditions, and you can’t just grow any of them with success. Check with suitable plants that work for you. Until you are fully set up with automatic temperature-controlled systems don’t opt for these types of plants.


The design of a hydroponic greenhouse farming system should contain a well-built greenhouse, complete irrigation system, packing facility, heating system, and transport system which are a bit complicated procedure that should be taken good care and the greenhouse should be built in with biological and mechanical systems that work smoothly. And the greenhouse hydroponic system should be flexible, adaptable, versatile, modular in design should meet changing market conditions and technological advances made from time to time. And the farming system should have the potential to provide for changing requirements environments in the future. The more flexible, adaptable, and versatile a system is, the easier it to maintain.

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