VERTICAL FARMING GLOSSARY OF TERMS
A Beginner’s Guide to the Urban Farming Lingo!
When you begin looking into Vertical Farming and Container Farming solutions you’ll start to come across some pretty strange jargon. Some of the language around hydroponics may sound like you need to be Biology professor to understand it, but here at Grow Pod we aim to make life easier for you. Below we have a beginners guide to some of the terms you might come across!
A combination of the words architecture and agriculture- this refers to any special type of building that may be needed for indoor agriculture.
A form of growing in water (Aquaculture) that uses algae. What’s usually grown is actually microalgae which are a type of small seaweed.
A cold frame is a roofed structure, sometimes temporary, which is used to extend the growing season. These can be as simple as a low wood box with a plastic top attached to a greenhouse.
This is the strategy of planting complementary plants next to each other for pest control, easier pollination or to improve productivity. For example peas and beans promote growth in nearby plants with their nitrogen-fixing ability
Sometimes called micro or trickle irrigation, this is a method or irrigation where liquid drips slowly to the roots of plants to save water. It uses networks of thin tubes to deliver water directly.
EBB AND FLOW TECHNIQUE
This is a hydroponic growing method where the plant is flooded then drained repeatedly
FLOWERING ADULT PHASE
This is the stage of plant development after they build up mass in the vegetative phase and they become sexually functional.
A geographic term for an area, which may be urban, with no access to fresh food or
Vegetables. Residents often rely on fast food.
This is an artificial light source, usually electric, which emits light optimized for plant germination and growth.
This is the simplest form of indoor gardening! Its usually a simple plastic or glass container with a narrow opening (like a bottle!). Plants can be grown inside with no contact with the outside environment at all.
This word describes the situation where your plants can’t produce enough chlorophyll to live. Leaves become pale, even white.
HID stands for High Intensity Discharge. This type of lamp come in metal halide or sodium forms which are beneficial for vegetative and flowering stages respectively.
INDUCTION GROW LIGHT
Sometimes called plasma, HEP of full-spectrum lights, they do not use electrodes or filaments to get power to the light. Since this is the most delicate part of the lamp induction lights can retain their efficiency for much much longer than HID lamps.
Light Emitting Diode lights- simple, cheap and easily customizable, these are the most cost-effective option for many growers.
Nutrient Film Technique. This is hydroponics technique where a thin, very shallow moving stream of liquid containing plant nutrients is circulated around the plant roots.
The most cost-effective hydroponics solution– plants sit in a carefully chosen growing medium and rely on capillary action to obtain water from a reservoir. Very low labor costs.
Sometimes called mineral wool or stone wool, this is an inert medium made from re-used basalt rock fibers. Probably the most common commercial hydroponic growing medium.
A biological term it really refers to any surface on which a plant (or animal) can live. This can be solid rock, soil, coconut coir, perlite, rockwool, or clay pebbles.
An abbreviation for ‘Total Dissolved Solids’. This is a measure of the amount of dissolved nutrients in a liquid solution.
Sometimes called urban farming. This is the practice of cultivating crops in towns, suburbs, villages and cities. It can include animal husbandry, aquaculture, agroforestry, and horticulture as well. The aim is to minimize transport costs but also alter the relationship between growers and produce and customers.
This general term describes the strategy for growing crops in vertically stacked layers or inclined surfaces in an indoor environment. The technology uses ideas from CEA (Controlled Environment Agriculture) where the entire environment is controlled, including light, humidity, temperature, even air composition can be controlled.