A Growing Trend

Hydroponic gardening is a specialized type of gardening that grows vegetables, berries and plants in soil-free nutrient solutions. Considered to be one of the most economical and environmentally friendly ways to produce food, you don’t have to be an expert in agriculture to start or maintain a hydroponic garden.

The Farm at Rockledge Gardens employs hydroponic gardening to grow some of their vegetables and berries available for sale at The Farm. For those who want to start their own hydroponic gardening space, Rockledge Gardens offers two different Verti-Gro systems: a four-tower system and a single tower system.

If you’re just starting out…

The single tower pot system experiences the immediate benefits of small gardening with little maintenance. Sitting at three feet high, the single tower has four stackable pots that are insulated to protect the plants from extreme temperatures. Place your tower in a sunny space and watch how it produces a high density of plants.

“Other than initial set up, both Verti-Gro systems are easy to plant and maintain. If you have a smaller space like a concrete patio or porch, the single tower system is perfect,” said Theresa Riley with Rockledge Gardens.

Watering your hydroponic garden is simple and requires minimal effort. The Verti-Gro single tower has a pump at the base that automatically recirculates the nutrient water. Each pot can grow a different plant, so it is possible to grow lettuce, kale, spinach and beets in the same tower.

For those more advanced, consider building the four-tower system. This requires a sunny spot that is about 16 feet long and a sturdy ground to support the poles. The watering system differs from the single tower system in that a micro-tube drips nutrient water at the top of each tower and trickles down.

The single tower system is $229 and includes all the supplies needed except the seeds. This system is guaranteed for three years. The four-tower system is $429 and includes everything except a nutrient barrel and plants.

What to plant and when…

January  February: lettuce, chard, kale, tatsoi, spinach and some herbs

March  April: lettuce, peppers, beets, radishes, and tomatoes (determinate varieties only)

May  August: cherry tomatoes and some herbs

September  October: blueberries, strawberries, lettuce, radish, spinach, kale and some herbs

November – December: strawberries, lettuce, radish, spinach, kale and some herbs

For expert gardening information, please visit or call (321) 636-7662.

This article appears in the March 2015 issue of SpaceCoast Living.
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