GroPocket towers are constructed using ordinary 4” PVC drain pipe and PVC cement. (The same materials that are used to plumb your house.) As you can see on the left, holes are drilled in the pipe and GroPockets are glued over the holes as shown on the right. PVC cement provides a solvent weld that is water tight. The openings support any 2” net pot or equivalent.
No Growing Media
The roots grow into an empty pipe. Nutrient water is pumped to the top of the towers. A special irrigation head is used to disperse the water to the roots.
Higher plant densities than Aquaponic or Hydroponic rafts
Growing plants vertically optimizes expensive greenhouse & indoor space. A single 7ft tower can hold up to 28 smaller plants like strawberries and 21 heads of lettuce. For example, 70 plants can be grown in five 5 foot towers in a 2x4 sq/ft space! At $3/head, that’s around $2500 year of produce grown in 8 square feet. This is perfect for schools and indoor gardens.
The time and expense involved in preparing and disposing of growing media is eliminated. Without media to clean or untangle from the roots, planting and harvesting is easy. Plants can be quickly dropped into a GroPockets opening. Individual plants can be exchanged anytime. This is especially convenient for smaller systems.
Planting and harvesting takes no more effort than working with rafts or deep water culture. It has the added benefit of needing no supplemental aeration and allowing for much higher plant densities.
Water Containment & Conservation
Because it is all based on standard PVC, it is easy to use standard 4" drain fittings, to capture the return water (as shown in the photo to the left) which prevents algae build up in open gutters.
Roots have constant access to air and nutrients. The picture on the bottom left shows root development after just 12 hours. Unlike many vertical systems the plant crowns are supported away from the moist root zone, avoiding a host of problems associated with damp plant crowns.
An optional terracotta stain is available to give your towers a more natural look.
The tower height and plant spacing are determined by the length of the pipe used and where the holes are drilled. This means a variety of configurations are possible. A 10’ piece of pipe can make three 3ft towers or two 5ft towers, with anywhere from 18-36 plants. Moreover, towers can be any height needed with any number of plants. For example, a mini tower with only 2 or 3 GroPockets could be used beside an arbor or trellis on a fence.