GroPockets are used to turn PVC pipe into the ideal vertical growing system. GroPockets are glued over holes drilled into PVC pipe and hold the plant crowns above the wet root zone. Special low volume sprinklers are used to distribute the nutrient solution for hydroponic and aquaponic systems.
It is faster, easier, and cheaper to eliminate the growing media inside the pipe. Plants are easier to harvest without having to untangle roots from media. This design facilitates the lowest operating cost of any vertical growing system. Commercial aquponics and hydroponics growers can now have the advantages of higher plant densities in green houses with low labor cost.
GroPockets are sold individually or in sets. Quantity discounts for commercial aquaponics and hydroponics users are also available.
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 2×4 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.
Kit Size Options
3ft kits, 5ft Kits
# of Pockets
18 pockets, 27 pockets, 36 pockets
Irrigation head assembly included, Premium head assembly
This package includes:
18, 27 or 36 GroPockets
3 standard irrigation head assemblies for the 3 ft kits or 2 standard irrigation head assemblies for the 5ft kits.
One 10′ piece of 4″ S&D PVC pipe can be cut in three pieces. This will give you 3 three foot towers. or One 10′ piece of 4″ S&D PVC pipe can be cut in half. This will give you 2 towers of just under 5′. (There is a usually a connecting hub of about 6 inches at one end of the pipe which must be cut off). Each 5′ piece of pipe can accommodate 9 GroPockets with one pocket per row. Or Each 3′ piece of pipe can accommodate 6 GroPockets.
These pockets are designed to be used with S&D pipe NOT schedule 40 pipe. Schedule 40 pipe is a different dimension and is more expensive. S&D stands for sewer and drain.
# of Pockets Upgrade
If you are planting greens or lettuce you may want to have 2 plants on one row then one plant on the next etc. For this pattern you should upgrade to 27 pockets.
Smaller plants like strawberries can be planted 2 plants per row. This pattern would require the 36 pocket upgrade.
Irrigation Assembly Upgrade Upgraded Irrigation Assembly
The standard irrigation assembly terminates in a 1/2″ NPT (threaded fitting).
The premium assembly (pictured to the right) is easier to install since it includes all the plumbing from a 1″ supply line. It also includes a manual shut-off valve.