- Your layouts should be based on your crops, facility, energy and resources. (2:18)
- Conveyor cropping maximizes productivity by maturity. (3:39)
- ZipGrow Tower spacing depends on your facility, the crop, and your energy resources.(5:10)
- Layouts for lights, energy & resources (8:45)
- Thinking about your facility in terms of labor is super important! (10:59)
Designing Your ZipGrow Layouts
We have seen a variety of ZipGrow layouts, including rooftop greenhouses in London and commercial greenhouses in Fort Collins. Your layout will be constrained by your external environment; things like access to sunlight, building layout, availability of utilities and resources, or climate. These factors are tough to control. But what you do inside your growing environment is up to you. You can use this tutorial to identify which ZipGrow layouts you will use for your system.
When it comes to spacing, you have to understand that vertical growing towers must be sized to your crops, to your facility, and to your energy or resources.
With ZipGrow, you’re likely to arrange the towers in a mass with the youngest plants near the front (closest to the sun, if you have a low sun angle) and with the oldest plants near the back. This is called conveyor cropping. Spacing is typically 18-22 inches from front to back and side to side, depending on your crops. This ends up being about 2.5 square feet per tower (as low as 1.6 with certain crops).
Remember that not all of your square footage will be used for production; you should use 25-30% of your space for access (aisles).
Lights, Energy, and Resources
The main goal here is to conserve light. You can do this by:
- orienting your greenhouse the right way
- getting trees out of the way
- reduce shading from other building parts
When you’re building a facility with labor in mind, you’ll face a compromise between labor costs and growing space.