What Is A Windowfarm?
A Windowfarm is a vertical, indoor garden that allows for year-round growing in almost any window. It lets plants use natural window light, the climate control of your living space, and organic “liquid soil.”
In the hydroponic system, nutrient-spiked water is pumped up from a reservoir at the base of the system and trickles down from bottle to bottle, bathing the roots along the way. Water and nutrients that are not absorbed collect in the reservoir and will be pumped through again at the next interval.
How Much Does It Cost to Run Windowfarms?
The amount of electricity used to run a Windowfarm will cost you a few additional dollars per year.
All Windowfarm systems come with a timer, which we recommend setting at equal 15 minute on/off intervals throughout the day and night. This means the pump is running 1/2 time, or 4383 hours in one year. Using an average energy cost for US Residences of $0.12 per kWh (kilowatt hour), here’s the breakdown for the 3 Watt pumps we include in the kits:
- 2-Column Unit= $1.58 per year
- 4-Column Unit = $3.16 per year
How Does It Work?
In the hydroponic system, nutrient-spiked water is pumped up from a reservoir at the base of the system and trickles down from bottle to bottle, bathing the plants’ roots along the way. Water and nutrients that are not absorbed collect in the reservoir and will be pumped through again at the next interval. Plants grown in soil have roots that extend far and wide, but hydroponically grown plants roots are hairy and dense. Because the roots are so compact, a hydroponic system is a much more efficient use of space — perfect for an urban farmer.
Will This Fit My Window?
Probably. We’ve done a lot of surveying, and we designed the new Windowfarms to fit a lot of different kinds of windows. The systems are four feet tall, and can either hang from a hook above the window or sit on the floor, windowsill, or a shelf next to the window. They can be doubled for tall windows, with one hanging from above and one sitting below. You can also add multiple columns of Windowfarms to fill wide windows!
What Should I Know About Lighting?
Always consult the back of your seed packet for information about each specific plant’s needs and then experiment.
For supplementary light, use an array of 27 Watt CFL bulbs on clip lights and hung between plants. Put lights on a timer for a few hours during the day. OR you can upgrade to LED lights (expensive to purchase but better for the environment).
Which compass direction does your window face? Below is a diagram for window exposure for those in the Northern Hemisphere (US, Europe, Canada).
Windowfarms Farming Routine
Depending on whether you buy a kit or build it according to our specifications, your Windowfarm will take a few hours to a day to set up in your window. After that, the maintenance is minimal: just tend your plants, change the water once a week, and clean the system monthly.
Adjusting to My Window’s Micro-climate
Your climate-controlled apartment makes a great year-round greenhouse. However, heat and humidity in the air around your windows changes with the seasons. Try to give your plants the best possible air circulation and plan your farm to account for your “local conditions”.
Hot & Dry- Lots of sun? Heating unit under your window? Choose heat loving plants and add water more often.
Cold- Drafty windows? Choose cold loving plants or use a nutrient heater
Sporadic- Climate controls in the building turn off at night? Use a nutrient heater on a timer.