Comparing Two NFT Hydroponic Technologies, Horizontal Beds and Vertical A-Frames.

28.04.23 05:00 PM Comment(s) By Admin

Horizontal NFT

Horizontal NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) hydroponics is a type of hydroponic system where plants are grown in a flat, shallow trough or channel filled with a thin film of nutrient-rich water. The plants are suspended above the water, and the roots are exposed to the flowing nutrient solution. The water is recirculated through the system, delivering nutrients to the plant's roots and flowing back into a reservoir.

A-Frame NFT

A-frame NFT hydroponics is a type of hydroponic system where plants are grown on angled frames in a vertical arrangement. The frames are typically arranged in an "A" shape, hence the name A-frame. The plants are grown in channels on the angled surfaces of the frames, and a thin film of nutrient-rich water flows over the roots of the plants.

Differences Between Horizontal NFT & Vertical A-Frame Structures.

1. Sunlight

In the case of horizontal NFT units, all the plants receive the same amount of sunlight, and the growth is even. You can see in the above image that all the plants that belong to the same batch are grown uniformly, as the sunlight is even on all plants.

In A-frame structures, only the top levels get sufficient sunlight. The lop-level plants cast a shadow on the lower-level plants resulting in reduced growth. You can see the same in the above picture where basil grown in the bottom levels is not as big as compared to the ones on the top level.

2. Growth of Plants.

As discussed in the above point, all plants in the H-bed receive light uniformly and adequately. Hence the growth of every plant in the H-bed is optimum and uniform. But in the case of an A-frame structure, only the top-level plants are grown to their full capacity and the lower levels exhibit reduced growth due to their increased competition for light and space.
To avoid this, in an A-frame structure you can choose to grow small-height plants.

3. Number of Plants

Due to vertical orientation, you can have up to 20 % more plants in A-frames compared to horizontal hydroponic structure.

4. Kind of Plants to Choose

Horizontal beds are suitable for taller plants like basil, kale, swiss chard, spinach, etc. You can also grow small-height plants in these beds. 

A-frames are suitable for growing small-height plants like baby spinach, lettuces, parsley, rocket, celery, coriander, tot soi etc.

5. Air Circulation


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