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How to Plan for a Hydroponic System

Once you’ve decided to start farming hydroponically, it’s time to plan for your hydroponic system.

But there are a lot of different factors that go into creating a successful hydroponic farm.

Depending on your intent and budget, you might be planning a large operation, or you might just want a simple set up.

Either way, this article will help you learn how to plan for a new hydroponic system.

Know Your Intent

How you plan for your hydroponic system will change depending on your intention.

If you’re planning a hydroponic system for large-scale production, then you’ll need to take a different approach than someone who just wants to grow food for themselves.

Before you start planning, set a realistic goal for yourself about what you want to achieve with your system.

Decide What to Grow 

The type of crops you grow, will influence the type of hydroponic system that will work best for your needs.

Plus, different crops have different environmental preferences, which may mean you’ll need to buy additional equipment.

Read our article, “6 Steps to Decide What to Grow on Your Farm,” for help choosing crops for your system.

Find a Place

Once you know what you’ll be growing and how much you’d like to produce, you need to find a place to set up your system.

One of the biggest indoor farming mistakes is choosing the wrong location.

When choosing a location, make sure you pick somewhere that is big enough to fit all of your equipment and is insulated enough to keep the climate consistent.

Our Pure Greens Container Farms make this step easy.

These hydroponic farms located inside of shipping containers are already insulated and can grow plants in all climates.

Check out our guide to choosing a location for your container farm here!

Pick a Hydroponic System  

There are a lot of factors to keep in mind when you’re deciding on what type of hydroponic system you’d like to use.

Here are a few factors to consider before making a decision:

  • Is it compatible with your crops? Systems that provide constant water exposure, like deep water culture, will be suited to different crops than systems with dry periods, like ebb and flow.
  • Do you want to build it yourself or purchase it premade? This will influence your budget and the materials you need to buy.
  • Do you want an active or passive system? Active systems have more pieces of equipment than passive ones, but they tend to save more space.


Once you have a goal, a location, crops and the type of system in mind, you can plan for your hydroponic system with a budget.

To create an accurate budget, you’ll need to list out the potentials costs of everything you need to spend money on for it.

You can use our free vertical farm costs checklist here to help you budget for your hydroponic system.

Choose Your Lighting

If you’re placing your hydroponic system indoors, you may need to provide additional lighting.

Lighting is an important part of an indoors hydroponic system because without enough light, your plants won’t be able to grow.

Check out our article, “7 Steps for Picking the Best Grow Lights,” to learn more about how to choose lighting for your system.

Or try one of our Pure Greens Container Farms! 

They not only make it easier to choose a location, but they come completely turnkey, with lighting included too!

Choose Your Materials

After you’ve planned for the biggest factors, you can plan for the smaller aspects of your hydroponic system.

You’ll need to find a nutrient solution, growing medium, pH adjuster and more before you start growing.

You’ll also need to identify any other equipment, such as climate controls, that your crops will need.

Test Your Water Quality

Before you start your hydroponic system, test your water quality as well.

Water with too many nutrients in it will interfere with your hydroponic system’s nutrient solution and may cause problems with your plants.

If you test beforehand, you can install a water filter before you start your hydroponic system, saving you a lot of trouble later on.

If you’d like to start a hydroponic farm with high production, but don’t want to go through the trouble of planning one from scratch, you should try one of our Pure Greens Container Farms.

These prebuilt farms come turnkey and make planning for a hydroponic system simple!

For more information, visit our website or call 602-753-3469.