Although shipping containers are most commonly associated with transporting goods, their popularity extends far beyond this specific application. Their uses have developed and grown over the past ten years beyond their original function as means of transportation.
The growing popularity of shipping containers is due to their versatility and durability, making them the ideal solution for various needs.
That is why the world of shipping containers has undergone a significant transformation, encompassing everything from residences, offices, and storage facilities to restaurants, kiosks, and getaway condos.
One of the newest inventive uses for old shipping containers is greenhouses. As more people seek ways to access fresh farm produce, shipping containers have proven to be efficient greenhouse facilities, allowing people to grow fruits and leafy greens all year long.
Even though container greenhouses can be expensive to set up, their long-term costs are low. In comparison to conventional farming, these containers can drastically cut their water consumption by using modern irrigation systems like drip irrigation and hydroponic systems.
Used or custom-made 40-foot containers are used as shells to house hydroponic farms that can be set up vertically or horizontally. The containers are climate-controlled and use indoor growing lights to simulate sunlight.
In this article, we will primarily discuss hydroponic containers. If you're interested in how these containers work, keep reading!
What are Hydroponic Containers?
The cultivation of plants without the use of soil is known as hydroponics. Hydroponic flowers, herbs, and vegetables are grown in inert media and fed nutrient-rich solutions, oxygen, and water. This system promotes rapid growth, higher yields, and higher quality.
So, a hydroponic container is simply a container used to provide the best conditions for plant growth. The right hydroponics containers for your plants are essential to their growth because they help provide the optimal amount of oxygen and drainage.
They are made to house plants indoors or transport them easily and efficiently. Different hydroponic container options are available to growers for their specific operations.
Each hydroponic container system operates in its own unique way, but they all serve the same purpose: to reduce the stress of indoor or outdoor growing.
How Do Hydroponic Containers Work?
Hydroponic systems function by allowing precise control over environmental conditions, such as temperature and pH balance, and increased exposure to nutrients and water. Hydroponics works on a very simple principle: give plants what they need when needed.
Hydroponics uses nutrient solutions that are tailored to the needs of the plant being grown. They enable you to control how much light the plants receive precisely and for how long.
Basically, hydroponic containers use a Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) system that monitors the following:
- Carbon-dioxide CO2 levels
- And nutrients.
By managing these factors, you can produce high-quality food while using less water, energy, space, and other resources. Thus, the conditions for plants growing in hydroponic container farms are always ideal, enabling them to grow beautiful structures and strong flavors.
Benefits of Hydroponic Containers
Shipping container greenhouse systems have some significant advantages. They provide farmers with a year-round growing season, the ability to control taste variables, and hyper-local produce to communities.
Shipping container farms that use hydroponics can provide much more. Here are a few noteworthy advantages of using shipping container greenhouses for CEA:
Easy to install and maintain: Although expensive to build, maintaining a shipping container greenhouse is simple once it is operational.
You won't have to spend money on pesticides and fungicides because the plants are contained inside the container. As a result, you can grow fresh produce using organic methods.
Fresh produce: The majority of urban households depend on farm products from far-off regions, which occasionally arrive stale and expensive due to transportation. With a container greenhouse, you can harvest your produce all year long, straight from your farm to your table.
Low production costs: Though the initial cost of setting up container greenhouses is high, these greenhouses are cost-effective in the long run. These containers can save up to 90% more water than traditional farming using modern irrigation systems such as hydroponic and drip irrigation.
Year-round farming: All year long, container greenhouses will provide your home with fresh fruits and vegetables. Thanks to the automated optimal conditions inside the container, plants such as tomatoes, cabbages, lettuce, capsicum, and cucumbers thrive all year.
High yields: The yields from a single container greenhouse can be compared to those from an acre of land. A shipping container's ideal environment enables plants to produce high yields that can supply numerous households.
Even better, these yields frequently are organic, encouraging urban populations to lead healthier lifestyles.
Enable growing food in urban areas: According to the United States Department of Agriculture, approximately 23 million people in the United States live in food deserts.
Indoor shipping containers connect farmers and their communities, providing a much-needed source of fresh food.
A desire for sustainable agriculture has brought shipping container greenhouses to cities where space is limited. This brings people closer to their food while also removing some of the major environmental costs associated with traditional farming.
Earth-friendly: Using a shipping container garden saves money on transaction fees. These are the total costs of manufacturing and shipping a product, including the environmental impact. Furthermore, most hydroponic shipping container farms use a closed-loop system. This means that water is recycled, preserving this valuable resource.
Controlled conditions: Fresh produce can be grown in the harshest conditions in a shipping container greenhouse that is properly insulated and outfitted. You can create an environment where food can be grown all year long by combining that with sensors that feed vitals to a hydroponic system.
With the proper nutrients and lighting, you can replicate almost any growing environment in a shipping container. Even when timing lighting cycles and measuring nutrients, using automated systems can remove the element of guesswork.
As can be seen, there are numerous advantages to using a hydroponic container. Many risk factors are reduced by controlling the plant's environment. Plants grown in gardens and fields are subjected to a variety of factors that have a negative impact on their health and growth.
Plant diseases can be spread by fungi in the soil. Wildlife, such as rabbits, can steal ripening vegetables from your garden, or pests, such as locusts, can devastate crops in a single afternoon.
Hydroponic systems eliminate the unpredictability of growing plants outside or in the ground. Seedlings mature much faster without the mechanical resistance of the soil.
Hydroponics produces much healthier and higher-quality fruits and vegetables by eliminating pesticides. Plants are free to grow vigorously and rapidly in the absence of major obstacles.
How Much Do Hydroponic Containers Cost?
The cost of constructing and operating freight farms can be divided into two categories: capital expenses and operational expenses.
The price of the container unit and the growing systems are capital expenses, and buying seeds, water, electricity, and farm management (labor, cleaning, maintenance, etc.) are all examples of operational costs.
These costs vary based on the plants you're growing, their nutritional needs, how frequently they need to be cared for, etc.
Many believe a do-it-yourself greenhouse is less expensive than a customized greenhouse. This isn't always the case. In some cases, building your own greenhouse will cost more than buying one.
Purchasing a customized greenhouse from a manufacturer can be much less expensive because most manufacturers source their materials at reduced prices.
A DIY container greenhouse can be much less expensive if you only intend to buy one and add a few features. Building your own greenhouse may require you to stick to a standard shape, especially if you have no prior construction experience.
Furthermore, a DIY container farm does not provide the benefit of a warranty. If something breaks, you will need to hire someone to repair it. In the long run, this could be costly. In addition, a significant amount of time is spent constructing a DIY container farm.
Those with insufficient prior experience may also find the construction process difficult. On the contrary, while a customized greenhouse container may require some extra work, it takes less time to set up for indoor farming.
The price of a customized shipping container farm depends on its design and structure. A container farm outfitted with hydroponic systems can be significantly more expensive than a smart vertical farming container.
However, in the long run, the advantages of a hydroponic system outweigh the costs.
A DIY container's cost will also vary depending on the design, size, and materials used. If you want to keep your costs low, you may need to source recyclable glass and wood, even if your design is simple.
Remember that a shipping container greenhouse in urban areas is a less expensive farming option. It also encourages healthy living by fostering conditions that allow organic farm products to thrive all year. So, if you live in an urban area, hydroponic farming makes even more sense.
From strawberries to bell peppers, plants thrive under the careful regimen of hydroponics.
Growing beautiful fruits and flowers in half the time and with 90% less water than traditional agriculture, hydroponics remains a timeless and dynamic method of water conservation and crop production.
Make sure to do your homework to find out whether buying a customized container or building one yourself when looking for a container greenhouse would be better. We strongly advise purchasing a personalized shipping container from a dependable supplier.
We at CMG would be delighted to assist you in your search for hydroponic containers. We proudly carry our responsibility to our customers by providing high-quality products, customer-oriented services, and the expertise to assist our customers in realizing their dream custom containers.