4 Sure Fire Ways to Set Up Your Cannabis Vertical Growing System for Success

Vertical Growing Systems for commercial cannabis cultivation. indoor vertical farming. vertical growing hemp.

Vertical Growing Systems: The Money Saving Strategy for Indoor Cannabis Growing

Vertical growing systems are the improved ways of cultivating cannabis plants and reaping huge profits. They are a growing field of indoor growing with a promise of helping you make the most of your real estate by allowing you to grow up – utilizing your overhead space.

This approach allows you to utilize your available grow space and brings in major energy savings on ventilation, lighting, humidity, and temperature regulation. 

For example, on lighting, vertical systems leverage LED lights. LED lights allow you to grow at half the heat of HIPs while utilizing the same cooling that would be needed for horizontal farms.

Notably, growing cannabis indoors isn’t your ordinary walk in the park. It has its challenges. However, there are key steps you can follow to ensure maximum yield growing cannabis indoors while using less energy with the help of vertical grow systems.

What Is A Vertical Cannabis Growing System?Cannabis plants growing indoor in Vertical Growing Systems from MMI Agriculture. Vertical farming equipment.

Vertical grow systems or vertical grow rack systems are multiple shelves stacked to create green towers of cannabis. The vertical grow rack systems host the cannabis plants, irrigation equipment, and lighting. 

The systems rely on vertical farming technology.

Vertical farming technology or controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technology is a cultivation method that allows you to plant your cannabis canopies indoors. 

CEA technology involves creating the ideal indoor environment that necessitates the growth of your plants. This includes providing nutrients, good airflow, CO2, and light for the plants. All these conditions are provided artificially by using HVACs, CO2 burners, fans, and LED lights.

In addition to tuning the environmental conditions, you need to look into the operation and planning of your grow room. The latter really determines the savings or losses you will make in your grow-op. 

What are these factors to consider in planning for your vertical growing systems?

4 Pro Tips in Setting up Your Vertical Cannabis Growing System for Success

1. Plan the Layout of Your Equipment Engineers planning vertical cannabis growing for indoor cannabis cultivation. Vertical grow racks for sale. Mobile carriages for sale.

One primary consideration with vertical systems is how you will reach the upper tiers. This may necessitate the use of ladders and scaffolding. Therefore one needs to account for this while also ensuring no space is wasted on creating space for aisles.

One key invention is the use of mobile carriages. They are movable shelvings that help eliminate the need for static aisles. The mobile carriages are carried on tracks that allow you to create aisles as needed within the grow space and tend to upper tiers. This helps eliminate static aisles saving even more space. 

In other words, the rows between grow racks systems don’t need to be more than 4 feet wide; hence, if using five static racks, you’ve saved about 10 feet of space by using mobile carriages.

Moreover, you need to have capacity evaluations of your grow space to help you evaluate or reevaluate your business goals for the operation. Planning the layout helps with these calculations refining your business plan. 

Major vertical systems installation companies, in addition to capacity evaluations, do CAD drawings of your available space to ensure every square footage of your space is utilized. Moreover, the CAD designs are customized to every customer’s needs; hence you get what’s ideal for your space while meeting municipal regulations.

2. Consider the Spacing of Crops on Your Vertical Cannabis Growing SystemCannabis plants on vertical grow racks. indoor grow systems. vertical farming. grow room equipment.

The space between your light fixtures and cannabis canopies needs to be regulated. 

Previously, HPS lights were the norm in growing cannabis plants indoors. However, the significant advancements in LED lights and lower price points have brought about a shift in increasing their use.

HPS or High-pressure sodium lights were preferred for their high intensity, which is necessary for growing cannabis. However, with the advent of vertical farming systems, the proximity of plants to the light source would result in scorched plants, hence poor yields.

This resulted in a search for solutions, and this is where Low emitting diodes or LED lights came in. Though more expensive than HPS lights, they are energy-saving and give the right intensity plants need, considering their close proximity without scorching them. 

LED lights can be placed up to 6 inches from the crops without showing signs of light or heat stress.

Therefore you need your vertical farming systems customized to the variety of cannabis plants you’ll be growing. For vertical growing systems, short cannabis varieties are preferred. 

Moreover, you can plant auto-flowering cannabis varieties. These cannabis plants have fast turnover while remaining robust, resilient, and of high quality. They are a bonus if you are starting on commercial vertical farming, as they have low-skill requirements. 

3. Manage microclimates in Your Vertical Cannabis Growing SystemsClimate control concept for cannabis plants and vertical growing. plant rack indoor. growing trays. vertical grow.

Microclimates are one of the major challenges faced by vertical farming facilities. This is because the vertical grow racks and installed lighting can impede proper airflow.

Microclimate refers to any set of atmospheric conditions that differ from the climate surrounding it, typically caused by a lack of air circulation.

Air circulation helps draw away the moisture released by plants during respiration. If the moisture released remains in a particular section of a room, that area will have higher temperatures than the rest, hence the formation of microclimates. 

The cannabis plants will be exposed to different environments, causing different reactions that result in an inconsistent yield quality. Therefore, it’s in the farmer’s best interest to limit the formation of microclimates for a better bottom line.

One key solution to this challenge is installing environmental monitoring software to automate your lighting and ventilation equipment. 

The environment monitoring software leverages sensors mounted throughout your indoor grow room that measure critical parameters like temperature and humidity changes. This will allow you to monitor microclimates’ formation and make the necessary adjustments.

Moreover, there are other interesting solutions, like utilizing frozen slurry piping to localize air conditioning in the vertical grow racks. The frozen slurry is delivered using pipes running throughout your racks, cooling the plants and lighting, lowering the formation of microclimates. 

4. Quality of Vertical Growing System Installation Service Installation Service for Vertical Growing Systems from MMI Agriculture. indoor vertical farming

Embarking on deploying the use of vertical grow racks for your cannabis indoor grow room is an expensive undertaking. This means you must first get it right when purchasing your vertical farming systems. 

Partnering with the right vertical farming systems installation company is paramount to ensuring you don’t get it wrong at the onset.

MMI Agriculture is a vertical growing systems installation company available in all states where cannabis is legal, like California, Arizona, Alaska, and WashingtonDC. We provide customized vertical grow racks built for rigidity and durability.

Moreover, we offer installation services backed with a 10-year warranty on parts and labor. This ensures you get vertical systems that get you started well and long after, helping you focus on maximizing profits and improving operations.

Get Started With Vertical Growing System For Your Cannabis Indoor Grow Today

Success getting started, or upgrading to vertical farming systems is easy but can also turn ugly if you aren’t in step with all it entails. 

For a start, you need your grow space mapped out and the spacing between racks well defined. Then cater to your plants’ well-being by eliminating microclimates and finally partner with a competent vertical systems installation company.

At MMI Agriculture, we offer expertise in vertical grow racks systems planning and installation. Contact us today for a quote. 

Vertical Cannabis Farming: Growing Cannabis The Profitable Way

cannabis plants growing inside a vertical cannabis farming set up.

Vertical Cannabis Farming: The Future Of Cannabis Cultivation

Vertical cannabis farming is a profitable way to increase your grow facility’s capacity and thus expand your business.

Indoor cannabis farming has traditionally been done on horizontal farms with the help of complex lighting and ventilation systems. However, over time, there’s been an increased demand for efficiency and sustainability in indoor cannabis growing.

Vertical cannabis farming is an intelligent cultivation setup that boosts yield through increased efficiency.  

The major hurdle with growing cannabis indoors is managing space to maximize the grow space capacity. 

The more plants you can grow and harvest within a year, the more gains you will make from your grow op. 

Vertical farming is a method of growing cannabis indoors that leverages Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technology to produce high-quality cannabis year-round. 

This farming method is rising in popularity and is increasingly being accepted as a profitable way to maximize an indoor grow output.

What Is Vertical Cannabis Farming?

Cannabis plant growing is a vertical cannabis farming set up. rolling shelving for  indoor cannabis grow operation. indoor grow systems form cannabis and hemp.

Vertical cannabis farming is the practice of growing cannabis in vertically stacked layers.  

Vertical farming rides on CEA technology for its success. CEA is an intensive form of hydroponically- based agriculture where the cannabis grows within a controlled environment. 

Hydroponics is the cultivation of plants in nutrient-enriched water, which uses 98% less water than traditional cultivation methods.

Vertical farming is essentially a technology-based approach to farming. 

It entails using technologies such as HVACs, ACs, lighting, and irrigation systems to artificially create climatic conditions that allow plants to grow. These systems regulate the humidity, temperature, CO2 levels, and light the plants require for maximum yield.

Adopting the farming method has resulted in some significant advancements in indoor cannabis farming.

One of those advancements includes the shift from using HPS grow lights to using LED lights in growing cannabis plants. 

HPS lights emit much more heat, which could scorch and damage the plants. LED lights became preferable for indoor cultivation, especially in vertical farming. The LED lights produce less heat facilitating the proximity between lights and plants common with using vertical systems.

Other key innovations like the mezzanine walkway improve worker productivity and safety as they reach for plants higher up in the vertical systems.

Types of Cannabis Vertical Farming

There are different approaches to growing cannabis vertically. The cannabis plants can be planted on shelves, columns, or walls. All of which are divided into two categories.

1. Stacked Vertical

Man inspecting plants growing in a vertical farming facility. Cannabis Vertical Farming and indoor grow systems. plant racks indoor. vertical shelving.

Stacked vertical grow is simply one horizontal farm on top of another. 

The lights can run through the top of each stacked tier. In addition, the irrigation systems run through the hydroponic trays that house the grow medium for the cannabis plants.

On the other hand, the shelvings can be arranged in a square formation around a central light source.

The key to a successful stacked vertical cannabis grow is keeping the plants short. You can consider growing the auto-flowering cannabis varieties. They grow fast and are easy to manage, even for a beginner.

2. True Vertical

True vertical plant growth. indoor grow systems for cannabis. indoor grow room. vertical cannabis farming.

With true vertical grow, the plants grow out the side of a column.

The method employs the nutrient film technique (NFT) and aeroponics to provide nutrients and water to the cannabis plants.

Aeroponics is a soilless growing method where the roots are exposed to air, then NFT incorporated, where nutrient water is passed directly over the roots.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Vertical Cannabis Farming

As with every other cultivation method, vertical cannabis farming has merits and demerits. 

As a prospective vertical cannabis farmer, you need to assess your target for the grow space and, from that basis, create a model that works for your operation.

Advantages of Vertical Cannabis Farming

Hemp plants growing on vertical shelving with vertical cannabis farming technology. 1020 trays. vertical grow system

1. Reliable Year-Round Cannabis Production

Vertical farming is not dependent on weather. This means you can have consistent year-round crop production without worrying about adverse weather conditions affecting the quality of your yields.

In addition, vertical farming incorporates automation allowing for repeatable programmable production. Therefore, you can meet customer demand with the increased acreage while maintaining high-quality flavor and potency. 

2. Optimal Use of Space

In traditional farming, you need several acres of fertile land to produce high cannabis yields. 

However, with vertical farming stacking technology, you can expand the available acreage by three or more times.

Using technologies like vertical grow racks, you can use your warehouse’s overhead space to grow more cannabis canopies.

Vertical grow racks are made of steel, enabling them to carry the weight of your canopies and irrigation systems. Furthermore, the rebars used to support your grow trays make it simple and seamless to integrate your lighting systems.

We do, also, have mobile carriages. These are completely rust-proof systems propelled by heavy-duty flange wheels and bar tracks. 

The flange wheels are secure and fit snugly on our rigged bar tracks, eliminating the possibility of racking or tipping. As a result, your valuable cargo is safe and able to be moved with ease

Furthermore, the mobile carriage vertical systems bar rack is strong enough to support multiple tiers.

These systems are unique in that they are customized to fit the space to the maximum capacity. 

3. Low Labor Costs and Enhanced Worker Safety

Vertical systems are designed with worker safety and efficiency in mind. 

Configuring your vertical cannabis farm with an automated growing system eliminates some of the labor demand on your business.

The automated systems irrigate your plants, fertilize, and regulate the humidity, temperature, and lighting. This ensures consistency in your yields and allows your workers to only focus on inspecting and harvesting your cannabis canopies.

Vertical farming has low labor overhead costs, allowing you to scale without incurring additional costs.

Moreover, indoor farming protects workers from the hazards of heavy farming machinery and exposure to harmful farm chemicals. 

Vertical farming is an approach that boasts of using low agricultural chemicals like herbicides and pesticides as the enclosed system reduces the chances of the plants being contaminated.

Disadvantages of Vertical Cannabis Farming

1. Technology Dependent

For a farmer to maintain the required climatic conditions for cannabis to grow, they have to utilize various equipment such as grow lights, HVACs, and CO2 burners.

Any hitch with these technologies can be detrimental to the health of your plants and, as a result, impact your bottom line. 

Therefore, regular maintenance of your equipment is critical to ensuring maximum output. Also, it’s crucial to have backup power to ensure your systems are always operational.

2. High Startup Costs

At the onset of growing cannabis indoors, purchasing quality grow equipment can increase startup costs. There’s a demand to acquire advanced climate control systems, vertical grow racks, and sensors, which aren’t cheap.

However, in the long-run vertical growing of cannabis proves cost-effective as there’s no need for additional adjustments than starting with horizontal farms and then transitioning. 

Start Your Vertical Cannabis Farming Op Today

Vertical cannabis farming is a popular cultivation method helping revolutionize the industry. It’s a technology-based practice that boosts acreage per square foot by utilizing vertical grow racks with multiple shelving.  

Thanks to advancements in the industry, farmers can now plant all year regardless of climatic conditions, increasing their profits.

MMI Agriculture is a vertical systems specialist company that installs vertical systems for cannabis cultivators. Whatever type of indoor space you have (warehouse or skyscraper),  we have a professional team to help you design and install our cutting-edge vertical systems.

So, are you planning to begin or transition into vertical cannabis farming? Contact us today.

4 Money-Saving Ideas To Complete Before Converting To A Vertical Farming Facility

Cannabis Plants growing in a Vertical Farming Facility in the USA. indoor vertical farming.

4 Things To Know Before Converting To A Vertical Farming Facility

Here are some of the things to consider before setting up a vertical farming facility.

With the growing human population and demand for resources, the availability of arable land has dwindled. 

Moreover, with the increased use of fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and shrinking water reserves, there has been a call for improving the agricultural sector.

These gaps have resulted in innovation and creativity, with experts devising alternative strategies to traditional farming, such as vertical farming. These innovations focus on utilizing less space, increasing yield per unit area, and lowering water usage. 

In addition, the increased demand for healthier and more quality food free of agrichemicals has fueled the need for these critical innovations.

One popular advancement has been the creation of vertical farming facilities. These facilities are built on a concept known as vertical farming. 

Vertical farming is an indoor cultivation method that aims to increase output vertically rather than horizontally. Vertical farming is a multilayer indoor growing system in which all growth factors such as humidity, light, temperature, water, and nutrients are controlled.

With this in mind, starting or converting an indoor grow space into a vertical farming facility is no easy task. 

Considering some top vertical farming companies like Bowery farms, it’s a delicate process that demands high expertise and planning to ensure a successful operation.

What are the requirements for establishing and operating a successful cannabis vertical farming facility? Here are our top five recommendations.

4 Top Tips to Consider Before Converting to a Vertical Farming Facility

1. Get the Basics of How CEA Technology Works

Cannabis plants thriving in a vertical farming facility using vertical grow racks & mobile carriages.

Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) is growing crops under controlled environmental conditions to reduce pests and disease, increase efficiency and sustainability and lower the overall cost of production. 

At the heart of CEA is automation to control the enclosed ecosystem better. Automation is employed to regulate the plants’ humidity, CO2 levels, temperature, light, and nutrition.

Automation helps you have an integrated climate control system that overall helps bring down your energy costs.

In the less ideal case, some growers may opt to have separate controls for their HVAC, CO2 burners, lighting, and irrigation which unfortunately aren’t” speaking to each other.” This scenario brings in a loss as you can have your CO2 burners on and the exhaust fan cooling your space simultaneously, which results in wasting the CO2 created.

The ideal scenario is to have your equipment staggered where they are turned on each at a time. This strategy can also help prevent energy spikes, increasing your utility costs.

For example, when lowering the temperature in your cannabis vertical farming facility, you can turn on the fans and exhaust system before turning on the power-intensive ACs to aim for the optimal growing temperature.

2. Select the Growing Media

Cannabis seedlings sprouting in a vertical farming facility and cannabis grow room in the USA. Vertical racks, mobile carriages, and cannabis grow rooms.

Indoor gardening in a vertical farming facility can be done in various ways. 

On the one hand, there’s hydroponics, a soilless cultivation method that leverages scheduled irrigation of nutrient-enriched water. It’s a common method in professional cannabis vertical farming operations. 

The system works best with an automated irrigation system programmed to the plant’s needs and growth cycle. The grow medium used needs to allow for aeration as it impacts the water economy of the plant and its ability to utilize nutrients.

Another method is aquaponics. It’s a system where nutrients circulate from fish to plants and back. However, it’s not a popular method because it wastes water and increases the risk of plant root disease. Moreover, because the fish tanks may require regular and timely maintenance, it does not allow for year-round crop production.

Finally, there’s aquaponics, where roots are exposed and fed with nutrient-rich fog. This method relies heavily on automation and time-consuming technical problems may affect the plant’s nutrition, impacting their overall health and yield. 

It’s important to note that in indoor vertical farming, the grow medium isn’t necessarily the source of nutrients for the plants. 

Regardless of whether an organic grow medium such as soil, coconut husks, sphagnum moss, or peat is used, it is fertilizers that are used to provide nutrients to the cannabis plants.

The growing medium’s purpose is to host or support the roots and promote root aeration. All of these functions should be facilitated by the medium you choose for your cannabis vertical farming facility.

3. Plan Your Vertical Farming Facility

Designers planning a vertical cannabis grow operation in the USA. indoor grow systems for cannabis. rolling shelving.

Whether you are just starting out or converting your horizontal operation to a vertical farming facility, planning your grow room is central to your success.

Vertical farming is considered a commercial venture, and with it comes a demand for an increased workforce, advanced climate control equipment, expertise, and workflow management.

Moreover, by utilizing the overhead space, you increase the capacity of your grow space, and the multiplied cannabis canopies will necessitate the refinement of your plant processing and harvesting technique.

Partnering with the right vertical systems installer entails having them design floor plans to maximize the use of your grow space. The planning helps ensure the vertical systems are customized to the dimensions of your grow space, allowing you to make the best use of your real estate while staying within municipal regulations.

In addition, they can help you do capacity evaluations which can help you refine your business plan projections.

By combining these factors, we can install efficient and long-lasting vertical grow systems for your vertical farming facility.

4. Capital Required for Converting Into a Vertical Farming Facility

Financial planner forecasting costs for a vertical farming cannabis grow operation. rolling shelving. plant racks indoor. vertical grow & indoor vertical farming.

Vertical farming is a capital-intensive business with high operation and equipment costs. The key to overcoming financial hurdles along the way is practicing a feasibility study to help clearly define your expectations.

According to various expert vertical farming companies, there are hidden costs that growers should recognize before converting to a vertical farming facility. They include:

  • Permit acquisitions. These are elusive fees that can prove costly. However, with a credible vertical systems installer, it’s something you shouldn’t miss.
  • Input costs like power and fertilizers.  
  • Wrong choice of seed strain to plant. When starting your vertical farm, there are different types of seed strains you can cultivate. 

For example, as a startup vertical farming facility, auto-flowering cannabis varieties are preferable for their quick turnover and require low management skills. But as an expert grower, cannabis photoperiod feminized seeds are better as their growth cycle help save on energy costs.

  • Equipment maintenance. Maintenance costs are a factor that needs constant monitoring.
  • Hiring and maintaining experts in the management and operation of the vertical farming facility. 
  • Venturing into the wrong market. When choosing the best place for starting your vertical farm, look into markets that have legalized recreational and medicinal cannabis, such as Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Washington D.C., Illinois, Maine, and Massachusetts.

Build a Profitable Cannabis Vertical Farming Facility

When ready to convert into a cannabis vertical farming facility, first arm yourself with some basic CEA technology knowledge. Then, have your grow room design and growing medium/cultivation method figured out.

Finally, find the best vertical farming systems installer for your grow facility. At MMI Agriculture, we specialize in vertical farming systems installation, offering premier products such as vertical grow racks and mobile carriages designed to help you get the most out of your grow space.

In addition to installation, we provide a 10-year warranty on equipment and labour to support your success in the vertical farming space. Contact us today for a quote.