Commercial Systems FAQ
I am a new grower with no growing experience. What level of experience do I require to purchase a commercial growing system and become a commercial grower?
You will probably be surprised to hear that the majority of commercial systems we have been setting up in recent years involve clients who have no horticultural experience. They see an opportunity in the market for growing and supplying fresh produce and they embark on a new career path to capture that market. It is certainly a steep learning curve for these types of clients but they still develop into successful growers and business people if they are dedicated to the ongoing learning and development that comes with hydroponic growing. We provide a full support package to help new growers in this situation. If new growers are uncertain of undertaking the challenge, or large investments are involved, then we recommend that growers start with a small pilot project or a domestic sized system first so they can learn the basics and then apply that knowledge and skills to a larger system later.
Having said that, time is money so the time taken to develop a small pilot project could see a grower committed to operating that for a full season whereas they could have set up a larger project during that time and captured a larger market and already be experiencing income and benefits from it.
How much does a system cost?
Every system is custom designed to suit your chosen greenhouse and crop type. We can give you some rough per square metre estimates for budgetary purposes but if you are seriously considering commercial growing it is best for us to complete a detailed design and give you an accurate costing. The pump room holds a lot of value in terms of the cost of control equipment and pumps etc. Therefore if you have a large growing area connected to a pump room the cost of the pump room is spread out over a larger area compared to a pump room feeding a smaller area. This all affects the per m2 price.
What is the first step I need to take?
Please fill out the attached questionnaire and return it to us. This will allow us to assess your requirements. The next step is to have your water tested so we can see if it is suitable for hydroponic growing and if any additional treatment is required. Then we will work with you on the appropriate greenhouse selection. The design of the hydroponic system is the last step to ensure it makes full use of the available growing area inside your greenhouse and is the best type of system for your chosen crop type, climate and water supply.
What if I am on a limited budget or I can source a lot of the non-specialised equipment locally?
This is no problem at all. We offer a Hydroponic System Design and Shopping List Service to accommodate clients who wish to save on costs or who can source much of the common equipment locally such as PVC pipes, valves, tanks and pumps. This allows a grower to save on freight costs and import duties.
Alternatively, we can supply a full turnkey growing system with everything you require.
Please read the link below for more information.
What about installation?
Installation costs add a lot to the overall project price because the client needs to provide flights, food, accomodation and other travel expenses for the installation supervisor or crew. Unexpected delays on the site can also make the installation longer than it needs to be. Pure Hydroponics can provide technical drawings with the growing system so that clients can enlist their own labour to install the system. Or we can provide an onsite supervisor to supervise local labour or one who can visit the site just to complete the final commissioning of the system and provide training. As long as a grower has a good plumber to assist them then they have the ability to complete the whole installation themselves using our guidance online. The grower then has the choice of having a Pure Hydroponics representative visit the site for onsite training and commissioning of the system or we can provide this service online. Many of our larger clients have been able to install the growing system themselves using the technical drawings we supply and get the system fully operational and be growing successful crops without us ever having to visit the site.
What about ongoing consultancy and support?
We provide a full support package in terms of online or onsite consultancy. Most problems can easily be resolved online with the exchange of photos and laboratory information. We also have a full range of consumables such as nutrient and growing media which we ship to clients worldwide. Or we can supply customised nutrient recipes so growers can source the ingredients themselves and make their own formulas on-site without having to import goods.
What is the best crop to grow?
Pure Hydroponics is unable to assist with advice on what crop type is the best to grow. Every market is different. It is up to the client to conduct their own market research on what crop type is most in demand in their marketplace. This is usually done by interviewing vegetable wholesalers, supermarkets and restaurant chefs.
Remember, it is is not what you can grow but what you can sell which is important.
Pure Hydroponics can help you to grow any crop type successfully, it is just a case of what crop type can be sold for the best return on investment that is of most importance.
What is the manufacturing time for most commercial systems?
For most hydroponic growing systems a manufacturing time of about 2 – 4 weeks is realistic plus the seafreight sailing time to your country.