How Does Vertical Farming Work? (Process, Storage, & More)

Jamie Jacobs
Jamie Jacobs joined APX Construction Group in June of 2020 specializing in interior design, marketing, event planning, and business development.
  • Vertical farming might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it’s actually a revolutionary way to grow crops in a vertical stack, instead of spreading them out horizontally. It’s a game-changer for modern agriculture, offering higher yields, less water usage, and the ability to grow food closer to urban areas. So, how exactly does vertical farming work? Let’s dig in and uncover the secrets behind this innovative farming technique!

    Inside this blog:

    • A brief overview of the basics of vertical farming
    • The vertical farming process in 5 steps
    • Benefits of vertical farming

    Keep reading to learn more about this innovative way of farming so you can increase your year-round production and boost your farming game!

    Understanding the Basics of Vertical Farming

    Vertical farming is all about maximizing space while minimizing resources. Instead of traditional farming methods that spread crops across large expanses of land, vertical farms stack plants on top of each other in tall structures. Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

    Vertical Growing Structures


    Vertical farms use specially designed structures like towers, shelves, or racks to stack plants vertically. This allows farmers to grow more crops in a smaller footprint, making it ideal for urban environments where space is limited.

    Additionally, these structures can be customized to optimize growing conditions for different types of crops, from leafy greens to vine crops.

    Hydroponic or Aeroponic Systems

    Instead of soil, vertical farms often use hydroponic or aeroponic systems to deliver water and nutrients directly to the plants’ roots. This not only conserves water but also allows for precise control over the growing environment.

    By providing a nutrient-rich solution directly to the roots, plants can grow faster and healthier compared to traditional soil-based methods.

    Artificial Lighting

    Since vertical farms often operate indoors or in controlled environments, they rely on artificial lighting to provide the necessary light for plant growth. LED lights are commonly used due to their energy efficiency and ability to mimic natural sunlight.

    These lights can be adjusted to provide specific wavelengths and intensity levels tailored to the needs of different crops, ensuring optimal growth throughout the year.

    The Vertical Farming Process: From Seed to Harvest

    Now that we understand the basics, let’s take a closer look at the vertical farming techniques and process, from planting seeds to harvesting crops in 5 steps:

    1. Seed Selection

    Farmers start by selecting high-quality seeds suited to the specific crops they want to grow. These seeds are often chosen for their disease resistance, yield potential, and flavor profile.

    2. Germination

    The selected seeds are germinated in a controlled environment, ensuring optimal conditions for sprouting. This typically involves providing the right balance of water, nutrients, and temperature to kickstart the germination process.

    3. Transplanting

    Once the seeds have sprouted, they’re carefully transplanted into the vertical growing structures, where they’ll continue to grow until maturity. This step requires precision to ensure proper spacing and placement of the plants in vertically stacked layers.

    4. Growth Monitoring


    Throughout the growing cycle, farmers closely monitor the plants’ progress, adjusting factors like lighting, temperature, and nutrient levels as needed. This constant monitoring helps maximize yields and maintain plant health.

    5. Harvesting

    When the crops reach maturity, it’s time for harvest! Depending on the crop, harvesting may be done manually or using automated systems. Once harvested, the crops are immediately processed and prepared for distribution.

    Storage and Distribution: Keeping It Fresh

    After harvest, the next step is storage and distribution. Proper handling is essential to ensure the freshness and quality of the crops:

    Immediate Cooling

    After harvest, crops are quickly cooled to remove field heat and slow down the ripening process. This helps extend shelf life and preserve the flavor and nutrients of the produce. Proper cooling is essential for maintaining quality and reducing post-harvest losses, ensuring that customers receive fresh and flavorful produce.


    Once cooled, the crops are carefully packaged to protect them during transportation and storage. Packaging materials should be breathable and moisture-resistant to prevent spoilage.

    Additionally, labeling packages with product information and handling instructions helps ensure proper storage and handling throughout the distribution chain.


    Finally, the packaged crops are distributed to retailers, restaurants, or consumers. Vertical farms located near urban centers can significantly reduce transportation distances, ensuring that produce reaches its destination quickly and efficiently. This not only reduces carbon emissions associated with transportation but also promotes local food systems and supports the community.

    Benefits of a Vertical Farming System

    Vertical farming offers a myriad of benefits that make it an attractive option for professional farmers:

    • Increased Yields: By maximizing vertical space, vertical farming can produce higher yields per square foot compared to traditional farming methods. This allows farmers to grow more food in less space, making it a more efficient use of land.
    • Water Efficiency: Vertical farming uses significantly less water than traditional farming methods, thanks to hydroponic or aeroponic systems that deliver water directly to the plants’ roots.
    • Year-Round Production: Since vertical farms operate indoors or in controlled environments, they’re not limited by seasonality or weather conditions. This allows for year-round production of crops, ensuring a steady supply of fresh produce regardless of the time of year.

    🌱 Up Your Farming Game With Vertical Farming

    Vertical farming is revolutionizing the way we grow food, offering a sustainable, space-efficient, and highly productive alternative to traditional farming methods. By stacking plants vertically and harnessing the power of technology, vertical farmers can grow more food with fewer resources, helping to feed a growing global population while minimizing environmental impact.

    So, whether you’re a seasoned farmer looking to diversify your operation or a newcomer eager to embrace the future of agriculture, a vertical farm holds endless possibilities for innovation and growth. 

    Contact our expert contractors at APX Construction Group today and we’ll make sure your next project goes off without a hitch. We can’t wait to hear your questions and ideas help bring your construction vision to life! Fill out our quick and easy online contact form to get the ball rolling on your project.

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