Pieces and Concept

Bildschirmfoto 2017-07-18 um 09.51.36The aponix vertical barrel system provides building blocks to set up various solutions for vertical plant production. It is ideal for urban farming operations where flexible verticality and at the same time professional application is critical. It can be assembled into soil-less large operations with central fertilizer reservoirs and multiple chained barrel units, single standalone soil-less columns but also into a soil or medium based raised bed alternatives or even a mix as terra-ponic solutions or water filters for smart sustainable urban areas.

Use cases:


Standing barrel using two 2-inch net pot parts. The number of the ring segments stacked – height and total number of grow spaces – are variable. There are different ring segment pieces that can be interchangeably used to configure plant spacing and plant shape.

Properties of the aponix vertical barrel components

  • Easy to assemble, consisting of a few simple and repeatable parts like a) our 1/6 parts of a full ring segment of the barrel providing different plant adapters, b) the top and bottom lid and c) if you are using the standing version a bottom stand lid combination.
  • You can easily assemble a full ring segment of 6 1/6 parts providing 0-12 single standard 2″ net pot grows spaces / cup holders each using >=15cm of vertical space. You can mix any of the ring segment elements to configure for your plant distance and even plant shape.
  • Ring segments can be stacked as high as you have vertical space available adding grow spaces for each level.
  • This translates your cultivation area to the outside surface of all your vertical barrels in operation.
  • Parts are made from durable, high quality and food-grade plastics (PVC-U and ASA).
  • Easy also to disassemble for sanitation or after your season ends depending on your location.
  • Easy to clean using a standard power washer or steam cleaner after each growing cycle: Harvest, unstack, power wash, re-stack, replant.
  • Easy to ship due to small, well stackable compact parts.
  • Irrigation can be done using either our selection of a pressure spray nozzles (Aeroponics), using a sprinkler unit that can be run with less pressure (vertical NFT) or using Netafim micro nozzles using our own Netafim-aponix drip stop adapter. Either way it can be used with any liquid being mineral fertilizer (hydroponics) or organic fertilizer (aquaponics) or a terraponics mix.
  • Hanging and standing, chained or single versions possible.


Please also check our Key Features page and our FAQs.


Standard 2″ net pots as grow spaces

2 inch net pot

A standard 2″ (5cm) net pot used for growing from young plants/seedlings.


Highest density possible with our two net pot piece. See alternative setups on our metrics page. Each cup holder has a diameter of exactly 5cm for your plants/net pots. There are different types of ring segment pieces for different spacing and purposes.

As grow space in the soil-less parts we are only using 2” net pot cup holders (diameter 5cm or 2 inches). Using the 2″ net pots you are free to use the growing medium of your choice to finally insert your strong young plants / seedlings into the vertical barrels. You could use simple filter foam, rockwool cubes, rockwool shreds or any other medium that you are confident with. Like with other NFT/DWC systems you need strong seedlings before you transfer them into your main system.

Testing to get rid of the standard plastic rock wool seedling combo. Here we are just using a foldable jute substrate. Seedlings have been growing in standard soil. There are many sustainable alternatives!

The vertical barrel is suitable to grow small vegetable crops, herbs, lettuce and strawberries. Depending on the ring segment parts you combine you can configure the ideal plant spacing for your crop.

Aeroponic spraying or drip-irrigation with and without pressure line

The idea behind the barrel concept is, that it provides a flexible irrigation corpus for grow spaces. We have tested various irrigation options that can be delivered – spray nozzle, inverted sprinkler, our water buffer part or the Netafim-aponix adapter. But you could well integrate and experiment with your own irrigation solution.

According to the atmospheric conditions, the chosen irrigation intervals should ensure, that the plant roots and the medium used never starts to dry and get sufficient nutrients, oxygen and the vertical barrel unit is not overwhelmed with excessive liquid – as much as you would not flash flood an NFT channel. Example: 5-15min spraying, 45-55min pause would be sufficient during the day, 2-3 cycles during night time. You should avoid a permanently running pump. A flow rate of <100l/h during irrigation is ideal.


Lettuce seedlings in net pots filled with rock wool shreds. When they are large enough they are transplanted directly into the vertical barrels. We also provide a reusable plug pot with an optional metal trellis insert.

You can select an appropriate pump as soon as you know the maximum number of barrels that need to be irrigated at once and you have selected your favorite irrigation equipment.

Some examples on how the vertical barrel component can be integrated into a larger setup context.