VydroFarm features on George Cross-winning garden centre owner's Love Your Garden appearance

HydroGarden's vertical farming system, VydroFarm, was part of a futuristic garden transformation for the Finney family in Truro family this week, courtesy of ITV's 'Love Your Garden', with Alan Titchmarsh.

'Love Your Garden' helps eight deserving families each season by creating their dream outdoor space.

Dad of three, Chris Finney, 31, was a Trooper in the Household Cavalry Regiment and is the youngest military recipient of the rare George Cross. He was awarded the medal in 2003 when he was 19, for his bravery during a 'Blue on Blue' incident in Iraq, when he rescued colleagues from a burning tank while being shot at.

After leaving the army, he and his wife Liz bought Goonhavern Garden Centre in Truro. Titchmarsh's brief was to create a garden full of new ideas and technology to help inspire them and develop their understanding of plant care.

Coventry-based hydroponics manufacturers and wholesalers, HydroGarden, donated a three tier VydroFarm system to go inside a specially-constructed solar dome.

Titchmarsh said: "A lot of people don't have a garden, they don't have soil, they live at the top of a tower-block and carting compost up is a real pain so, you can actually grow all kinds of plants, particularly vegetables in water and this is a hydroponics unit. The tank down there, is pumping water and nutrients through this system the whole time.

"Because the plants are getting their nutrients direct rather than from the soil, they expend less energy. In a matter of six weeks, you're producing pak choi like this. The growth rate growing in this substrate here, is far faster than these vegetables growing in soil or compost and the flavour is every bit as good as you get from plants grown in compost or soil.

"Chris has had mixed results trying to grow plants in his garden and I'm hoping this might give him the impetus to try something different and have a bit more success."

The donation was organised by Stephen Fry, commercial sales manager for HydroGarden, who said: "VydroFarm is the perfect combination of horticulture and technology and we were delighted to be approached to donate the system to the Finney family.

"Although VydroFarm's main focus is to offer commercial growers a large scale solution for growing crops in adverse climates or where space is limited such as urban areas, it was really exciting to see it being used in such an exciting garden transformation.

The show was first broadcast on 7 July on ITV at 8pm but can still be viewed on ITV Player until 6 August.

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