If there is no soil what holds the plants in?
There are a number of soil less growing mediums used on the market. Your tower will come with rock wool cubes. We have used these extensively with great success and find them simple. You sprout your seeds in the growing medium and simply transfer the seedling into the tower when it is ready. The plugs fit perfectly into small “net” baskets (also provided) so your plants are firmly held with space for water to pass over the roots.
How do they grow?
As the grow you will add nutrient solution periodically. This will mix with the water which is circulated through the system throughout the day “raining” over the plants roots inside the tower. The nutrient solution is a blend of nitrate, phosphates and potassium. These are the key nutrients all plants require. Since the roots are exposed to oxygen as well as the nutrient rich water they quickly take and use the nutrients and grow very well.
What can I grow?
We do not recommend root vegetables in our towers as they will develop inside the structure and be difficult to harvest.
You can grow nearly any vegetable, herb, vine, or flower though!
Fruiting plants require slightly different conditions and care. For that reason we recommend starting with leafy greens and herbs.
*Drought loving plants and tall grasses do not fair well for this style of garden.
Do I need a special light?
It is ideal for plants to get 12-16 hours of daylight. If you do not think they can get the full exposure, you should provide at least one full spectrum grow light. These are provided as part of our started kit or can be purchased separately
How long does it take to grow things?
Most plants are ready between 60 and 90 days of seeding. Every environment is different however so grow times vary.
What if I go on vacation?
If you are going away for a short vacation you can check your system before you go and it should be fine. For extended periods we would recommend either having someone check for you or shut the system down.
Can it grow year round?
If you choose to grow year round it is absolutely possible. Our systems have been designed with this goal in mind. You will most likely need at least 1 grow light
Can I put it outside?
The tower structure is suitable for out door weather. If you have purchased a wooden base we suggest it be protected from the elements as it was constructed for indoors. A covered patio or porch would be fine and would give you access to natural pollinators making summer fruits a simple option! You can also maintain the base by adding a new layer of polyurethane after the outdoor season.
How often do I need to “tend” it?
About once a week. For approximately 10 minutes. Depending on your crop you may need to do some pruning. Occasionally you should disassemble and rinse the unit which takes about 30 mins.
What tools, equipment or knowledge do I need to get started?
A pH and Ppm meter, nutrients, and pH adjuster are your key components. If you buy a starter kit these are included.
Our new growers guide walks you through the steps.
The basics facts you need to know are:
pH should be 6 (5.5-6.5)
Ppm should be between 800 and 1400
Your plants need 12-16 hours of light
Plugs should be damp, not soaked
You need to provide well balanced nutrients.
If you manage these things your plants will grow! From there you can begin to fine tune your process if you wish. More in depth knowledge will allow you to become a specialist in your crop. We will help guide you toward resources via the website.