A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO TOWER GARDENING
Tower gardening is the latest trend that allows people to grow their own food at home. If you have wanted to grow your own fresh produce, but you do not have a large yard, this is the answer you have been looking for.
What Is a Tower Garden?
A tower garden is a type of vertical garden, but you use it to grow food aeroponically. That means that you grow without soil using only air and water to grow your plants.
You can grow a large variety of plants vertically - saving space. You can grow your tower garden on a roof, patio, or balcony without having to haul heavy soil. Even if you have a yard, you can save space by growing a tower garden.
Tower gardens are also attractive and can provide you with a functional way to beautify a small space.
With the price of produce rising and the safety of many commercial farms a concern, a tower garden is an investment that will pay off. This is perfect for the gardener who is interested in producing organic food for his family.
The Benefits of a Tower Garden
There is obviously a benefit of being able to grow food in a small space with a tower garden. However, it has many other benefits when it comes to gardening. If you have ever grown food in soil, you will appreciate the ease of a tower garden.
When growing without soil, you can eliminate most garden pests. Without soil, most insects that would attack your plants are not an issue. You may occasionally have to deal with some insects, but it will be on a much smaller scale.
Weeding is another task that is much less of a chore when you have a tower garden. It is possible for weeds to find their way to your garden, but you will find that there are fewer than you would have in a traditional garden.
Because you’re growing vertically, you’ll also have less bending and stooping than you would have when working with a typical garden bed. This is especially helpful if you have back or knee problems that make gardening difficult.
This is also a cost-effective way to grow your own food. You will have to make an initial investment in equipment to grow your garden, but you will not have to spend much after that. And the money you will save on produce will more than pay for the cost of the garden.
And another added benefit of tower gardening is that your food will grow to maturity in less time than it would in soil. That’s less time for you to wait before you can begin enjoying the fruits of your labors.
How Does a Tower Garden Work?
A tower garden is made of a large plastic column that has hydroponic net pots placed throughout it. Internally, a pump keeps water moving over the roots of the plants that you grow.
The tower garden also has a reservoir that contains a liquid fertilizer that helps plants get the nutrients they need so that they can continue to grow. You will still need to make sure your plants get plenty of sunlight so that they can thrive.
When you purchase a tower garden kit, you must put it together. The process is simple and easy and usually takes about a half hour. You will have to grow your seedlings separately, but tower gardens come with a seed starting kit to help you with that part of it.
Once you have seedlings that are mature enough to be transplanted, you can add them to your tower garden. After that, you will have to perform some routine maintenance to care for your plants.
You will need to test the water in your tower garden to make sure the pH is correct. You will also need to clean the filter that keeps debris out of the pump. You will also need to make sure you do not have any weeds or insect problems, though these are rare.
In a few weeks you will be able to harvest vegetables and greens from your garden that you can use right away in your kitchen. Fresh produce will just be a few steps from your back door.
The Cost of a Tower Garden
At this time, there is one manufacturer of the official tower garden where you can purchase this system. One tower that includes everything you need to get started, including seeds, will cost you around $1200.
This tower will give you the space to grow up to 27 different plants. Starting with one tower is a wonderful way to get started.
But if you have a large family and cook frequently, you may want more than one tower. If you purchase the Tower Garden Family Garden package, you will save money by purchasing three towers at once.
You can also purchase supplies separately if you need accessories or replacement items. You can also purchase a heater if you live in a cold climate so that you can still grow in cooler temperatures.
Many people wonder if the garden is worth the upfront costs. If you have been to the supermarket lately, you know how much it costs to feed you family fresh produce.
While you will have to spend money up front with this system, you will save much more than you spend by not having to purchase produce at the market.
What Can I Grow with a Tower Garden?
You may be wondering if a tower garden will really provide you with the types of foods your family eats. The good news is that a tower garden allows you to grow a wide variety of foods.
You can grow vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, endive, lettuce, peas, and spinach. You can also grow tomatoes, strawberries, and melons to add sweetness to your garden.
If you love to use fresh herbs, a tower garden can help you enjoy your favorites. When you grow them, yourself you get the freshest flavor. Herbs you can grow include basil, chives, cilantro, cumin, dill, lavender, oregano, parsley, sage, and thyme. But you can grow almost any herb.
And if you prefer to grow flowers, or you just want to place a few different flowers in your vegetable garden, there are many flowers that grow well. Some of the most successful varieties are marigolds, salvia, pansies, and sunflowers.
If you love gardening, you will be happy to know that you can grow anything you would grow in a traditional garden using less space and fewer natural resources. You will also get a large crop in less time.
Is Tower Gardening Organic?
Most people who grow their own vegetables are interested in the practice of organic gardening because they want to avoid harmful chemicals including fertilizers and pesticides.
Tower gardening is not technically considered organic gardening because it does not use soil – and that is a key principle of organic gardening. However, you can eliminate the need for herbicides and pesticides by using this garden.
You will have to add a fertilizer solution to the plant roots because they will not be in soil to get nutrients. Because this type of gardening takes less space and fewer natural resources than traditional gardening, it is a viable alternative that is eco-friendly and safe for your family.
How Will Produce Taste from a Tower Garden?
If you have never had fresh food from a garden, you will be surprised when you take your first bite of something you have grown. By the time your local supermarket gets the produce grown commercially, it has been picked for days, weeks, and even months.
Food is often harvested before it is truly ripened to extend its shelf life. When you eat food from your garden at home, you can pick it when the food is ripe and you are able to experience a new level of flavor.
If you enjoy specific flavors in vegetables or fruits, you will find those flavors are magnified when you eat homegrown produce. Tomatoes will be sweeter; peppers will have more intense layers of flavor and berries will be juicer.
Once you have tasted produce from your own tower garden, you will never be satisfied with produce from the grocery store again. If you grow more food than you can eat in a short time, you can freeze, can, or dry it to preserve those fresh flavors.
Is the Plastic in a Tower Garden Safe?
One of the greatest concerns people have with the idea of a tower garden is that it is made from plastic. As you may already know, plastic can leach chemicals into surrounding water and soil if gets heated.
Naturally, you do not want your food to contain extra chemicals that are dangerous or can cause illness. The good news is that this type of garden is treated with a UV protector that helps keep the plastic from breaking down.
You can rest assured that your garden will grow healthy produce unaffected by chemicals that leach from the plastic because of this protection. The plastic also helps keep the roots of your plants cool and prevents the growth of algae.
Can Children Enjoy a Tower Garden?
One of the best ways you can entice children to eat healthy foods is to allow them to have a role in growing it. Tower gardens are wonderful ways to introduce children to the world of food production.
Many kids who grow up in urban areas have no idea where food really comes from. They simply see it at the store and some even believe that it is made in factories.
A tower garden is perfect for urban areas to give kids who live in a city the ability to see how food is grown and to enjoy the process. It is a promising idea to let kids choose some different varieties to grow and watch what happens.
This is a fantastic way to bring healthier foods to your table and give your children an education about safe and environmentally responsible food production.
Tower Gardening Is Healthy Gardening
Now that you understand some basics about a tower garden, it is important to also understand the health benefits for you and your family. Many people do not consume enough fruits and vegetables. This is sometimes because of the cost, but it is also about the flavor.
When you grow your own food, you will be saving money and you will have foods that are better in flavor. You will spend less time and energy on grocery shopping and more time enjoying food that grows outside your back door.
You will also be able to enjoy food that is free from toxins. Many researchers suggest that pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers can cause problems with inflammation, weight gain, cancer, and auto-immune diseases.
When you grow your own food, you can eliminate anything that you do not feel is safe. The fertilizer used for this system comes from minerals, rather than harsh chemicals that can be dangerous.
The time that it takes food to travel from a large farm to a grocery store produce section is time for the nutrition to dwindle. When you eat fresh food from your garden, you are getting more vitamins and minerals than supermarket produce provides.
You may have thought you could never have a garden because of limited space or the inability to bring in soil, but a tower garden makes it possible to have a garden in any area that receives sunlight. You can also add a grow light if your patio does not get at least four hours of sun each day.
A tower garden is a cost-effective way to enjoy fresh produce throughout the year. You will enjoy the ease of use, the speed of growth, the fresh flavor, and the nutritional quality of the foods you eat.