The Why, What and How of Tower Gardening Inside

We just returned from our national Tower Garden and Juice Plus conference in Nashville, Tennessee.  The leaves are starting to change and I needed to wear a long sleeve jacket a few evenings.  I heard they even had snow in Ohio!  This is great news for us Floridians and the snow birds, but it’s not so great for the millions and millions of northerner gardeners.  Or is it…?  What if you could grow your Tower Garden inside? Hmmm…

Why grow inside?

There are countless benefits to growing inside.

 

  1. Grow YEAR round – Not only is your produce fresher, tastier and more nutritious than store bought, it will also save you hundreds of dollars in just a few short months!
  2. Start early and move your Tower outside in Spring – You’ll be harvesting produce when your dirt growing friends are thinking about starting seeds.  WINNER!
  3. Less time spent outside – Now we all know we need to get up, get outside and move more.  However, it’s pretty hard to get up and about outside when it’s 10 below. Get up and move around your Tower Garden inside.

So you’ve decided to grow inside, but what lights do you need?

There are many lights to choose from and they each have their pros and cons. Let’s dig a little deeper.

Metal Halide

They are

  1. GREAT for fruit producing crops.
  2. Pretty EXPENSIVE at approximately $550 a light set
  3. Can get very HOT
  4. Must be mounted from the CEILING
  5. Are the same kind of light used at Chicago O Hare Airport.

High Output LEDs

 

  1. Have both RED and BLUE light.  Bulbs appear pink.
  2. Suitable for growing fruiting crops.
  3. Pretty hefty price tag of almost $800.
  4. Mounted on a SUPPORT CAGE
  5. Purchased from www.towergardenstore.com

Fluorescent T5s

 

  1. COST EFFECTIVE at $219 – Includes 4, 54W lights and Power Strip with built in timer.
  2. Easily mounted to the SUPPORT CAGE with custom made brackets – Support cage is required but not included.
  3. LONG LIFE bulbs – Approximately 20,000 hours.
  4. LOW HEAT
  5. LOW RUNNING COST – 4 54W bulbs cost approximately $0.30 a day to run.
  6. Recently updated DAISY CHAIN CORD to reduce clutter and improve aesthetics.

Order your Tower Garden Grow Lights here

You’ve got your Grow Lights.  Now what?

Common mistakes include leaving Grow Lights on 24/7, over watering, not using grow lights at all and selecting the wrong plants.  Here are our top tips for success when growing inside!

    1. Quality Lighting = Quality Results – Ensure you have the right light and the correct number of them (4 when using 54W T5s).  Don’t make the mistake of placing your Tower by a sunny window.  Most windows have UV filters on that filter out the very UV light the plants need to grow.  You need 5 or more hours or direct sunlight.  If your Tower Garden is in front of a non UV filtered window you need to HALVE the amount of light it gets as you will need to rotate the tower garden to get light on both sides.  When using Grow Lights be sure to cycle the lights on an doff with the natural outdoor light.  We recommend the lights are on for 13-18 hours and off for 11-6 hours.  Plants need a break too!
    2. Reduce the water cycle to 15 minutes on, 45 off.  Without the drying effects from the heat of the sun and the wind there is less transpiration and the plants need less watering.
    3. Location location location. Just as the location of your Tower Garden outside is important, it is just as important inside. Think “out of sight, out of mind”. Also bear in mind that you may spill water whilst filling or emptying it so floor protection may be necessary.  Consider the temperature where your Tower Garden is located.  Does your garage temperature drop below 50 degrees?  If so you may want to use a submersible heater to keep the water at a constant 69 degrees. Opt for a 200w, plastic submersible heater.  Set the thermostat to 69 degrees and leave it!  Just be sure to plug it into an outlet directly, not in a timer! It’s about $30 and you can get free 2 day shipping with Prime.  Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial
    4. Stick with Lettuces, leafy greens and herbs. They grow faster, use lower light than fruiting crops, require less maintenance and will not grow out past the light!  It’s a winner all round.
    5. Start with a strong seedling. If you start out with a weak seedling you are already off on the wrong foot.  Start them either outside in direct sunlight (if temperatures allow) and bring them in overnight, or start them inside under a 2′ grow light.

Sign up to receive E-newsletters directly from the Tower Garden Company here.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: