With the growing interest in gardening, the Tower Garden has gain popularity as well. Most reviews you will find are from distributors who want to sell a Tower Garden, and that’s understandable. We are not distributors, we are growers. After growing the Tower Garden by Juice Plus for many years we wanted to do an honest review of the 7 reasons to grow a Tower Garden.
1 The Tower Garden is an instant garden
Gardeners are usually not after instant things. We love slow food, homegrown, and homemade. But, if you really want to start gardening and the garden is not ready, or the gardening season is 6 months away, the idea of an instant garden is very appealing.
The Tower Garden is just that: a garden that you can start growing instantly no matter what time of the year it is. The Tower Garden comes with everything you need to start growing right away. All you will need to add is water. Tap water or rainwater works great.
That actually got us into Tower Gardening during the winter of 2014. We knew nothing about hydro- or aeroponics, so an all-included set was great.
The Tower Garden however is not the only instant garden on the market. I hear great things about the AeroGarden as well. However, we wanted to grow more plants in a small space indoors and outdoors. The Tower Garden was just what we wanted.
The Tower Garden comes with Rockwool starter cubes and Vermiculite to cover the seeds to keep them moist, as well as seeds and a seedling starting tray. Before you even assemble the Tower Garden, start the seeds and start growing.
Since hydroponics/aeroponics do not use any soil, we do not plant seeds in the soil. Learn more following the link: Planting a Hydroponic Garden.
2 The Tower Garden is a high-quality product
The Tower Garden is made from high-quality, USDA-approved, UV-stabilized, food-grade plastic. The quality is simply amazing. The garden is easy to assemble, clean, and it simply works.
We will talk some more about cleaning in the next point. Here I just want to point out that a high-quality product is important when it comes to cleaning. There are many DIY attempts out there to reproduce the Tower Garden, but after having cleaned the garden so many times, I often wonder how they want to keep them clean. It is something to keep in mind if choosing to grow hydroponically.
The Tower Garden is not just a garden, it is a growing system with many helpful accessories like a plant cage and grow lights that fit onto the cage. All of this makes successful growth easy.
Tower Tonic has rich, abundant, ionic earth minerals like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and trace minerals, like boron, chlorine, manganese, and zinc that are important for plant growth. Rich in calcium, and rich in trace minerals that are important to people.
The Tower Tonic A and B is all you will need to grow leafy greens, as well as fruit-bearing plants. There is no adjustment or tweaking needed. Great for beginners. That being said, since the tonic comes in liquid form, there is a high cost to it.
We have since switched to dry concentrated nutrients from General Hydroponics. If possible we get it locally from a greenhouse or hydroponics store.
3 Tower Gardening needs care
The Tower Garden vertical aeroponics growing system is a healthier, easier, smarter way to grow your own fresh and nutritious fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Since there is no soil involved, there is also no weeding, no digging, and no bending over your garden. The well written out instruction manual will tell you all you need to know.
So far the advertisement.
I would not call it a no-work garden. You still need to care for the plants, check the nutrient solution at least once a week with young plants, during pick growing times every few days, and keep everything clean.
If doing dishes appeal to you more than working with soil, the Tower Garden is for you!
We clean our towers after every growing cycle. If growing fast-growing plants like lettuce, you can get by just taking out as many roots as you can reach and replant a few times before things get clogged.
Taken apart the tower garden reminds once more of pots and pans, that get really yucky over the course of a growing season. The Tower Garden needs to be cleaned regularly. Since it is ingenious for growing it has a few more things to clean. However, high-quality plastic makes the job relatively easy.
We use a microfiber cleaning cloth and a bottle brush and just water. You will have to disinfect the system if you get some kind of disease. Thankfully we have not had that experience.
4 The Tower Garden uses little space for high yield
Little space and high yield are where the Tower Garden really shines. It was a deal-breaker for us too.
The Tower Garden is a vertical aeroponics growing system. Growing vertically, the Tower Garden allows you to grow up to 28 plants. That’s container gardening plus! 28 containers in less than six square feet of land.
Using aeroponics and specially formulated plant food, you can grow up to 30% more produce compared to traditional soil gardening during the same time period. This is huge for short growing season gardeners.
5 The Tower garden is movable
Not just the Tower Garden dolly makes moving the garden easy, but you can actually carry the whole garden at any stage into a different location. Again, for short-season growers, it really extends the growing season.
We can plant summer crops indoors without having to transplant them outdoors. We just carry out the whole garden when the weather conditions are right.
Technically we could do the same at the end of the season. But after a summer of growing outside or in the geodesic dome greenhouse, the garden really needs cleaning. To bring in unwanted bugs makes it not worth it for us.
6 The Tower Garden can be used for indoor gardening
The short growing season and the cool, short summers were the main reasons we got into Tower Garden gardening. We wanted to be able to grow more in a short summer, and also grow in the offseason indoors all winter long.
After trying to grow an indoor garden in soil, we knew we needed a better solution. It’s no surprise that many commercial greenhouses grow plants hydroponically. It simply is better for indoor growing. The plants are always perfectly watered. Since there is no soil involved, it also limits the chance for bugs and mold.
Even though the indoor garden was the main reason we got into Tower Gardening, lately we seldom grow in them during the winter. The main reason being the grow lights. You can not grow a Tower Garden indoors without grow lights.
Our growing room with south-facing windows allows us to grow year-round without grow lights. We build an NFT downspout hydroponic system and later an upgrade that allows us to grow at the windows thus eliminating the need for grow lights. The system was easy to build, is easier to keep clean, and works great for greens, kale, and kohlrabi that we love to grow in the winter.
7 The Tower Garden is costly
On my first look at Tower Garden, I had the impression that the garden was too expensive. I have since corrected my view, it is still costly though.
A high quality, locally grown, and pesticide-free lettuce costs $4 in-store. We eat one like that about every day. One Tower can grow 28 lettuces in a month. Do the math, 28 x $4 = $112.
A Tower Garden growing system, with extension, cage, and grow lights delivered to your door here in Canada comes to $102.64 a month for 12 months (Prices might have changed since). You will still save about 10 dollars every month comparing to store-bought lettuce. And after 12 months your lettuce is basically free. If you are in the US the numbers will be different.
However, there are also operating costs to the Tower Garden as with any growing system or medium.
Lettuce is by far not the only plant we grow in the Tower Garden. See more at Growing the Tower Garden in a cold climate. Our Tower Gardens are real food production machines.
If you want to buy a Tower Garden find a Juice Plus distributor in your area or go directly to the Tower Garden website. Since Juice Plus is an MLM company we would suggest that you apply to be a salesperson. You will skip paying one level of the pyramid and get the garden a bit cheaper. Also getting 3 is less expensive than just one. Find someone who wants one, or keep all 3. After that, you just don’t have to renew the contract.
Would we recommend a Tower Garden?
Last but not least, would we recommend a Tower Garden to fellow gardeners?
We would recommend a Tower Garden to someone who wants to grow food in a small space and or in the offseason if they don’t have sufficient light anyway.
Indoors the Tower Garden needs the grow lights. We prefer using sunlight if we can. Without grow lights the vertical, round structure is somehow a challenge – the sun does not go around. In the summer outside, we often just don’t have plants from the north side or grow greens there.
If growing the Tower Garden in a living room, be aware that the lights are really bright and it’s also quite noisy (running water). Outside I love the sound, indoors it’s a bit of a different story.
If you are a DIYer, you might want to build a hydroponic system yourself for less money that might even work better for your needs than the Tower Garden.
As I have mentioned before, we find that an NFT downspout hydroponic system is a better option for winter growing if you have a south-facing window. NFT can also be installed outdoors, however, in our experience plats like peppers (our main crop in the Tower Garden) do better in the Tower Garden than in an NFT system.
If aeroponic is what fascinates you, you can also build a high-pressure aeroponic system.
Just to grow a few herbs or lettuce the Kratky hydroponic might be all you need.
Hope this helps you to make a wise decision on what the Tower Garden offers and what other options might be better for you. Whatever helps you to grow fresh food, choose that.
As you see in the many pictures included, we have grown the Tower Garden indoors, in the basement, in a growing room, in a greenhouse, and outdoors in different locations. If you do have specific questions, do not hesitate to ask. Also if you have something meaningful to contribute, please share it in the comment below.
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