If you’ve ever heard me talk about the Tower Garden you’ll have heard me say “It’s the easiest garden on earth!” I’m being honest, it really is. There’s no weeding, digging or tilling and just a small amount of maintenance needs to be performed each week to keep your produce nutritious, delicious, strong and healthy. Just like when we eat healthy foods we are less likely to be sick, the same applies to our vegetables. They are more resistant to disease and pests. WINNER!
Your maintenance each week is going to take you no more than 15 minutes per Tower. Yep, LESS THAN 15 minutes per Tower. So what maintenance is involved?
Check for pests and diseases.
It is far easier to deal with a few bugs than it is to deal with a massive infestation! By remaining vigilant and giving your tower the quick once over each day you’ll stay ahead of the game. This quick once over should take you less than a minute. Look for holes in the leaves, bugs on the underside of leaves and little bit of black stuff which could well be worm poop. Also look for changes in the colors of the leaves. This could indicate a fungus, disease, or simply incorrect pH or normal browning and aging of the leaves. There is NO NEED to spray as a preventative method. Just be vigilant.
Twice a Week
Check water level
It is important to get into the habit of checking your water regularly. When you first start your Tower with seedlings you will use just a couple of gallons a week. As the plants get bigger and the temperatures heat up you will start to go through more. Read this article on adding nutrients so that you don’t end up throwing money away in the summer months!
These are just guidelines. If you are growing a lot of large heavy feeders you will probably have to check it more frequently. Possibly everyday!
The pH is important for one reason and one reason only. When the pH goes out of the ideal range the plants are unable to take up nutrients. Keep your pH between 5.5 and 6.5. If it drifts outside of this range the first thing you will notice is that your leaves start to yellow. Now if you check your pH a couple of times a week and it hasn’t changed then go a few extra days before checking it again. You’ll start to figure out how your water reacts, or doesn’t, to your conditions. I have personally had to adjust the pH in my towers just a dozen times in over a year. Others are adjusting theirs a couple of times a week. One more thing regarding pH. Be sure to check it AFTER, not before, you have added your minerals. The minerals are acidic so they will lower the pH slightly.
Again, if you are adding water multiple times a week you will need to check you pH each time you add water. If it doesn’t change much, increase the number of days between each pH test.
Give it a clean
Just once a week use an old scrub sponge, toothbrush or other small scrub brush to remove any algae, mineral build up or foliage from the Tower. It will take just a minute or so if done regularly and will reduce the risk of it staining.
Clean the filter
I’m sure you heard the saying “don’t do as I do, do as I tell you”. Cleaning the filter is a perfect example of that!
As you can see to the right, the roots can grow through the filter, restricting the water flow and this could eventually burn your pump out, and I promise you, you don’t want that happening! This can be prevented by cleaning the filter regularly, placing the pump at the side of the tub rather than the center and by trimming the roots. We talk about that below!
Trim the Roots
Remove the access lid, reach in and pull the roots. WARNING! There is an electric cable and a blue hose in the reservoir too. Be 100% sure that you have neither of these in your hand if you are going in with scissors. You could have a huge bundle of roots in your hand so don’t go chopping willy nilly. Trim (or simply pull them) them at a level close to the water line if full. There is NO NEED, I repeat NO NEED to remove each individual plant and trim the roots of each one. This will cause stress and worst case, you could lose the plant.
So that is it! Easy right? Now quick, go out and give your Tower a quick once over. You’ll be glad you did.