What's the difference and why the change?
Did you know that Towers didn’t come with a timer in the early days? The pump just ran 24/7. After some testing, they found plants grew much better when the pump was not running continuously.
Back in 2008 when we first started growing Tower Gardens, the only 15 minute increment timer was an indoor timer. Remember the ones you used to plug your lamps into when you went on vacation? Fast forward to 2012, when the Juice Plus company bought Tower Garden, and the timer was upgraded to the analog timer you see above. At the time, this was one of the only outdoor/weatherproof timers available with 15 minute increments.
The new digital timer is pre programmed for indoor or outdoor growing. While the run time is a little less than that when using the analog timer, the off time is shorter so it actually waters more frequently.
The new Tower Garden timer has been tested under an extreme range of conditions including the summer heat in the southwest desert. Tower Farms all over the US have been using the same timings for over a decade. The preprogrammed settings are designed to cover a wide range of conditions both indoors and outdoors.
I – as shown below, is for Indoor growing and is programed to run 5 minutes on and 40 minutes off 24 hours a day.
O – as shown below is for Outdoor growing and is programmed to run 3 minutes on and 12 minutes off 24 hours a day.
COOLER GROWING PERIODS
- Set timer for 15 minutes on and 30 minutes off. 1 pin out, 2 pins in, all the way around the dial.
HOT GROWING PERIODS
- Set timer for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off. 1 pin out, 1 pin in.
The Outdoor setting of 3 minutes run time fully saturates the roots and growing area. The 12 minutes off is actually 3 minutes less than the old Tork timer and increases the irrigation frequency between run times. The shorter run time of the new timer is sufficient and can help increase the life of the pump, reduce electricity, and reduce mineral deposit on the Tower Garden.
If your Tower Garden is wilting in summer heat it is usually because your minerals are too strong, probably full strength at 20 mls each of A & B solution per gallon of water. Plants sweat just like people to stay cool and that’s called transpiration. As plants sweat they take up more water, and when the minerals are too concentrated they cause plants to wilt, especially in the afternoon heat. Aeroponic/hydroponic plants require a weaker mineral solution during hotter periods. IMPORTANT: In the case of hydroponic/Aeroponic nutrient solutions MORE than recommended fertilizer is NOT BETTER!