Considering A Hydroponic Tower? Everything You Need To Know
If you’re looking to get your hands on some fresh produce, the best option is likely a hydroponic tower. A hydro tower is a vertical structure that uses water instead of soil to grow plants. This allows crops to grow in a small space, ideal for cities or areas with limited land resources.
These vertical hydroponic systems offer a variety of benefits. But before you invest, there are some things you need to know. In this post, we’ll look at how you can build a tower garden and what plants you can grow in it.
How Do You Build A Hydroponic Tower?
The hydroponic system is both complex and straightforward to build, but this tower can provide an environment for thriving plants once built. The project could be challenging or easy depending on your choice of tools; however, multiple methods will accomplish the same results, so it’s not just one method vs. another.
Step 1: Gather Materials
To build a hydroponic tower, you need:
- Nutrient reservoir
- Swivel hose
- Reservoir lid
- Tower sections
- Access port lid
- Net pots
- Growing ports
- Shower cap lid
- Shower cap
- Tower Tonic
- Seed Starter Kit
- pH Supplies
- Drain pipe (PVC pipe)
Step 2: Assembling the Hydroponic Tower Garden
Do the following:
- Make sure that the nutrient reservoir is level. Attach the blue swivel hose to your pump, connect it with a ½” threaded hole at the bottom of the reservoir lid. Next, use hand screws until they are snuggled securely in place.
- Slide the electrical cord through a hole in one side of the reservoir to ensure that your new water pump is installed properly.
Note: The pump will not work well until you fill it with nutrient solution and water. When not in use, make sure the cord is wound tightly around the base of your reservoir and out of reach. This will help prevent any accidental trips caused by someone walking over it or reaching into an unplugged outlet near where you’re sitting.
- Gently place the pump towards one side of your reservoir and push down firmly until it seats in its socket.
- Remove the end panel and set it aside. Then, remove two stainless steel rods from their holders with a wing nut on each end, so you have one left in each holder.
- To connect one rod from above ground level, insert the end into a hole marked “A” inside this section that’s connected with your reservoir lid.
- Hand-tighten the wing nuts until about ¼” of thread is showing beyond each one.
- Similarly, install the second rod to ensure that everything fits together properly. Once you have done this make sure your reservoir lid is seated on top of both rods with their respective nuts/bolts securing them tightly into place.
- Next, you need to remove the wing nut and washer from the top end of the rods. Select any tower section as your second rod so that it can fit into one hole marked “B.”
- Once you’ve threaded the rods through these two holes and placed them in position, slide down on top of them until they meet with a center stem. Push firmly onto this base so that all three parts are seated properly.
- Thread the rods through these two holes. Slide down a tower section and then push it into place with your hands or foot for maximum stability.
- Fit the rods through these two holes and slide them down. Push hard on that center stem, then you’ll have a perfectly stable installation.
- Install the shower cap, then push down firmly on its center stem to set with your top tower section.
- Once your reservoir is filled with Tower Tonic and iced water, you can put on a cap to keep it fresh.
Step 3: Planting the seeds
Whenever you’re ready to plant:
- Different seed varieties demand different amounts of seeds in each hole. First, drench the rock wool starter cubes for 30 minutes, and then use as many seeds per hole depending on what type it is.
- Fill each seed hole and make sure it has enough space for good root growth. Half fill it with vermiculite if you’re planting small seeds, like lettuce. This will maintain just enough moisture around them so they can germinate quickly and grow into healthy plants. Sprinkle a little water to make the vermiculite wet only. Do not over water at this stage..
- After seeding, put a little water into the bottom of your container and make sure it’s moist. You can use filtered or rainwater for this but avoid using chlorine-filled tap sources as it will kill off any potential growing plants in there.
- Keep your seedling tray in a semi-shaded area if the weather is warm. Conversely, if it is colder, keep the tray inside lying by a sunny window. Check every morning and ensure that the tray is ¼ full of freshwater.
- In 1-3 weeks, when your seedlings have formed a good root system, it’s time to transplant them into the indoor gardening system. Gently drop one seedling inside each cube on the tower, then press it down until it touches the net level.
Note: The rockwool cube is a great way to keep your plants hydrated. Make sure they at least brush against the base of the net pot.
Purchase seedlings from the local nursery; it is the easiest way to grow plants in the hydroponic tower garden this season.
Step 4: Fill the reservoir. Add nutrients.
- The tower garden can hold a maximum of 20 gallons of water. Fill it with cold water, approximately 3 inches from the top lid. Do not overfill it.
- It’s essential to use the right water for your plants. Don’t ever compromise their health by using softened or chlorinated tap water, as it may damage them in ways you never imagined.
Note: Keep a bucket full of chlorinated water outside in the sun for 48 hours.
- Add the right amount of Tower Tonic to your hydroponic tower garden. It will keep it healthy and strong, so follow the instructions on fertilizer labels carefully. If you’re planting a new crop or starting from scratch with all brand-new plants, use half-strength (200ml each).
- You’ll need a spoon. Just make sure you thoroughly stir in all the nutrients so they can do their job. It’s also important not to use your hands because it may be slightly acidic or alkaline and irritate the skin.
- Testing the pH of the solution is essential and you can do this by using a pH tester kit. The optimum pH of a nutrient solution is 5 to 7, but if you need to adjust it use one or two tablespoons from the included buffering solutions to raise or lower the acidity levels accordingly. Read instructions on the pH bottles and follow them. Do not let it touch your skin. Again, test it for the correct pH; if not attained. If it still requires adjustment, do it and test again.
- Fit the pump. See that water is coming out of your tower garden before you put on the shower cap lid.
- With an adjustable flow rate dial on the pump, you can easily adjust how much water will come out of your shower cap at any given time. This is useful because, as altitude changes, so does this setting.
- Your tower garden includes a timer to ensure that your plants are getting enough water.
- Keep the access port lid on top of the reservoir lid.
Your hydroponic tower is ready to thrive and flourish. Maintain it well and water your plants regularly.
Can You Buy A Hydroponic Tower?
Yes, you can buy a hydroponic tower to set up your tiny little farm. These are easily available on Amazon and Alibaba. If you want to get the best from this type of farming, look for a quality product.
Also, it is a well-known fact that Tower Gardens yield more crops than other methods. This means an investment in this product pays off with increased returns, which can purchase additional land or expand your business.
What Can You Grow In A Hydro Tower?
Ideal plants for a hydroponic tower are the ones that grow fast, including some green leafy ones like lettuce.
Leafy greens: Lettuce, chard, kale, mustard greens, spinach and collard greens, cilantro, dill, chives, mint,
Vegetables: cabbage, broccoli, okra, beans, eggplants, tomatoes (all types), cauliflower, peppers
Fruits: strawberries, melons, watermelons
Flowers: Calendula, dianthus, carthamus, marigolds, pansies, sunflower (dwarf varieties only), salvia, zinnia, yarrow
As the world’s population grows, it is becoming increasingly important for farmers to find new and innovative ways to produce more food. Hydroponics is one such innovation, and hydroponic towers are an especially promising way of using this technology. These vertical towers have many benefits over traditional farming methods. They are efficient and can produce high yields in a small amount of space. They also require less water than traditional farming, and the water they do need can be recycled. So go for hydroponic towers as they seem to be the future.