Is a Tower Garden really worth $500

Rick_Merlander(11)February 17, 2013

I am considering buying a Tower Garden (towergarden.com). I've heard great reports that you can grow lots of vegetables with little time and maintenance and of course very little space. Anyone tried one for awhile -like a year or more?
- Are they really any less likely to have pest problems?
- Are there any problems or difficulties with these, or are they really worth the $500.
- Has anyone seen a similar product so I can test the concept out without having to spend $500 just to see if vertical growing in a liquid medium is terrific or not?
Rick Merlander - Molokai, Hawaii

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Aindra(8, BC)

I believe you may get better, experienced answers at Hydroponics forum because I see the aeroponics also covered there.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:31PM
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yukkuri_kame(Sunset 19 / USDA 9)

I'm sure they will be less likely to have slugs or get browsed by rabbits.

Worth $500? If you are very limited on space, maybe.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 2:20AM
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tn_gardening

I got more time than money, so I'd be likely to make one (or something very similar)

In fact, i made a hydroponic grow box from an 18 gallon tote, some hoses & an aquarium pump. It was neat and things were going great until the aphids ate my lettuce.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:16PM
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Rick_Merlander(11)

That sounds like a pretty simple and effective system. The picture you posted looks like a great system also, who makes that?
Rick Merlander - Molokai, Hawaii

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 1:39AM
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ltilton

That was my first reaction, too. Sounds like something you could make yourself for a fraction of the price.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:38AM
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lunar_owl (7a / Long Island)(7a)

Or buy something very similar (and cheaper)...
http://www.amazon.com/Apollo-International-Tower-of-Flowers/dp/B007JWZT44/ref=pd_sim_sbs_lg_1

I'm thinking of getting one for some herbs and/or berries.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 4:07PM
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DeeLucas

We've had tower garden's for years. we loved them so much so that we now have an entire greenhouse using the same technology (see www.livingtowers.com). Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 10:49PM
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Rick_Merlander(11)

Wow!! I went to your website and looked at the gallery pictures, and that is an amazing set-up to be sure! Thanks a lot!

Rick Merlander - Molokai, Hawaii

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 1:03PM
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foolishpleasure

I saw 50 vegetable garden for 249.00. It is basically hanging pots If you good with wood work and have some tools you can make your own. I made a nice green house it does not look professional but it works.
Abe

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 7:12PM
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Rick_Merlander(11)

Hanging pots is an interesting idea - will take a look at that too. Thanks.

Rick Merlander - Molokai, Hawaii

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:33PM
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bluebirdie(Z8 SF E Bay)

Not sure if you'd entertain a single tier trial. There's Earthtainer by Raybo. With some herbs on the earth level and some climbers, it can mimic multi-layer with a much more reasonable cost. Will that work for your case as a starting point? Just search for earthtainer on Gardenweb :-)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 3:38PM
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Rick_Merlander(11)

I took a look at the earthtainer and the Earth Box as well. I like the idea of a single tier system as a test case, but still looking at the particulars of this one to see if it would work. Thanks for the idea!

Rick Merlander - Molokai, Hawaii

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 5:45PM
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scubastan(z8B-9A/20 Los Angeles)

I've been a hydroponic hobbyist for over 5 years now. I grow all my melon and tomato plants hydroponically. But for all my other vegetables I just use containers or raised beds.

I was at a farmers market not to long ago and saw this lady selling the tower system. I thought it was a very nice commercially designed tower until I saw the price tag. I think you would be better off with the Earthtainer.

1. In terms of Pests the only real pest you avoid are soil born pest. Any pest that you would have in an outdoor garden such as aphids, spidermites, catepillars will still exist.

2. The difficulty will be controlling the nutrient solution. Depending on your water supply the PH level can/will change very rapidly. Once your PH levels are off your plants will suffer. If you stick to their 1tier system and not their extended tube system then the resevoir is large enough to provide a decent buffer from PH swings. But if you use their extended sytsem your PH levels will swing often and quickly. Every time your PH levels change you have to add PH down or PH up solution, mix the solution, test the solution. If you are still off you have to repeat.

3. If you are interesting in growing your own vegetables just to supplement what you currently buy, I would suggest an Earthtainer. Its a nice passive hydroponic system you can purchase or construct.

If you interested in tinkering with hydroponics you can try a system called "DWC" which only requires a 20gallon rubbermaid tote with lid, an aquarium pump and air stone, your nutrients and testing supplies.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 7:41PM
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Rick_Merlander(11)

Thanks a lot for the perspective and especially the alternatives. Right now, I'm thinking of trying something like one or the other of the systems you suggest before considering trying the $500 Tower system. Your points are well taken.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:15PM
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uncle_t(Z6 Ontario CAN)

Here's an alternative option for you: The five gallon bucket with multiple grow holes. It appears you can stack these as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBh1fjMqjmI

I suppose one could modify it into a hydro system. I was going to try this method using soil and 14-litre clear plastic water jugs. I wouldn't pay 500 bucks for a grow tower. Save your money and get creative.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:40PM
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Rick_Merlander(11)

Prettty fascinating video, and it is hard to beat free for the price. Thanks for the suggestion!

Richard Merlander - Molokai

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 1:00AM
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