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Aeroponic Vertical Gardening Steps For Success

Aeroponic Vertical Gardening Steps For Success

Aeroponic Vertical Gardening success depends on two things, water and air.

You take your glass and put it under your kitchen sink faucet and turn it on. A stream of clear, cool water fills your glass, you raise it to your lips and drink a big, satisfying gulp.

Refreshing for you…but your plants may disagree.

Tap water may be safe for you and me (some may disagree), however it’s not always the best water for plant growth. In this post you’ll learn why – and more important, what you can do about it.

The (Possible) Problems with Your Tap Water

If you have filled your aeroponic gardening system straight from your water tap and never noticed negative consequences, that’s awesome – keep doing what you’re doing.

For those of us who have been growing but can’t seem to be able to completely solve leaf discoloration, diseases, stubborn pH, and other problems,  less than ideal water source can be the problem.

Chlorine, Chloramine, and Fluoride

Most of us are on city water systems and know that we have chlorine in our tap water, keeping it contaminate-free.

What most of us don’t know is that chlorine is one of the eight micronutrients plants require for healthy growth. But, in excess a good mineral can be troublesome.

Your tap water may contain too much chlorine for your plants to handle.

Chlorine toxicity can harm leaf growth causing plant growth to look scorched or bleached.

Over the past five years, Linda and I have been filling our aeroponic vertical gardens with chlorine freewater.   We lleft five gallon buckets of tap water uncovered in the sun for at least two days. This causes the chlorine to break down.

Many major cities now treat their water with a mixture of chlorine gas and ammonia called chloramine. This solution is harder to eliminate compared to chlorine alone.

Your tap water is most likely to also contain fluoride, which doesn’t do plants any favors. In fact, it can inhibit photosynthesis and result in necrosis, or death, of leaf tissue.

Hard Water

Because hard water affects  85% of the United States , it’s likely you have hard water.

Water is considered “hard” when it measures high in dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, which it picks up naturally as it tickles through deposits of limestone and chalk.

Characteristics of hard water are

  • Tastes strange (e.g metallic)

    tower garden mineral deposits

    Mineral deposits from hard water in a section of the tower of the aeroponic vertical garden.

  • Causes rust like stains in sinks and toilets
  • Leaves water spots on glass and dishes
  • Doesn’t mix well with soap (e.g. no lather)

The high mineral content in hard water poses an interesting problem for plants.

Plants need minerals right?

They need nutrients like calcium and magnesium, right?

But when they’re already getting them from tap water and you feed them a plant food such as Tower Tonic Mineral Blend, a nutritional imbalance occurs.

High pH is also a common symptom of hard water because the extra minerals act as a buffer, reducing the water’s acidity. Having high pH for an extended time can inhibit your plants’ ability to absorb nutrients.

If all of that isn’t enough, hard water may also cause scale deposits, or mineral build up on your aeroponic vertical garden growing system’s pump and irrigation system.

Tips for Improving Tap Water

Now that we have discussed the problems, lets look at a few solutions.

Activated Carbon Fiter

This fix is the simplest and least expensive: activated carbon filters. You may already have these in use in your home and not even realize it. They’re often built into water purifying pitchers, refrigerator water and ice dispensers, coffee makers, and more.

You can also buy activated carbon filters as under-counter systems and garden hose attachments. The garden hose attachments are typically marketed as “RV water filters.”

Activated carbon filters water through activated carbon, which traps:

  • Chlorine (and some chloramine and fluoride)
  • Sediment
  • Pollutants

An activated carbon filter usually makes your water smell and taste better.

Linda and I have had an activated carbon filter installed on the cold water line of our kitchen sink for over 10 years now. We not only drink from it, but also use it to water our house plants. When we need to give our house plants some fertilizer, Linda uses Tower Tonic Mineral Blend on her house plants…and on most plants outside.

We now have an ‘RV water filter’ on the yard hydrant near our aeroponic vertical gardens. We no longer have to put water in buckets for a couple of days before using it in our vertical gardens.RV Water for Vertical Garden.

When I got home with the RV filter and opened the box I learned that it required a water pressure  regulating valve to reduce the water pressure to 30 pounds before entering the filter. Check the brand you purchased if this is needed before you leave the store.

Activated carbon filters trap most of the particles in your water when used with low pressure, the reason for the water pressure regulating valve.

They don’t last forever. Plan on replacing your outdoor filter at least once a year. Our under the sink filter is replaced every four months, since it is used a lot more often.

Reverse Osmosis System

An activated carbon filter will solve most aeroponic gardening system water problems for most gardeners.

There aree some locations where the activated carbon filter just is not enough to filter your water source.

Your next recourse is to use a reverse osmosis water treatment system. This option is expensive, a several hundred dollar investment.

RO systems often use both an activated carbon filter and a cellophane-like membrane to effectively remove calcium, magnesium, chlorine, chloramine, and fluoride – basically all of the troublemakers present in hard water.

Most professional aeroponic and hydroponic farmers use RO systems.  The RO system eliminates mystery variables in the water.Creating  a controlled, predictable growing environment.

RO systems do have a major flaw, they waste water – as much 95% of the water that goes into it.

Softened water

Many homes located in an area with hard water have water softener systems. These systems are fixing the hard water problem, but…

Most water softeners use either sodium chloride (salt) or potassium chloride to remedy hard water. Plants are very sensitive to sodium and excess levels of potassium.

Remember the old cowboy movies of the alkoxide water hole surrounded by animal skeletons? That is what soft water does to your plants!

If you have a water softener it is best to have your water go through a RO system before using it on any of your plants, including your Aeroponic Vertical  Garden.

Routine Maintenance

Just because you are using an activated carbon filter or an RO system doesn’t mean you don’t have to do some routine maintenance.  Make the water in your aeroponic growing system as good as possible.

First it is important to drain and refresh your nutrient solution every two or three months.
Over time plant roots and other plant debris tend to fall down into thereservior. As this organic material decomposes, it opens the door to a host of issues, including plant disease and stinky water.

Second, try to keep your nutrient solution temperature in the 65-85 degree fahrenheit range. Also keep your pH level somewhere around 5.5-6.5.

Fluctuations are inevitable, and there’s no need to panic. But your plants will be able to consume the Tower Tonic Mineral Blend nutrients most efficiently when optimum conditions are met.

At the end of every growing season always clean and disinfect your aeroponic vertical garden. Tap Here to learn more about how to clean your aeroponic vertical garden.

If you have any more questions about the relationship between your water and your plants, leave a comment below.

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Tower Garden Vertical Garden

Other posts about vertical gardening that you may find helpful:

Vertical Garden Mistakes and Lessons Learned 

5 Ways to Keep Your Vertical Garden Alive While on Vacation

5 Research Backed Benefits of Aeroponic Gardening

Tower Garden Cookbook

If you found this post Aeroponic Vertical Gardening Steps For Success to be useful to you please retweet it on Twitter.

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Growing Vertical Garden Winter Vegetables

Vertical Garden Winter Vegetables

Vertical Garden Urban Farming

Our Aeroponic Vertical Garden has been in our greenhouse since mid-November growing fresh, toxin free vegetables for our salads and green smoothies this winter.

Tower Garden Backyard Tower Garden

December photo of plants that have been in the Aeroponic Vertical Garden for just two weeks.

It is nice to just go outside with a pair of scissors and pick fresh greens when we need them. Salad greens don’t come any fresher than that!

This year we are growing three kinds of lettuce, Swiss Chard, Chives, Parsley, and lots of Kale on our Tower Garden.

We grow the kale to use in our morning smoothies. We use a vegan protein shake mix.  Each morning we add kale to our smoothie and sometime Swiss Chard for variety. We also like to add chia seeds, two teaspoons of olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Some mornings we also add some cinnamon. Continue reading

Tower Garden Mistakes and Lessons Learned

Tower Garden Mistakes and Lessons Learned 2017

We went out into our garden to check our Tower Garden on the hottest day of the year so far.

The outside temperature was over 80 degrees to find our Tower Garden plants were all wilted and drooping!

All the months of growing these vegetables and they now looked like they where dead!

Tower Garden Mistakes and Lessons Learned

In the spring, we had two Tower Gardens that were producing well inside our home. We wanted them outside where they could grow with natural light and air circulation.

We had kale, collards, mustard greens, chard and parsley that were Continue reading

Hula Hoop Tower Garden Tomato Cage

Hula Hoop Tower Garden Tomato Cage

What do you do when you need a tomato cage for your Juice Plus Tower Garden and just can’t afford to purchase one?

You become resourceful and creative. That is what Vanessa Salazar did.

Hula Hoop Tower Garden Tomato Cage

She needed a tomato cage, right now, for her plants. She did not have the funds at that time to purchase a new one.

A trip to the lumber yard to purchase some PVC water line pipe, and to the Dollar Store to purchase some hula hoops and some duct tape.

Vanessa put the PVC pipe into the holes where the Tower Garden supports normally would go. She than duck taped the four hula hoops to them, making a homemade tomato cage.

Her creativeness to solve her needs is something that Red Green would be proud of. Great job thinking out of the box Vanessa!

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Tower Garden Cookbook

Tower Garden

Hula Hoop Tower Garden Tomato Cage

 

Other posts that you may find of interest:

How to Ensure Your Indoor Tower Garden Is a Success

Aeroponic Gardening 5 Research Backed Benefits

How to clean your Tower Garden

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Aeroponic Gardening 5 Research Backed Benefits

Aeroponic Gardening Tower Garden

Aeroponic Gardening

Aeroponic Gardening is now available to the average gardener. It is no longer only for commercial use. The introduction of the Tower Garden Growing System has made gardening practical for those with little or no land to garden. Today even if you live in an apartment building with only a balcony on an upper floor you can still garden.

There are many compelling reasons to grow your own food. Quality of the food, fun of gardening, growing organic….the list goes on. So it’s really no surprise that more than 1 in every 3 (approximately 42 million) American households have gardens.

Growing your own food in your backyard isn’t necessarily as simple as sticking a seed into the ground. There are important details to consider, including how much you will be able to grow, sustainability, safety and more – particularly when deciding how to grow your on food.

Sticking a seed in the ground may not always be your best option. But Tower Garden and the aeroponic technology it uses just might be. Here are 5 reasons why, backed by research.

Grow up to 30% more food 3x faster with less space, water and hassle using the Tower Garden Growing System.

1. Tower Garden can increase yields by an average of 30%.

The University of Mississippi compared product yield of crops grown in aeroponic growing systems and in soil. Researchers found the yields of plants grown with aeroponic technology were more than 30% bigger on average. Here’s the breakdown by crop:

  • Basil – 19% increase
  • Chard – 8% increase
  • Red kale – 65% increase
  • Parsley – 21% increase
  • Bell pepper – 53% increase
  • Cherry tomatoes – 35% increase
  • Cucumber – 7% increase
  • Squash – 50% increase

On a side note, the study also measured total phenolics, flavonoids and antioxidants in the produce grown. It turns out aeroponic and soil methods yield produce with comparable nutritional value.

Aeroponic Gardening

2. Plants grow up to 3x more quickly.

According to NASA, plants grow up to 3x faster in aeroponic growing systems compared to growing in soil. Plus, yields are more consistent, and, with grow lights, year-round growing is possible.

Aeroponic Gardening Tower Garden

3. Tower Garden uses as much as 98% less water.

Traditional agriculture uses approximately 80% of our water. This is a serious problem, especially for western states, where water is already in short supply. The good news? NASA found that aeroponic technology uses up to 98% less water.

4. A vertical design requires 90% less space.

Another know issue with traditional growing methods is that of space. You need a lot of it. We have less and less space to farm daily. Every two minutes we lose about two acres of farmland to development according to this New York Times article. But growing vertically requires only 10% of the space traditional farming uses.

5. Pollution and pests are less of a problem.

How much do you know about your backyards history? City soil is often contaminated with heavy metals, asbestos, petrochemicals and other pollutants….a number of which you can’t test for(I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want that stuff seeping into food I ultimately eat). Luckily, Tower Garden is a soil-less growing system. So there’s no cause for concern about contaminated dirt.

Worried about pesticides? Thanks to a close-loop system that recycles water and nutrients, Tower Garden plants experience less stress. So they’re healthy enough to naturally resist most pests. Weeds are not an issue, of course, since they need soil to grow.

You could be growing your own organic produce today. You could be growing your own smoothie greens all winter long. You could be picking your own fresh salad greens today. You could just CLICK HERE now and order your Tower Garden Growing System and help keep our water and air cleaner.

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Tower Garden

Tower Garden Cookbook

 

 

Additional posts that you may find helpful:

Tower Garden Urban Gardening Soil Dangers

How to Plan Your Perfect Tower Garden

Why Should I But A Tower Garden?

 

If you found something of use that you read in this blog Aeroponic Gardening 5 Research Backed Benefits please re-tweet it on Twitter.

How to Plan Your Perfect Tower Garden

How to Plan Your Perfect Tower Garden

Spring is in the air! Here in the Pacific Northwest the plum and cherry trees blossoms have come and for the most part are already gone, being replaced with new leaf growth. Now is the time to begin to plan what you are going to be growing this year in your Tower Gardens. There are 3 important steps to planning and planting a Tower Garden:

Photo of Tower Garden with new plant growth.

Tower Garden in my greenhouse with plants just a few weeks old.

  • Find the ideal location
  • Picking the right plants based on your preference and growing conditions
  • Stocking up on necessary supplies

If this is your first season planting on brand new Tower Garden that you just purchased from me you will need a location with about a 2.5 square foot print with the following things: Continue reading