Tag Archives: Urban Gardening

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

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

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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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Keeping Tower Garden cool in summer heat

Keeping Tower Garden Cool in Summer Heat

Here are some tips on how you can keep your Tower Garden cool in the summer heat.

Keeping Tower Garden cool in summer heat

Raise your Tower Garden off the ground.

Keeping Tower Garden cool in summer heat

Tower Garden Dolly lifting the reservoir off the hard, hot surface.

By lifting your Tower Garden off the ground you reduce the transfer of heat from the ground, or any other surface, into the reservoir. The Tower Garden Dolly not only raises the reservoir off the ground, but also allows you to easily move it.

Add frozen water bottles to the water reservoir.

Any temperature of 85 degrees or above will put your Tower Garden’s plants into distress. When experiencing high temperatures you can lower water temperature by adding frozen water bottles or a bag of ice to the water reservoir. Frozen water bottles are reusable. They can be put back in the freezer and refroze for use again. Plants do best when the water temperature is keep between 65 and 70 degrees.

Protect your plants from midday heat stress.

Keeping Tower Garden cool in summer heat

Tower Garden being protect from extreme heat by the Tower Garden Weather Protection Blanket

Move your Tower Garden into the shade or cover your plants when it is hot. During periods of extreme heat, plants are being stressed when temperatures are above 85 degrees. The plants will literally begin to cook! They need more water as they deal with the loss of water by evaporation through their leaves. If you are not able to move your Tower Garden into the shade than cover it. Use a row cover cloth that you can purchase from a garden supply store or the Tower Garden Weather Protection Blanket. 

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I Almost Killed My Tower Garden


Other posts that you may find useful


5 Ways To Keep Your Tower Garden Alive While You Are On Vacation

How To Grow Your Perfect Tower Garden

Tower Garden Starting Seeds


Starting Seeds Indoors for Spring Planting

Starting Seeds Indoors for Spring Planting


It’s spring and it’s time to begin starting seeds indoors. Spring is here! Some of the birds have returned with their courting songs.  As the days get longer we feel the warmth of the sun on our faces. The tulips are up, the tress are budding.

But the reality is for most of us that we have a another month or more of frosts before its officially time to enjoy gardening outdoors again.

Luckily, you can get a taste of spring by starting your garden now. In fact you should start your garden now, because an earlier start means an earlier harvest!

I just lamented that it’s not time yet to start gardening. Then I encouraged you to start your garden?


Here’s the thing: we may not be able to start plants outdoors yet, but we can begin by starting seeds indoors. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to get a head start on the spring growing season by doing just that.

Starting Seeds Indoors for Spring Planting

When to Start Seeds Indoors

Most seed packet labels suggest when to plant based on your growing zone. But in case your seed packet doesn’t – or you’ve lost the packet – here are some general suggestions for a few popular crops.


  • Broccoli, kale, lettuce and other frost-tolerant greens, start seeds six weeks before your final frost date, and transplant seedlings outside four weeks later.
  • Cucumbers, melons, squash, and other hardy fruiting crops, start seeds a couple weeks before your final frost date, and transplant seedling outside four weeks later.
  • Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and other frost-sensitive fruiting crops, start seeds about four weeks before your final frost date, and transplant seedlings outside six weeks later.

If you’re not sure when to expect the final frost for your area, try this frost date finder tool.

Tower Garden Tip: With the Tower Garden Grow Lights Kit, you can garden indoors any time of the year. That means you can start your plants as early as you like and simply move them out once spring arrives. Click here for a blog post about using grow light on your Tower Garden.

5 Things You Need to Start Seeds Indoors

Make sure you have the following tools and supplies to improve your odds of successfully growing strong, healthy seedlings indoors.

1. Quality Seeds

If you want to start your own plants from seed, you’ll first needs seeds. For the best results you should use a high quality seed.

When it comes to sourcing seeds, I’m partial to Territorial Seed Company. They offer organic and heirloom seeds. Two other companies that I recommend are Seeds Now and High Mowing – both offer organic, non-GMO seeds.

Seeds for basil, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, peppers and tomatoes ship with every Tower Garden. If you ever want to restock your supply of these same seeds, you can find them here.

Recommended reading: 17 Sources for Seeds and Seedlings

2. Growing Medium

Next, you’ll need something to put our seeds into. Tower Garden uses rockwool – which helps plant roots efficiently absorb both water and oxygen – and vermiculite as a growing medium.

If you’re using rockwool, it’s a good idea to soak it in pH-balanced (shoot for the 5-6 range) water before planting, as rockwool tends to favor the basic end of the pH scale.  I use water that I have let sit for a couple of days in a bucket to let the chlorine evaporate from it. After 30 minutes of soaking the rockwool, you can plant your seeds.

Wondering how many seeds to plant in each rockwool cube? Generally speaking, the smaller the seed, the more of it you should plant.

When in doubt, reference your seed packets. Instructions for planting are often included on the label.

After planting your seeds, lightly cover them with dry, coarse-grade vermiculite. (This helps keep moisture around the seed, improving germination rates. Seeds also need total darkness to sprout.) Then gently sprinkle a little of the pH balance water you prepared over the vermiculite.

Tower Garden Tip: For Smaller seeds, fill rockwool cube holes only half full with vermiculite.

3. Propagation Container

Seeds – check. Growing medium – check. Now where are you going to plant your freshly planted seeds?

If you order a Tower Garden, it comes with a propagation tray. Which is pretty handy.

But, if you’re startimg your seeds without it, here are a couple of other options:

  • DIY – Most any container that can hold a little water should work. I often use an empty plastic container that originally held salad greens from the grocery store.
  • Buy – If you’re starting lots of seeds at once make a trip to your local hydroponics store. The have propagation trays and plastic dome covers that fit over the top to make a miniature green house. I also use a heat pad under my propagation container which improves germination significantly. The heat pad evaporates water in the tray, and the dome cover holds the moisture in. This creates the humid environment that seeds love.

Starting Seeds Indoors for Spring Planting

4. Water and Nutrients

Is your container of planted rockwool cubes ready? Add less than a half inch of the pH balanced water that your prepared to the tray.

Check your seeds daily and add more water as necessary to ensure the tray doesn’t dry out.  Be sure to use the water that has allowed the chlorine to evaporate.

After my seeds have begun to sprout (which can take a few days to a week or two depending on the plant and propagation conditions – again, reference your seed packet label), you can start to feed them with a 50% diluted Tower Garden nutrient solution. I add twice the amount of water to the nutrient solution to make my diluted blend.

5. Light

Before your seeds germinate, they don’t need light. So you can put them anywhere convenient. I do my propagating in my greenhouse.

But, as soon as you see sprouts, you should put your plants where they’ll get lot’s of light. In most cases this means using grow lights.

You may be wondering, “I’ve got a sunny window, so do I really need grow lights to start my seedlings?”

Simply check your seedlings, and they will tell you. Most modern windows have UV filters built into the glass blocking the full spectrum light that plants need to thrive.

Either they are rich in color and compact in stature, or they are pale and spindly. If your seedlings look more like the later, they probably aren’t getting enough light.

I recommend fluorescent grow lights. You can purchase a 2 foot grow light at your local hydroponics store or use your Tower Garden Grow Lights if you are starting several trays of seedlings. Your local hydroponics store has the correct color spectrum grow lights for the plant types you are using. If you are growing a flowering bud plant start it will need a red spectrum grow light. Most grow lights are not red spectrum lights.

Here is a photo of a stand my friend Mike DeWayne made from PVC pipe to hold his grow light above his propagating trays.

Starting Seeds Indoors for Spring Planting

Mike DeWayne Photo

Another nice thing about fluorescent lights is that they do not put off much heat, so you can place them as close three inches away from your seedlings. Always keep your lights close to your seedlings, adjusting them as the grow, to keep them growing compactly.

Moving Seedling Outside

When it comes to moving your young seedlings outdoors, a couple of items make the process go a little smoother. The following will protect your plants should you get an unexcited, light frost.

  • Manage the temperature inside your Tower Garden with a submersible heater. Go to your local pet store and purchase an aquarium heater to put in the Tower Garden reservoir, click here to see my blog post on its insulation. When set to its lowest setting this should keep your water in the 65 degree range, the perfect temperature for roots.
  • Cover your seedlings with a Weather Protection Blanket to shield them from chilly nights. (Bonus: This UV-resistant blanket can also protect your plants from heat stress in hotter months.)  You can also use row cover material from local nurseries.

How to Harden Off Seedlings

If you’re like me, you’ll eagerly await the day you can transplant your seedlings outdoors. But for best results, you should introduce your plants to the outside world gradually. This is a process called “hardening off.”

When you start seedlings indoors, they know only the stable, safe conditions of your home, where they enjoy consistent temperature, ideal lighting, and protection from pests.

If you pluck them out of that little utopia and stick them into an environment with wind, rain, temperature fluctuations, insects, and so on, they’ll get stressed.

That stress can stunt your seedlings’ growth. In fact, it could even kill them. And clearly, if that happens, your reasons for starting seeds early become rather moot.

So hardening off is important. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy, requiring only a few minutes each day starting one week before transplant day.

Just follow these steps:

  • For seven days, set your seedlings outside in a relatively protected area (e.g., somewhere with indirect sun and little wind exposure).
  • On the first day, leave your seedlings out for only an hour. Then each following day, add an hour and start to expose them to more sunlight.
  • On the final day, your seedlings will have experienced seven hours outside. After that, they should be hardy enough to transplant.

Tower Garden Tip: To start the hardening off process even earlier, aim a small fan—set on low—at your seedlings as they grow indoors, and gently touch their leaves and stems a few times each day.

How to Transplant Seedlings

Once you’ve hardened off your seedlings and they’re about three inches tall with roots growing from the rockwool, you can transplant them. Plant one seedling per growing port in your Tower Garden by gently pressing the rockwool cube in until it touches the base of the net pot.

Tower Garden Tip: Starting a Tower Garden full of new seedlings? Be sure to use half-strength nutrients for the first month. That formula is: 10 mL of Mineral Blend A + 10 mL of  Mineral Blend B / gallon of water.

In as early as a month, you will be enjoying the first harvest from your Tower Garden.

Your questions and comments are always welcome. Just use the comment box below.

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I Almost Killed My Tower Garden





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Other posts of interest:

How to Plant Your Perfect Tower Garden

Why should I buy a Tower Garden?

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