- What grows well in a Tower Garden?
- Garden Tower Project
- What Is Vertical Hydroponics?
- Advantages of Vertical Hydroponics
- How does a Vertical Hydroponic system work?
- How To Set Up a Simple Vertical Hydroponic Tower
- What are the ideal plants for this method?
- Tower Garden Ideas You will Want for Your Homestead!
- 1. DIY Vertical Planter Herb Tower Garden
- 2. DIY Flower Tower
- 3. Pyramid Tower Garden
- 4. Hooded Tower Garden With Grow Lights
- 5. Strawberry Tower with Reservoir
- 6. The Juice Plus Tower Garden
- 7. Mini Aquaponics Tower Garden
- 8. Stacked Square Foot Garden
- 9. DIY Stacked Tower Pot Garden
- 10. Pallet Potato Tower
- 11. Potato Tower
- 12. DIY Onion Tower Garden
- 13. DIY Composting Garden Tower
- 14. Bean Pole Teepee
- 15. Primitive Tipsy Pot Planter
- 16. DIY Vertical Garden Tower
- 17. DIY Vertical PVC Planter
- 18. PVC Strawberry Tower Garden
- 19. DIY Aeroponic Tower Garden
- 20. Flower Towers by Glacier Garden Rainforest Adventure
- 21. DIY Tower Garden from Old Tires
- 22. Spiral Tower Garden
- 23. DIY Soda Bottles Tower Garden
- 24. Easy Tripod Trellis
- 25. DIY Garden Obelisk
- 26. Bok Tower Garden
- 27. Garden Tower from a Barrel
- 19 Sources for Seeds and Seedlings
- Seed and Seedling Glossary of Terms
- Seeds vs. Seedlings: Which Is Better?
- 6 Sources for Seeds
- 13 Tower Garden Seedling Farms
- Additional Resources
What grows well in a Tower Garden?
- What is the Tower Garden made from? January 14, 2020
- Tower Farms Saudi Arabia January 6, 2020
- Tower Garden Latin America December 30, 2019
- Tower Garden Switzerland December 27, 2019
- Examples of Aeroponic Tower Farms December 17, 2019
- Tower Garden Austria December 17, 2019
- Tower Garden in Germany December 15, 2019
- Tower Garden UK December 15, 2019
- France: European leader in agricultural production December 14, 2019
- Requirement for becoming a Tower Farm reseller December 8, 2019
- Crazy fact about the Netherlands December 5, 2019
- Growing strawberries commercially in a Tower Farm November 16, 2019
- Tower Garden Flex November 13, 2019
- Micro greens towers official new name is now ‘Baby Greens Towers’! November 10, 2019
- Tower Farms in Africa coming soon to Kenya! November 8, 2019
- Tower Farm Dubai November 6, 2019
- Vertical Farming with Aeroponic Towers by Tower Garden. November 6, 2019
- Tower Garden Europe, USA & Canada. September 28, 2019
- Organic nutrients for hydroponics and aeroponics June 24, 2019
- Promoting Tower Farms & Tower Garden at the Greentech in Amsterdam in the Netherlands June 24, 2019
- Tower Garden, Future Growing, True Garden & Agrotonomy. May 4, 2019
- What Tower Garden size is right for my Tower Farm? May 1, 2019
- Is the Tower Garden a hydroponic tower or an aeroponic tower? April 29, 2019
- Thank you, Qatar for welcoming Tower Garden® technology! April 28, 2019
- GFIA tradeshow in Abu Dhabi April 27, 2019
- Thank you Dubai for being Dubai! April 26, 2019
- Growing tomatoes commercially in a Tower Farm April 26, 2019
- The aeroponic Microgreens Tower by Tower Garden® April 26, 2019
- Operating guidelines for a Tower Farm April 25, 2019
- Managing the pH and EC of a Tower Farm by Tower Garden®: April 24, 2019
- Tower Farm’s inception in the Philippines April 12, 2019
- How does a Tower Farm automated irrigation system work? April 7, 2019
- The Kuwait International Agro Food Expo is a scam! March 20, 2019
- Agrotonomy provides tower farm greenhouse turnkey solutions November 21, 2018
- Coco Coir for Tower Garden November 21, 2018
- Growing aeroponic strawberries on a Tower Garden October 2, 2018
- Tower Garden & Urban Farming October 1, 2018
- Growing aeroponic cucumbers on a Tower Garden September 30, 2018
- Tower Garden & Tower Farm in the UK September 27, 2018
- Tower Farm in Abu Dhabi September 25, 2018
- First aeroponic Tower Farm in Asia September 15, 2018
- What tower system is recommended for a school? September 7, 2018
- Tower Farms in India (and southeast Asia) September 6, 2018
- Tower Farms Coming to Dubai – UAE September 5, 2018
- Purity of the nutrients used for Tower Garden and Tower Farms September 4, 2018
- Tower Farm & Tower Garden technology at the International Green Week in Berlin (IGW) September 3, 2018
- Agrotonomy cancels its plan to exhibit at the Saudi Agriculture Show in Riyadh in October 2018 September 3, 2018
- Aeroponic Farms & Tower Farms August 20, 2018
- Growing crops on a Tower Garden Indoors August 20, 2018
- How does Tower Garden work? August 20, 2018
Garden Tower Project
Garden Tower Project, LLC is a small, dynamic company with big ideas based in Bloomington, Indiana. Committed to socially responsible practices at every level, our mission is no less than to transform gardening, urban agriculture and food sustainability around the globe. To us, food security is about growing healthy food anywhere under a wide variety of conditions, simply, affordably and collaboratively. In an era of rapidly rising food prices and industrial farming practices that strip our food of nutrients essential for good health, we believe the Garden Tower 2™ is a potent step towards empowering people in their own food security.
The multi-patented Garden Tower 2™ is a self-contained vertical garden/eco-system which allows you to grow your own food, easily and naturally. You can grow 50 plants in just 4 square feet! The integrated vermicomposting column allows you to turn kitchen scraps into organic fertilizer. The finished vermicompost can also be utilized to enrich other areas of your yard, garden or potted plants further reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.
The Garden Towers easy-to-access nutrient collection drawer allows for systematic collection of 100-percent of unused water to conserve and recycle lost nutrients back into the tower. Our advanced engineering allows for effortless one- handed rotation for plant access and sunlight.
The Garden Tower 2 is made from 100-percent recyclable food-grade plastic. The simple, sturdy design ensures many years of trouble-free use. Every component of the composting Garden Tower 2 is produced from “Food-Grade” high density polyethylene. It is free of BPA, plasticizers, phthalates, and impurities that can become bio-available over time and our formulations are designed specifically to avoid compounds on the “red list” of potentially harmful toxins.
We are dedicated to growing our commitment to socially-responsible practices and are in the process of testing Bio-Plastic Resins. The Bio-Resin we will are testing is made from 93% sugar cane and is 100% Non-GMO. The major advantage is the reduced environmental impact. The bio-resin is carbon negative — that is to say that it pulls more carbon out of the atmosphere (in its creation) than is released by all processes involved in the production.
Long-term, we feel society needs to “grow” all of our plastics and we’re working with leaders in this industry to support the transition. In the event we were to win this award, it will be used to further our ability to switch over to entirely bio-resin based manufacturing.
What do you do when you don’t have enough ground surface for all your planting needs? This is a problem that drove humans to develop the concept of vertical farming.
Think multistorey buildings or skyscrapers, and you have the same working principle behind the concept. Vertical farming is all about cultivating more by stacking multiple layers of planting surfaces.
It is easy to see why the concept becomes highly desirable for hydroponics. Since indoor hydroponics enthusiasts often suffer from lack of floor space, vertical hydroponics is often the only choice.
What Is Vertical Hydroponics?
Vertical farming is the growing of crops in vertically stacked layers. Vertical hydroponics, as the name suggests, is the combination of hydroponics and vertical farming.
So in a vertical hydroponics grow system, you will have several stacked levels, with plants being grown on each level. It is closely associated with gardening and farming in urban areas like cities.
The practice is also known by several other names. Tower hydroponics, tower gardens, vertical grow systems are the most popular names.
Incidentally, the practice of vertical gardening is certainly not new. It has its roots in Ancient history.
The Babylonians had a similar idea when they built the Hanging Gardens in around 600-500 BC. This Ancient Wonder had flowers, shrubs and even trees growing in massive tiered gardens.
In modern times, hydroponics and vertical gardening seem made for each other. Using soil as growing medium increases the weight of a vertical growing system.
Hydroponics, on the other hand, can reduce the overall weight of the upper layers by at least 30%, if not more. This means that you can stack more layers.
The main challenge then is in delivering adequate water+nutrients and light to plants at all the levels.
The Babylonians had to use water flowing from the mountains, along with manual water screws to irrigate the higher levels. Water pumps make this task much easier in the 21st century.
Providing light can be a challenge, especially indoors. If your hydroponics system is outdoors, then the ancient idea of using staggered layers is perfectly viable.
But staggering levels come at the cost of additional. Indoor vertical systems can use properly positioned grow lights to create an ultra-compact, and high yield grow system.
Advantages of Vertical Hydroponics
Compact & Space Saving Design
This is one of the main reasons why many experts are touting vertical gardening as the future of food production. You can grow more produce even in small indoor spaces, making this ideal for urban farming.
Does not require soil
This is, of course, a general advantage enjoyed by all hydroponics systems. But soilless growth is especially suited for a vertical system.
Lack of soil minimizes the growth of weeds or pests. It also makes vertical hydroponics the lightest and most practical form of vertical gardening.
Efficiency & Productivity
With these systems, in the surface space required for one plant, you can grow at least 3-4, if not more. High growth can be achieved by using the right nutrient mix and proper lighting.
Minimal Wastage & Maintenance
Vertical hydroponic towers typically have a closed nutrient+water flow system. There is no runoff as the water keeps circulating.
This removes wastage of precious resources and nutrients. The whole process can also be automated to reduce maintenance.
Disadvantages of Vertical Hydroponics
Of course, no system is without its weaknesses and flaws. There are several challenges that any grower will face when trying vertical hydroponics for the first time:
Water Flow Challenges
It is much easier to design a grow system with just a single level of plants. Delivering water and nutrients equally to all plants is not a major headache here.
When plants are stacked, getting water to the top layers might require higher powered pumps. And unless carefully designed, the lower levels may get drowned.
Light Supply Issues
Outdoor vertical tower gardens can mitigate the problem of light supply by using a staggered design. Instead of having layers directly stacked above each other, you can space them strategically.
But indoors, ensuring that all plants get the equal amount of lights can be challenging. Installing separate grow lights for each layer might the solution.
Yes, you can grow more plants with vertical hydroponics. But that also means that input costs also scale accordingly.
Using motors and grow lights can entail mounting energy bills. The water will also need constant monitoring in closed flow systems.
But the advantages of vertical hydroponics outweigh these challenges in an era when land and cultivable soil is getting more and more scarce.
How does a Vertical Hydroponic system work?
There are many different hydroponic techniques like ebb and flow and nutrient film technique (NFT). Due to the unique dynamics of a vertical system, NFT is often the easiest to do.
Nutrient Film Technique involves having a constant thin stream of water flowing over the root system of the plants. This is a closed, constant flow system, which makes it perfect for a vertical tower design.
Vertical Hydroponic Tower
In a typical hydroponic tower, the idea is to use a tube system with a pump to get water to the top layers. From there, you can use the assistance of gravity to channel the flow down to the reservoir.
You can either use a single tube to deliver water to the top level or use multiple channels to different layers for optimal delivery of water and nutrients.
DIY designs typically involve the use of PVC pipes or thicker drainage pipes for the central tower. On these, smaller holes are drilled at intervals to house the individual plants.
The plants are usually housed in net cups to allow the water to flow through the root systems.
In a tower design, the plants are grown at an angle, typically around 45 degrees.
Zig-zag Vertical Hydroponic System
Not all vertical hydroponics systems need to use the vertical tower design. Some outdoor designs use multiple PVC pipes arranged on a trellis frame at diagonal angles.
The pipes are usually in a compact zig-zag pattern going up. The plants are housed in net cups, placed in regular 90-degree angles.
These systems also use NFT techniques to grow the plants. The water with nutrients is pumped to the top pipe, from where it flows down in a constant stream.
With an indoor system, artificial lighting is a major concern. Since the plants in a tower vertical system are placed at an angle, the best option might be to use vertical grow lights.
Panels hanging from the ceiling may not be ideal since all the plants are at different heights. The best way to circumvent is by using multiple vertically mounted lights to cover all the growing surfaces uniformly.
How To Set Up a Simple Vertical Hydroponic Tower
You will need the following ingredients for this project:
- A large PVC pipe (3” or greater diameter)
- End cap for the pipe
- A large bucket, minimum 5 gallons, with a lid
- Submersible pump
- Net pots, around a dozen
- Vinyl hose for the pump, ½ inch inner diameter
- Loctite PVC Epoxy
- LED Grow lights
You will also need the following basic tools:
- A miter saw (or a hand saw should do the trick)
- A finely bladed jig saw
- Tape measure
- A drill and various sized drill bits
- Pencil and paper
The 5-gallon tub or bucket will be the reservoir. The PVC pipe will be placed into the tub by making a proper sized hole in the lid.
You can use any length of pipe depending on the height of the ceiling in your indoor grow area. For a standard tower, five feet seems like a safe choice.
Mark the PVC pipe with slots where the net cups will be placed. You can use the entire 360-degree surface area of the pipe for this purpose.
The holes drilled into the sides of the cup should be large enough to house one net cup. Plan the size of the net cups according to the size of the main PVC pipe.
You can cut up smaller PVC pipes to make holders for the net cups. Stick these to the sides of the main pipe to create 45 degree angled planters.
Use the tubing and motor to deliver water to the top of the tower. In a rain tower system, the water then percolates down through the inside of the pipe, delivering nutrients to all the plants.
For detailed instructions on the simple rain tower system and more advanced frame-based systems, check out these YouTube videos:
What are the ideal plants for this method?
Fast growing plants and herbs are the best options for tower hydroponics. This includes leafy greens like:
- Mustard greens
- Collard Greens
Other options include;
Fruits and some veggies can also be grown. These include:
Vertical hydroponics is a godsend for folks who don’t have access to the soil to grow things. Vertical grow systems can significantly increase the productivity of your indoor grow areas.
These days there are numerous commercially available readymade vertical grow kits on the market. They are a sure sign of the increasing interest in vertical hydroponics, especially among urban growers.
Increased input costs and complexity can be a drawback, but the benefits do outweigh these limitations. There is no doubt that vertical gardening is a vital technique for a more sustainable future.
These tower garden ideas will give your vertical spaces some beautifying revamp. You can grow vegetables, create a sustainable garden, and a breathtaking landscape. Check out the list to find the best tower garden for your homestead! We included a few which you can purchase so you can get your garden started right away.
Tower Garden Ideas You will Want for Your Homestead!
1. DIY Vertical Planter Herb Tower Garden
DIY Vertical Planter Photo by Grace and Good Eats
Talk about hitting two birds with one stone, this DIY vertical planter has both practical and aesthetic purposes. One: You can maximize space or make use of those idle vertical spaces in your garden. Two: Isn’t this vertical tower pretty and fantastic?
You only need 5 clays pots each bigger than the other. Stack them up and grow herbs or flowers around the spaces provided for planting. You can make two of DIY tower garden, one for each side of the porch for added curb appeal!
2. DIY Flower Tower
The idea for this DIY flower tower is to make your flowers look like they’re defying gravity. You can do that with a regular clay pot, flowers of your choice, and wire fencing. Bring on your creativity and get this project started you can complete in a day!
3. Pyramid Tower Garden
How to DIY Vertical Pyramid Tower Garden Planter Photo by Fab Art DIY
Build a wooden pyramid garden for an awesome angled finish. You will need to bring out your woodworking skills for this project. For a less costly or almost free pyramid tower garden, some wood pallets could come in handy.
4. Hooded Tower Garden With Grow Lights
This tower garden is an exceptional choice for those willing to spend some money on quality and efficiency on the homestead! The one pictured here is using special glow lights to aid the process. Buy Your Own Here
5. Strawberry Tower with Reservoir
DIY Strawberry Tower With Reservoir Photo by A Piece of Rainbow
Why buy dirty strawberries when you can grow them clean and fresh by building a DIY strawberry tower! The way these planters are stacked allows for optimal watering. You don’t only get fresh and juicy strawberries, this strawberry tower will also boost your garden landscape.
6. The Juice Plus Tower Garden
This tower garden is an all-in-one system ideal for growing everything you need in one unique compact space. It’s kind of amazing, you should read more about it and buy your own here! 🙂
7. Mini Aquaponics Tower Garden
Miniponics Photo by Mediamatic
This mini aquaponics tower garden is described as a mini fish and plant farm for your living room! It’s such a fantastic idea for an indoor tower garden working on the principles of aquaponics.
8. Stacked Square Foot Garden
Square Foot Gardening Photo by Homesteading
Square foot gardening is a great way to keep your plants organized and to save on space. Check out this square foot tower, and learn more about square foot gardening here.
9. DIY Stacked Tower Pot Garden
DIY Garden Planter & Birds Bath Photo by Home Stories A to Z
This topsy-turvy flower pot vertical garden is cute as well as functional! It looks like a work of art in itself that will compliment any flower garden. Understand how this gravity-defying tower garden works here.
10. Pallet Potato Tower
Diy Vegetable Garden Ideas Photo by Home Design and Decorating
This pallet potato tower is pretty much straightforward. You only have to look at it and you’ll know what to do. Look for food grade pallets which are safe to use for organic gardening. Follow the whole procedure here to grow potatoes the foolproof way all year round.
11. Potato Tower
Easy DIY Potato Towers Photo by Homemade Food Junkie
This gardening method is said to be the most foolproof way of planting potatoes. You get to grow more potatoes in a limited space and the harvest is the easiest. Build a potato tower with chicken wire and straws in this tutorial.
12. DIY Onion Tower Garden
The Replenishing Tower Photo by PicMia
Onions are definitely a staple ingredient you cannot do without in your kitchen. Grow onions vertically (and easily too in your windowsill) for a year-round supply with onion towers. This gardening venture is pretty fantastic that you can recycle plastic bottles to make onion towers.
13. DIY Composting Garden Tower
As a homesteader, you will adore this gardening innovation on a tower planter which also works as a Composter. It’s a great way to get rid of some your kitchen scraps.
Order your own here:
14. Bean Pole Teepee
Children’s Bean Teepee Photo by Gardening Know How
This teepee tower garden idea is a great project for your garden and for the family. It can serve both as a playhouse and once the kids are done with it, you can start growing climbing flowers or vegetables in it.
15. Primitive Tipsy Pot Planter
Primitive Tipsy Pot Planters | DIY Rustic Garden Decor Photo by Endless Acres Farmtiques
This teetering tower garden follows the concept of the topsy-turvy planters which is a cute addition to any garden. Make use of your old galvanized containers and transform them into rustic planters in this tipsy pots tower.
16. DIY Vertical Garden Tower
Vertical Garden Tower Photo by Sunset
You can build a wall of succulents for greenery all around! You can also grow lightweight plants like arugula, herbs, and strawberries in this tower garden design.
17. DIY Vertical PVC Planter
DIY Vertical PVC Planter Photo by Good Home Design
PVC pipes are relatively cost-effective and are reliable for many uses around the homestead, including gardening. There are different designs for PVC tower gardens and these designs come with materials you will need for your tower garden project.
18. PVC Strawberry Tower Garden
PVC Pipe Strawberry Tower Photo by National Gardening Association
This tower makes growing and picking berries a cinch! Follow the step-by-step tutorial to make these vertical strawberry tube planters.
19. DIY Aeroponic Tower Garden
The tower gardening method couldn’t be any perfect for aeroponics gardening. The previous allows suspending the roots of plants and receive nutrients through a fine mist.
20. Flower Towers by Glacier Garden Rainforest Adventure
Flower Tower by Glacier Garden Rainforest Adventure Photo by Glacier Gardens
This one is gorgeous. Think outside the box and plant flowers where you’d least expect it!
21. DIY Tower Garden from Old Tires
There are dozens of ideas for old tires in the garden from planters to furniture. Make room for one more and build your own tower garden from tires with this nifty design.
22. Spiral Tower Garden
Herb Spiral Photo by The Micro Gardener
This spiral garden would be helpful for reaching different plants at different heights! It also makes for an efficient watering system where you only have to water the top. This will allow for water distribution, and nutrients from the soil will not be washed out.
23. DIY Soda Bottles Tower Garden
13 Plastic Bottle Vertical Garden Ideas | Soda Bottle Garden Photo by Balcony Garden Web
Make your own vertical tower garden out of soda bottles. Nothing can get more sustainable than when you can help clean up and grow your own food at the same time.
24. Easy Tripod Trellis
Easy Tripod Trellis Photo by Quarto Knows
Build a tripod trellis and encourage vines to grow upward. You can also hang plants from the top. Get the whole idea in this DIY tutorial for a tripod trellis.
25. DIY Garden Obelisk
Easy Garden Obelisk Photo by Flower Patch Farmhouse
Make a trellis that is four-dimensional, a la obelisks of Egypt and Washington. You can grow trailing or climbing plants along each side for a better coverage. You may even grow climbing veggies, too.
26. Bok Tower Garden
No tower garden list is complete without the Bok Tower Garden! A must-see triumph of nature and bird sanctuary set in central Florida.
27. Garden Tower from a Barrel
Best: Tower Garden Instruction For Your Garden Photo by Garden and Seeds
This tower garden concept follows the design of the garden tower with a composter. The latter is somewhat pricey but luckily we have this DIY garden tower made from a barrel which works just fine.
Learn how to grow huge produce fast with a tower garden in this video from Chris Beat Cancer:
I love the idea of vertical gardens because they provide more spaces for plants to grow. Plus, they are nice to look at. Try your hand at these tower gardens you can make yourself for the ol’ homestead. Grow your own, and enjoy the convenience of having all the plants you want (or need) in a confined vertical space!
Let me know what you think, or how your own process of vertical gardening is going in the comments section below!
Up Next: 23 Budget-Friendly Garden Shed Ideas Worth Every Dollar
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 19, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
19 Sources for Seeds and Seedlings
If you’ve never grown a garden before, getting started can be a little overwhelming. Sure, Tower Garden simplifies things by taking out a lot of the guesswork. But for those of us without green thumbs, there’s still a bit of a learning curve, particularly when it comes to starting plants.
Should you use seeds or seedlings? Where should you get them? And then there’s all those terms—organic, non-GMO, hybrid, heirloom—just muddying the water.
Tower Tip: Are you also wondering what you should grow? Learn how to pick the right plants and more in this Tower Garden planning guide.
Read on for helpful info about seeds and seedlings, followed by a list of quality providers. If you still have questions after reading, be sure to let me know in the comments.
It’s time to master seed- and seedling-speak.
Seed and Seedling Glossary of Terms
Care for a quick vocabulary lesson? There are a few terms that may confuse beginner gardeners looking to buy seeds or seedlings (it took me a little while to get total clarity on these):
Organic seeds come from organic farms, which promote ecosystem health by refusing to use unnatural pesticides and other chemicals. Such chemicals are believed to be partially responsible for declining honeybee (i.e., pollinator) populations. Organic seeds grow organic produce, which you’ve likely seen at the grocery store or farmer’s market.
Non-GMO stands for “non-genetically modified organism.” Typically, the DNA of GMO seeds is altered to make plants more resistant against a particular pest or other problem. But the food that grows from GMO seeds hasn’t been proven to be safe. For this reason, GMO seeds have been banned in many countries, and many gardeners avoid using them.
Hybrid seeds are the result of cross-pollinating similar plants. The goal is to produce a plant with desirable characteristics (e.g., bigger fruit, greater hardiness, better color) of both parent plants. The primary drawback with hybrid plants is that the seeds they produce often don’t yield plants that match the parents. In other words, you can’t use the seeds of hybrid plants. Grocery store produce is often grown from hybrid seeds.
Heirloom varieties are open-pollinated. So, unlike hybrids, the seeds you collect from these plants will produce plants with similar characteristics. Most heirloom varieties have been preserved for decades.
I grow both heirloom and hybrid plants. But I always buy organic, non-GMO seeds (and my provider recommendations reflect that).
There are benefits to starting from both seeds and seedlings.
Seeds vs. Seedlings: Which Is Better?
Before I share my list of seed and seedling providers, let’s consider the benefits of starting from seeds compared to those of starting from seedlings.
A Tug of War contest on the Tower Garden Facebook page actually covered this topic. Growers were encouraged to vote for their favorite way to start their Tower Gardens: seeds or seedlings. The results surprised me a little. Votes for “seeds” nearly doubled those for “seedlings.”
Several growers commented with their reasoning. Here’s what a few “seed” voters wrote:
“I prefer to start my own seeds, this way I know they are organic and non-GMO.” – Nadine Moller
“It is fun for the kids to see the whole process, from seed to food on the table!” – Jenni Davenport
“More variety with seeds. Plus there’s joy in watching the miracle of a sprouting plant.” – Clayton Shivers
Those who voted for seedlings had great points, too:
“I use seedlings because I kill everything, even fake plants!” – Terry Shepherd
“Strawberries are very difficult to grow from seeds, so those I love the seedlings for.” – Shelley Briand
“Definitely seedlings for me! I don’t have the patience to wait for seeds.” – Brenna Ballard
To get a clear idea of the benefits of each method, I divided user comments into groups based on common themes. Here’s what that looks like:
Key Benefits of Seeds and Seedlings
Benefits of Seeds
Benefits of Seedlings
I thought it was interesting that both groups wrote that variety was a benefit. In my own experience, I’ve found seed providers typically offer the most options.
Find a seed provider that fits your needs.
6 Sources for Seeds
According to the results I shared above, you should start from seeds if you want to save a few dollars, are interested in witnessing the full growing cycle, or value plant variety or quality. You can use any seeds you like with Tower Garden. If you’re looking for a seed or seedling source, here are a few I recommend:
If you’re a new Tower Garden owner, why not start with the seeds that shipped with your system? These are non-GMO seeds that have been proven to grow well in Tower Garden. For reference, here’s a list of the seeds you receive:
- Beefsteak tomatoes
- Bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Gourmet lettuce
SeedsNow is an excellent provider for organic, non-GMO, heirloom vegetable and herb seeds. I’m a big fan of its $0.99 sampler seed packs, which provide an inexpensive way to experiment with new plants. Everything I’ve ordered from SeedsNow has arrived with a freebie seed pack and germinated well.
Be sure to check out the seed finder tool, which allows you to browse seeds based on growing region, conditions, method and other criteria.
High Mowing Organic Seeds
Since 1996, High Mowing Organic Seeds has been offering a wide array of organic, non-GMO vegetable, herb and flower seeds. Added bonus: all orders ship for free!
I turn to Rare Seeds for—you guessed it—rare seeds. And I’m not the only one. Several voters in the Tower Garden Facebook contest mentioned Rare Seeds as a trustworthy source for unique seeds.
Urban Organic Gardener Seed Club
Want someone else to select seeds for you? UOC just launched a Seed Club that sends subscribers organic, non-GMO seeds each month for $10. All you have to do is answer a short survey, and your shipment will be customized to fit your needs. I prefer to pick my own seeds, but this is a neat idea for the busy gardener.
Local Seed Swap
I attended my first seed swap earlier this year, and I left with more seeds that I brought with me. Seed swaps are a fun way to meet and learn from other gardeners in your area and find (or share) unique seeds. For example, last month I got tulsi (holy basil), meadowsweet, a mystery chili mix and a few other interesting seeds. If you don’t have any seeds to trade, don’t worry. Most seed swaps allow you to buy seeds or “swap credits.” Or you may even find some seeds are given away for free.
Get a jumpstart on growing with seedlings.
13 Tower Garden Seedling Farms
If you’re looking for the most convenient way to start your Tower Garden, seedlings are the way to go.
I’ve actually never bought seedlings from any of these providers, as I’ve always started my plants from seed. So I can’t offer any personal commentary on the following list. But I have read several positive reviews on the Tower Garden Facebook page.
These are certified Tower Farms, which means they grow seedlings specifically for Tower Gardens (i.e., they’re already growing in rockwool cubes, so you don’t have to wash dirt off the roots before transplanting).
Tower Tip: If you choose to buy seedlings from a local nursery instead, select only those with perfectly formed leaves and no evidence of bug presence. Damaged leaves typically mean plants have been sprayed for pests.
Shipping and on-site pickup:
Montecito Urban Farms
ATL Urban Farms
WNC Urban Farms, LLC
Oak Creek Farm and Homestead
LA Urban Farms
G2 Urban Farms, LLC
On-site pickup only:
Space Coast Gardens
So Cal Urban Farms
Tennessee Urban Farm
Once you’ve got them, be sure to read how to start your seeds (page 7) and/or transplant your seedlings. If you prefer to watch rather than read, here’s a great video tutorial:
And don’t forget about the 11 growing guides in the Resource Center. They cover everything from planting to pest control. Review this information to ensure your new plants flourish.
Do you have a favorite source for seeds or seedlings that I didn’t mention? Share it in the comments.