Growing in the heat and humidity can be challenging to say the least. With the scorching temperatures and soaring humidity comes pest and fungus problems that can wreak havoc with yourcrops. Although not totally eliminating pests, the Tower Garden certainly reduces pests. Below you will find many Summer Time Growing Tips to help you and your Tower Garden crops deal with the heat.
- Keep your Reservoir Full. It takes much more to heat 20 gallons of water than it does 5 gallons. By keeping your reservoir full the water stays cooler (which your plants prefer) which means you lose less water through evaporation.
- Use a Dolly. Have you ever stood barefoot on a concrete surface, or even a wooden deck, in the middle of the afternoon? It gets pretty hot doesn’t it? If your Tower Garden Reservoir is placed directly on concrete, or other similar surface, the heat transfers to the reservoir, the water warms up (your plants don’t appreciate that) which in turn causes more evaporation which means the volume of water is less so the water heats up quicker. By using a Dolly or a thick rubber mat under your Tower Garden Reservoir you allow air to flow underneath it, reduce heat transfer and evaporation and generally make your plants happier!
- Place your Tower on the East side of a building. If you are growing delicate greens and lettuce and you have a spot on the East side of a building, move your Tower Garden there. The lettuce would much rather not have to deal with the heat, after all it is a cool weather crop. However the Tower Garden technology allows us to grow lettuce successfully in a Tower Garden throughout the summer. You certainly do not find anyone growing lettuce in the ground in Florida in the Summer, but you will find it in many Tower Gardens. The same can be said for Kale and Cilantro.
- Add Tower Tonic at half or quarter strength. Water evaporates but the minerals do not. Read this post here for a more detailed explanation. Your plants and your wallet will thank you for it.
- Set your timer to run continuously throughout the hottest part of the day. Are your plants looking like they are struggling a little in the afternoon? Set your timer to run the pump continuously between 2pm and 5pm or the hottest part of the day where you are. Follow the instructions on your timer and ensure the time is set correctly on the timer before setting it for the few hours that the it will run the pump continuously.
- Chill the water. Use frozen bottles of water to chill the reservoir. Use the largest bottle possible but ensure it is small enough to fit in the access hole. 32oz Gatorade bottles work particularly well. Fill them to about 1/2 an inch from the top to allow for the water to expand when it freezes. Have a few on hand so that you can rotate and refreeze. Ice will dilute the nutrient solution so it is not recommended.
- Harvest Lettuce sooner rather than later. Lettuce is generally a cool weather crop and you will rarely find anyone growing it in the ground in Florida, or many other parts of the country, in the summer as it is simply too hot! Due to the way the Tower Garden works we are able to grow many crops throughout the heat of the summer we would otherwise be unable to grow. However, harvest them sooner rather than later. By this I mean harvest the lettuce as baby leaves rather than a full size head. Over time the lettuce will start to bolt and begin to taste bitter. Then, it is about getting your timing right and having another lettuce seedling ready to go into the Tower to take it’s place.
- Run the hot water out of the hose before filling the reservoir. We’ve all felt how hot the water inside the hose can be when we first turn the tap on. When filling your reservoir ensure you allow the water to run on the ground (or other in ground garden) until it is cold (or cool at least). I’ve just given you tips on how to keep the water cool, the last thing you want to do is put the red hot water into there.
Do you have any other summer time/hot weather growing tips? Order your Tower Garden here.