One of the reasons people love Tower Gardens is because they water themselves. This is all thanks to the Tower Garden Timer! If you purchased a Tower before 2019, it would have included the analog Tower Garden timer shown below. Don’t worry, they both work great and we go over the differences and the Tower Garden Timer settings, no matter what one you have, below! Keep reading to learn how to set your Tower Garden timer to water plants automatically..
What’s the Difference Between Them and Why the Change?
Did you know that Towers didn’t come with a timer in the early days? The pump just ran 24/7. After some testing, they found plants grew much better when the pump was not running continuously and the roots were able to absorb more oxygen. Back in 2008 when we first started growing Tower Gardens, the only timer available was an indoor 15 minute increment timer. Remember the ones you used to plug your lamps into when you went on vacation?
Fast forward to 2012, when the Juice Plus company bought Tower Garden, and the timer was upgraded to the analog timer you see below. At the time, this was one of the only 15 minute increment, outdoor/weatherproof timers available.
Analog Tower Garden Timer – Indoor Setting
Analog Tower Garden Timer – Outdoor Setting
COOLER GROWING PERIODS
- Set timer for 15 minutes on and 30 minutes off. 1 pin out, 2 pins in, all the way around the dial.
HOT GROWING PERIODS
- Set timer for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off. 1 pin out, 1 pin in.
The new digital timer is pre programmed for indoor or outdoor growing. While the run time is a little less than that when using the analog timer, the off time is shorter so it actually waters more frequently. The new Tower Garden timer has been tested under an extreme range of conditions, including the summer heat in the southwest desert. Tower Farms all over the US have been using the same timings for over a decade. The preprogrammed settings are designed to cover a wide range of conditions both indoors and outdoors.
I – is for Indoor growing and is programed to run 5 minutes on and 40 minutes off 24 hours a day.
O – is for Outdoor growing and is programmed to run 3 minutes on and 12 minutes off 24 hours a day.
And if you forget all of this, just turn the timer over and read the instructions on the back.
“The digital timer runs for 3 minutes outside. Is this enough?”
The Outdoor setting of 3 minutes run time fully saturates the roots and growing area. The 12 minutes off is actually 3 minutes less than the old Tork timer and increases the irrigation frequency between run times. The shorter run time of the new timer is sufficient and can help increase the life of the pump, reduce electricity, and reduce mineral deposit on the Tower Garden.
“My crops are wilting. What is causing this?”
If your Tower Garden is wilting in summer heat it is usually because your minerals are too strong, probably full strength at 20 ml each of A & B solution, per gallon of water. Plants sweat to stay cool, just like people, and that’s called transpiration. As plants sweat they take up more water. When the minerals are too concentrated they cause plants to wilt, especially in the afternoon heat. Aeroponic/hydroponic plants require a weaker mineral solution during hotter periods. IMPORTANT: In the case of hydroponic/Aeroponic nutrient solutions MORE than recommended fertilizer is NOT BETTER!
HOW TO BLEND THE TOWER GARDEN MINERAL BLEND ACCORDING TO SEASON:
- COOLER GROWING PERIODS – 20 ml of each of A & B solution per gallon of water during cooler growing periods, when temperatures are below 85.
- HOT GROWING PERIODS – During the summer heat when temperatures are between about 85 and 95, we recommend 10 ml of each of A & B solution, per gallon of water. (NOTE: Don’t be concerned if the plants are getting enough nutrition, they are as the increased water consumption increases the mineral consumption).
- EXTREMELY HOT GROWING PERIODS – In extreme heat when temperatures are over 95, we recommend 5 ml each of A & B solution per gallon of water.
- FLUSH RESERVOIR – Flush the reservoir by emptying and refilling it with fresh water and minerals every 30 to 60 days. This prevents mineral buildup and wilting.
Order your new Digital Tower Garden Timer here. If you own an analog timer, I wouldn’t rush out and buy a new digital one. Just stick with what you have until you have to replace it.