When researching whether to buy a Tower Garden, one factor people take into consideration is how much Tower Garden maintenance is involved? I have great news! There is very little maintenance. There’s no weeding, digging or tilling. It’ll take no more than 20 minutes per week to maintain a Tower Garden.
You’ll find our Tower Garden Maintenance Cheat Sheet is available to download at the end of this document!
So, what do you need to do and when?
Daily Tower Garden Maintenance
Check for pests and diseases
It is far easier to deal with a few bugs than it is to deal with a massive infestation! By remaining vigilant, and giving your tower the quick once over each day, you’ll stay ahead of the game. This should take a minute or two, tops!
Look for holes in the leaves, bugs on the underside of leaves and little black dots, which could be worm poop. There’s no need to treat for bugs if you’re not seeing any. Applying pesticides more often than recommended will do more harm than good. If your tower is outside, you can spray it down with water straight from the hose. Use enough pressure from the spray gun to dislodge any pests, but not too much that it will damage the plants.
Also look for changes in the colors of the leaves. Yellow leaves can be an indication of fungus, disease, incorrect pH, or normal aging of the leaves. If your leaves are yellow but you’re not sure why, read this post on yellowing leaves and what may be causing it.
In a nutshell, if you are growing inside or outside, be vigilant and treat when necessary.
Twice Weekly Tower Garden Maintenance
Check water level
It is important to get into the habit of checking your water regularly. At first you will use just a gallon or two a week. As the plants get bigger, and the temperatures heat up, you will start to go through more. Ensure you are not adding too much nutrients! It’s a common mistake and causes more harm than good. Read about that here. Your plants and your wallet will thank you!
There’s no set amount of water that your Tower will go through. There are too many variables including temperature, wind, humidity, number of crops and their size and how often you are harvesting it. We have grown tomato Towers in the past that have used 10+ gallons of water a day!
The pH is important for one reason and one reason only. Nutrient uptake. When the pH goes out of the ideal range the plants are unable to take up nutrients. Keep your pH between 5.5 and 6.5. This range hits the optimal pH for most crops. If your leaves start to yellow, the pH is likely outside of this range. Check this post for other causes and resolutions.
If you’re checking your pH a couple of times a week and you’re finding it isn’t changing much, go a few extra days before checking it again. You’ll start to figure out how your pH is affected and how often you need to check it. Personally, I’ve had to adjust the pH in my multiple home towers just a couple of times a year. Others are adjusting theirs a couple of times a week. It all depends on your water source and the crops that you are growing.
Be sure to check it AFTER you have added your minerals, not before. The minerals are acidic so they will lower the pH.
The Tower Tonic Mineral Blend you add to your reservoir is acidic. When the plants consume these acidic nutrients, the pH will naturally rise. If your pH is dropping quickly, the nutrient solution may be too concentrated. If your pH is always high you may not be adding enough. Don’t just add more. Check How often and how much nutrients should I be adding to my Tower Garden to confirm if you are adding the nutrients as directed.
Weekly Tower Garden Maintenance
Give it a clean
Once a week use an old scrub sponge, toothbrush or other small scrub brush to remove any algae, mineral build up or foliage from the Tower Garden. It will take just a minute or so if done regularly and will reduce the risk of it staining.
Monthly Tower Garden Maintenance
Clean the filter
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “don’t do as I do, do as I tell you”. Cleaning the filter is a perfect example of that!
As you can see, the roots can grow through the pump and filter, restricting the water flow. This could eventually burn out your pump! This can be prevented by cleaning the pump and filter regularly (if your pump has one), placing the pump at the side of the tub rather than the center and by trimming the roots. We talk about that below! I’ve heard of some growers putting their pump in a pantyhose, as an added filter. It’s not something I’ve done but it isn’t going to hurt!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Pumps sold from Tower Garden since around 2020 do not have mesh filters. While there is no filter to clean, you still want to ensure the roots are not getting sucked into and clogging the pump.
Trim the Roots
Remove the access lid, reach in and pull the roots. WARNING! There is an electric cable and a blue hose in the reservoir too. Be 100% sure that you have neither of these in your hand if you are going in with scissors. You could easily have the blue hose or worse, the electric cable, in your hand with a huge bundle of roots, so don’t go chopping willy nilly. Trim (or simply pull them) at a level close to the water line if full. There is NO NEED, I repeat NO NEED to remove each individual plant and trim the roots of each one. This will cause stress and worst case, you could lose the plant.
Bimonthly Tower Garden Maintenance
Empty and refill the reservoir with fresh water and nutrients
Every two months it is recommended to empty the reservoir and refill it. This prevents the minerals from becoming unbalanced and having excessive amounts of a handful of minerals. This is known as “Mineral Lock” or “Nutrient Lock” and it can cause growth issues with crops. If your fruiting crops were producing, and suddenly stopped, Nutrient Lock could be the problem.
If you let your Tower run empty every time, there’s no need to do this. Use the clear drainage hose that came with the Tower, to drain the Tower. Slide it on the center of the shower cap and turn the pump on. The water is still rich with minerals, so use it to water your lawn or other plants.
Biannual or Annual Tower Garden Maintenance
Thoroughly clean your Tower Garden
Approximately once or twice a year, take the Tower apart, give it a thorough clean and put it back together. Check out our post on How to Clean your Tower Garden in 5 easy steps for an easy way to clean it.
So that is it! Easy right? Now you know that Tower Garden Maintenance is nothing to be afraid of, go out and give your Tower a quick once over. You’ll be glad you did.
If you don’t yet own one and you’re ready to jump in, order your Tower Garden here.
Download your Tower Garden Maintenance Cheat Sheet below.