Most of the country seemed to reach the end of Summer and spend just a few brief weeks in Fall before the Polar Vortex set in. It’s been a little cooler than normal in Florida, but that’s nothing compared to the 50+ inches of snow northern Wisconsin received in just 4 days!
There are a number of ways you can extend your growing season and continue to receive fresh, clean, local produce from your Tower Garden ALL WINTER LONG!
- Keep your Reservoir Full. 20 gallons of water will hold on to the heat much longer than 5 gallons will. By keeping your reservoir full the water stays warmer on those cold frosty nights (which your plants prefer).
- Use a Dolly. Have you ever stood barefoot on a concrete surface, or even a wooden deck, in the middle of a cold winter night? It’s pretty cold isn’t it? If your Tower Garden Reservoir is placed directly on concrete, or other similar surface, the cold transfers to the reservoir, the water cools much quicker. By using a Dolly or a thick rubber mat under your Tower Garden Reservoir you allow air to flow underneath it and reduce the rate at which it cools.
- Place your Tower in the sunniest location you have. The days are shorter and the sun less intense. You want to give your produce as much sun as possible and in return they will grow much faster.
- Add Tower Tonic at full strength. In the summer you reduce the amount of minerals you add (see post here for more details.) Be sure you revert back to regular strength (20ml of A and 20ml of B for every gallon of water you add). Read this post if you want to measure the Total Dissolved Solids with a TDS Meter.
- Set your timer to run continuously through the cold nights. The exact hours will depend on your temperatures. If temps are below about 40 degrees set the timer to run continuously through these hours. Follow the instructions on your timer and ensure the time is set correctly on the timer before setting it to run the pump continuously for a few hours.
- Heat the water. Add a submersible heater and set it to the lowest temperature (usually 68) when temperatures are falling below approximately 50 degrees. If the heater is longer than the reservoir is deep, stick it to the side of the reservoir at an angle with the suction feet.
- Cover your Tower Garden. Frost cloth can be used to cover your Tower Garden on frosty nights. It can be purchased online or at nursery stores and is pretty inexpensive. Ensure the cloth is not touching the crops to prevent them from being frost burnt. A small pop up greenhouse could be used to dramatically extend your growing season in many parts of the country (there is not much need for one in Florida). Check the specifications of the greenhouse to ensure it will stand up to your specific weather conditions and is the correct size for the number of Tower Gardens you have. You could also use a submersible heater and/or a small space heater when using a pop up greenhouse. Beware of fire hazards though!
- Use Grow Lights. Grow lights will allow you to grow year round inside your house, garage, office or other indoor area you have space. There are many different types of grow lights so you will need to research them to be sure they are suitable to grow what you want to grow. Tower Garden offers a LED set. More information on them can be found here.
Do you have any other winter time/cold weather growing tips? Add them to the comments below. You can order your Tower Garden here.