Yes, you can garden indoors.
As the colder months approach, time spent digging your hands in the soil of your glorious garden or front porch pots takes a backseat in favor of indoor DIY projects, perfecting savory stew recipes, and generally just enjoying the confines of the couch on a chilly evening. But for the green thumb community, nothing quite replaces the therapeutic value of playing with your plants. Thankfully, there’s a garden tower for that!
As an urban dweller, I’ve been looking for a way to nourish my love for gardening. Small pots of herbs can only go so far, and if you get overzealous, you might find all the pots end up creating clutter. The answer to my metropolitan woes is an indoor garden tower. And for those who have to say farewell to their precious outdoor garden for months at a time due to the weather, a tower is an equally ingenious solution.
Here, I’ve outlined some helpful recommendations on garden towers, from why you should try one to important tips to ensure you enjoy every moment of the experience.
What is a garden tower, exactly?
Whether you don’t have space to garden, or you’re looking to grow fresh food all year round, a garden tower is great. The self-contained gardening system uses no soil, little water, and produces fresh food in record time. The vertical concept consists of a food-grade plastic that’s UV-stabilized and BPA-free. You’ll receive pods filled with rockwool and seeds, which will eventually be placed in individual compartments where they’ll grow.
Is set up easy?
In my humble opinion, anything that requires you to use screws and connect wires will require a bit of patience, but as a total novice at putting anything together, I was able to set up my tower on my own in about an hour. Once constructed, you’ll need to download an app on your phone to connect the tower to your WiFi. After that, you can place your pods in their compartments and you’re good to go!
Choosing the garden tower for you.
Choosing the right garden tower comes down to how many plants you want to grow, how much space you have, and of course, budget. There are systems that can hold 20 plants, and others that can hold more than 300. The tower I chose allows me to grow 30 plants at one time, using just 2 square feet of space.
Why I chose Gardyn.
I’m all about combining tech with aesthetics, so Gardyn was right up my alley. The modern design of this tower looks brilliant in my home. In fact, the first thing people say when they see it is “Wow! That’s so beautiful!” But beyond that, what I think is so cool is that the app provides so much help thanks to the virtual personal growing assistant, Kelby. Kelby uses multiple sensors to monitor your light and water schedules, alerts you when your water tank is low or needs to be cleaned, informs you of potential plant health hazards like root rot, and so much more.
Exactly how do plants grow in the tower?
While every design may be slightly different, Gardyn uses a “hybriponic” technology that recirculates water in a closed loop. The sustainable system ensures a water consumption reduction of 95 percent compared to traditional methods. Additional air and nutrient circulation, along with a long enough base in each yCube (plant pod) ensures root systems flourish. LED grow lights provide the tower with proper light. You can adjust watering and lighting schedules on the app. With Gardyn, Kelby provides me with a recommended schedule, which I have slightly altered (the more you pay attention to your tower, the better you’ll know how much water and light is really needed).
You’ll never waste food.
For urban dwellers like myself, trips to the market are both time consuming and expensive. For instance, when I need fresh herbs for a recipe, I almost always waste the leftover herbs. Having fresh food at your fingertips from a garden tower allows you to take only what you need, when you need it.
But what about pests?
With your garden tower residing indoors, hungry critters will be left to seek elsewhere for a healthy bunch of butter lettuce or a ripe tomato. Plus, the absence of soil makes it less inviting for pests. Gardyn even has a live view of the tower within the app, so you can see your plants in real time.
And how will the food taste?
As a garden tower owner, I can tell you that every ounce of food I’ve smelled and consumed has been better than the store-bought stuff. Outdoor gardeners can attest to this. The food is far more flavorful. When I first took a bite from an arugula leaf on my tower, I couldn’t believe how powerfully peppery it was! In comparison, many fruits and vegetables in the grocery store require a long shelf-life. Hybrid varieties offer the best characteristics for this, but they’re notably less rich.
Be mindful of maintenance.
When I first got my garden tower up and running, I thought things would be totally hands-off. Gardeners know that no plant, whether A.I.-assisted or not, can be fully left alone. The plants on your garden tower require upkeep. You need to harvest, prune, ensure enough room between each plant, keep a clean environment, and fill the tank with new water and plant food occasionally. Every now and then, despite your best efforts, a plant will die. But fear not! Depending on the tower you choose, you can jump right on the app and order a replacement pod.
A little love goes a long way.
Whether winter is getting the best of you, or you don’t have a place to garden outdoors regardless, a garden tower gives you the opportunity to watch your favorite foods come to life. I find it therapeutic to spend some time each week checking in and cleaning up my plants. Gardeners know the joy that comes with this. With a garden tower, you have the opportunity to work less and enjoy more—all year round!
Give the special gardener in your life a little love this holiday season! Go now to see Bob Vila's best gifts for green thumbs.