Over the past years as a gardener I've been amazed at one thing in particular - each location the tower is placed in offers different challenges. Even indoors, where we can control climate, air flow, light, and watering we sometimes forget that plants are living things and we sometimes need to adjust to their needs.
Here are a few simple rules that will help maximize what you get out of a growing cycle in the Nutritower:
1 - Consistency is king!
If your plants are always watered and lit consistently, they will thrive. It's pretty simple - plants are generally creatures of comfort. Big shifts in temperature, watering, air quality or light will generally impact plant growth in some way or another. Keeping your plants as stress-free as possible is the best way to ensure consistency in their progress.
2 - Clean environment
I know we think of plants as things that grow in dirt, therefore cleanliness shouldn't really be an issue. This couldn't be further from the truth, especially indoors. In a garden there are thousands of different things keeping everything in check - bugs eating other bugs, soil bacteria breaking down nutrients, enzymes keeping roots free of decay and debris, etc. Indoors, most of that doesn't exist, so it's very important to keep the area clean. Having a nice indoor area for plants also means it's a potential playground for unwanted pests as well. Without the natural predators you'd find outside, things can go south pretty quick. Keeping things clean will prevent most problems associated with indoor gardening problems.
3 - Water quality
Frequently changing out the water in your Nutritower will ultimately help your plants grow faster and stronger. Because in hydroponics water is used to deliver nutrients instead of soil, it is very important to keep the quality of the solution at optimum levels. Topping up the tank as needed will keep the solution fresh. We then recommend changing the water at least once every 3-4 weeks, but every 2 weeks is even better.
4 - Air Flow
This is fairly simple, but often gets overlooked. Placing a fan near your tower will help air circulation which in turn will help your plants get more of the Co2 they need to grow. It also helps keep pests away and the plants will grow more robust if there is a good air current close by.
5 - Pick Your Plants Wisely
Some cultivars are better than others. Genetic selection over long periods of time has given us varieties of all kinds of plants that work best in certain environments. The seeds that we offer with the tower are selected for this reason. With a little research, you'll be able to source plants for your tower that will outperform others simply based on genetics! Don't be afraid to experiment here. It's part of the fun with gardening!
6 - Optimizing your Nutritower
I now grow with two different systems for a very simple reason. Not all plants need the same thing at the same time. In my main tower, I grow only leafy greens and herbs. The reason? I can tailor the nutrient cycle for these plants so they all "get along". They all pretty much require the same thing during their growth so you don't need to change the formula throughout the year. The other tower is more for the fun stuff - I use it to experiment with all the fruiting plants. For example, I can grow strawberries in the same tower as lettuce and herbs. It will even work quite well! However, if I just fill up a whole tower with strawberries and customize the nutrient blend for growth followed by flowering and fruiting I can increase yields to astonishing levels.
In my opinion, the most important thing here is to have fun with it! It's normal to make mistakes. Part of the pleasure of gardening is also going through the learning process.