22 Replies Latest reply on Nov 22, 2017 7:43 PM by happyfood

    New to the TG - silly question

    tanyamarie1

      I am new to the Tower Garden and have seedlings in most of the spots.  I am currently running the water 15 minutes each hour.  My question is: do I run the water 15 minutes per hour each hour of the day or do I run it every other hour or so?  I had someone who has grown in a horizontal hydro water system tell me that my rock wool is too wet.  How will I know if I am watering it too much?  Thanks for your help.

        • Re: New to the TG - silly question
          joed

          Hi tanyamarie1, If you are growing indoors with the TG and using the stock nutrient pump timer, there is a very good chance your rockwool is indeed too wet. Unfortunately, increasing the Off time will do little to fix the issue... as the problem is the 15 minute On time. If you stick with the stock timer, the recommend timing (and the best you can hope to achieve) is 15 minutes On, 30-45 minutes Off. Increasing the Off time beyond 45 minutes (way too along already in my personal opinion) will cause more problems than it solves.

           

          -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: New to the TG - silly question
              tanyamarie1

              Thanks.  They are getting dryer.  I think that I put too much water in the seedling tray. 

              • Re: New to the TG - silly question
                jerrimain

                With regard to the 15 minutes on, 30-45 off question.  I live in northern desert area where it's somewhat windy, humidity is dry and temperatures are often above 100 degF in the summer.  This past summer I ran 15 minutes on, 1 1/2 hours off during the day and 2 hours off between 9pm and 6am.  Rock wool always stayed moist. Plants thrived compared to prior 3 years -- biggest crop ever of tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme, and marigolds.  Used close to 2 gallons of liquid a day.  Just didn't feel like adding liquid twice a day, which is why I watered less often than recommended.  In other words, my experience runs counter to your advice, but it worked for me..

                  • Re: New to the TG - silly question
                    joed

                    HI jerrimain, After seedlings mature in a TG, it's more about nutrient / water delivery rates & frequency to the roots then it is to the rockwool starter plug. If your configuration is meeting your expectations then no point in changing it. However, if you ever want to explore optimal and efficient nutrient / water delivery in the TG, give 1-3 minutes On, 5-12 minutes Off a try some day. If you think you have awesome results now, wel... hold on to your hat. LOL ;-)

                     

                    -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • Re: New to the TG - silly question
                        annemev@aol.com

                        Hi.  I'm thinking about ordering the Hytimer you mention, but I wonder if all that turning off and on will shorten the life of the pump.  And why does changing the on/off duration (away from 15/45) make a difference in growth rates?  I've heard that it does, but would like to understand why!

                          • Re: New to the TG - silly question
                            joed

                            Hi annemev@aol.com,

                             

                            "I wonder if all that turning off and on will shorten the life of the pump"

                            A very short, over-simplified, context specific answer is: No.

                             

                            There are many factors, such as "duty cycle" (the device On time expressed as a percentage of total time), that go into determining a pump's life expectancy rating. It's a rather complicated discussion (and off-topic for this forum). I will say that typical life expectancy for the various nutrient pumps used in the TG system over the years is in the tens-of-thousands of hours. It may help put this all into perspective for you by knowing that I have personally been running a long term test of these high frequency, industry standard On/Off nutrient pump cycle times with the TG pumps since early 2014... Zero failures... Still goin' strong. ;-)

                             

                            "why does changing the on/off duration (away from 15/45) make a difference in growth rates?"

                            Again, a rather complicated topic... It has a lot to do with how high and/or low pressure aeroponic systems function. In short, it's all about obtaining an optimal water/nutrient/oxygen ratio at the root system. The ultimate goal is to achieve a pump cycle On time that starts just before the roots have dried-out from the previous Off cycle. This will encourage the fastest absorption of nutrients through the root cell walls.

                             

                            -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

                            1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • Re: New to the TG - silly question
                          tanyamarie1

                          Hi Jerrimain.  This may be a silly question, but was your tower indoors or outdoors?  I live in the Mid-West with high-moist humidity.  I am just starting my tower in my dining room.

                            • Re: New to the TG - silly question
                              jerrimain

                              My tower is an outside tower. No experience with indoor towers, but it

                              sounds like there are a lot of indoors towers at the website. Have fun

                              with it!Jerri

                              • Re: New to the TG - silly question
                                dniezby

                                I'm starting an indoor one as well. Just "trial fitting" my tower now.  I put it mostly together and I'm trying it in different locations in my home. Plus, I haven't planned it out yet so no rush. Still deciding what to grow.Not as easy as I thought it'd be.

                                  • Re: New to the TG - silly question
                                    happyfood

                                    Hi. I am new to Tower Gardening myself. Have a few plants started but have not filled the reservoir yet. My tower is in a corner of my Breakfast room with a window on each side. Will put grow lights on the inside side. Ordinary pole lamp with grow bulbs in the sockets. It is certainly not as easy as I thought it would be either. A lot of chemistry with the nutrients and PH requirements for the plants. Need to watch the videos on setting it up to get a better idea of how to do it.

                                      • Re: New to the TG - silly question
                                        dniezby

                                        Don't let yourself get overwhelmed.  It's not as difficult as it all sounds. I mean, you can get away with a lot in the tower. Things don't have to be exact and you will get decent results. However, what joed and others are teaching, is how to get consistent and improved results.  They have the experience because they've been doing this longer than many of us. From reading joed bio, he's got the education behind it too.  We have the chance to learn from their knowledge and mistakes to obtain the best results possible without losses and problems that could come about.

                                         

                                        Most of what you'll hear on these forums is the result of taking the basics, fine-tuning techniques and educating members with more in-depth knowledge about what, why and how things happen.  When you know these things, you can make adjustments on your end to suit your specific growing needs and environment.

                                         

                                        Just keep reading, the Tower Garden Blog, ask questions on these forums and read the documents in TG Tech

                                        http://myjp.pw/tgtechdocs

                                        • Re: New to the TG - silly question
                                          joed

                                          Hi happyfood, Baby Steps...  ;-)

                                           

                                          Start with this... and forget the rest (for now):

                                           

                                          TG Fundamentals

                                          https://towertalk.jiveon.com/docs/DOC-1197

                                           

                                          -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

                                          1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                            • Re: New to the TG - silly question
                                              happyfood

                                              Hi joed,

                                              Have finally gotten everything together. Pump world fine, timer works fine but have added 3 tsp of PH+ to the tub and still have a 4 PH. Can I add more at a time, like a 1/4 or 1/2 cup of the PH+? Am afraid I will run out of test solution before I get it right.

                                              Any help you can give me will be appreciated.

                                              Will it kill the plants to run the pump with it that acid? Or do I have it backward and the 4 is basic and I should be adding the PH_-? As you can tell I am not a chemist and am muchly confused.

                                                • Re: New to the TG - silly question
                                                  joed

                                                  Hi happyfood, If your pH is locked down at 4.0 then there is something wrong. And NO... you should not resort to extreme pH changes - it will adversely affect your plants (they are very susceptible to fast pH changes)... as will adding large amounts of pH adjustment solution. It is difficult for me (beings I am way over here on the other side of the Internet) to identify the cause of your extremely low pH. I can say that the three most common causes of this issue are 1) Improper mixing of the nutrient solution (which includes mixing it too quickly or in less than 5-gallon increments).  2) Issues with the source water chemistry.  3) Both 1 & 2.

                                                   

                                                  If you haven't already, you may want to have a look at the following:

                                                   

                                                  =-=

                                                   

                                                  How to Mix TG Nutrients

                                                  https://towertalk.jiveon.com/docs/DOC-131373

                                                   

                                                  =-=

                                                   

                                                  JoeD's TGTip 0001

                                                  MINIMUM WATER FILTRATION

                                                   

                                                  Always filter your TG water... regardless of the source.

                                                  (read that again)

                                                   

                                                  At a minimum, the water filter you use should have sediment + carbon + KDF filter elements. The filter I usually recommend that meets those requirements is:

                                                   

                                                  Camco 40043 TastePURE Water Filter w/ Flexible Hose

                                                  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Camco-Water-Filter-with-Hose/14504321

                                                  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0006IX87S

                                                   

                                                  Replacement Cartridges: Camco Water Filter, 2 Pack

                                                  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Camco-Water-Filter-2-Pack/14504322

                                                  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0024E6V30

                                                   

                                                  • READ AND FOLLOW ALL FILTER INSTRUCTIONS.
                                                  • The slower water passes through the filter, the better the filter works.
                                                  • Always start a new growing season with a fresh filter cartridge.

                                                   

                                                  Be sure to check out TG Tech | Content | Documents for additional TG information!

                                                   

                                                  =-=

                                                   

                                                  JoeD's TGTip 0005

                                                  MEASURING NUTRIENT SOLUTION PH

                                                   

                                                  Always keep your TG nutrient solution pH in the 5.5 to 6.0 range. Test nutrient solution pH on a regular, frequent basis (absolute recommended minimum is once a week). Always test pH with a kit or device designed for use with hydroponics systems (i.e. no pool supply test kits). Don’t use pH test “strips”. Here are some recommendations:

                                                   

                                                  TG pH Test Kits:

                                                  http://www.towergarden.com/shop/ph-kit

                                                  http://www.towergarden.com/shop/ph-kit-lower

                                                  http://www.towergarden.com/shop/ph-kit-raise

                                                   

                                                  GH pH Test Kit:

                                                  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BNKWZY/

                                                   

                                                  GH pH Adjustment Solutions:

                                                  Down(Acid): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CJID1I4/

                                                  Up(Base): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005H78ZLC/

                                                   

                                                  If you really want to up your pH testing game then consider upgrading to a digital pH Meter setup…

                                                  (highly recommended)

                                                   

                                                  Oakton EcoTestr pH 2+ Pocket pH Meter:

                                                  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MYV3938/

                                                   

                                                  pH Meter Accessories...

                                                   

                                                  Calibration & Storage Solutions:

                                                  (bottles last a long time)

                                                  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MSZ4Q7Z/

                                                   

                                                  Replacement Batteries:

                                                  (more than you'll ever need - but it's an awesome deal)

                                                  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ISD96X8/

                                                   

                                                  =-=

                                                   

                                                  -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

                                                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                                    • Re: New to the TG - silly question
                                                      happyfood

                                                      Thanks for the prompt reply. Am afraid I really screwed up the filling

                                                      process. I have a small pitcher carbon filter and it filtered all of the

                                                      almost 20 gallons. I think it is shot but the TDS meter only reads 004. The

                                                      whole tub read 006. But I had filled it 2/3 full when I put in the A

                                                      nutrient, waited 30 min then put in the B nutrient, and plugged in the pump

                                                      as I finished filling the tub. The timer is set on 15 and off 30 and I did

                                                      not think it was working after I plugged it in but I was surprised when it

                                                      actually started pumping. Guess I will have to start over with all new

                                                      water. Our city water has a lot of chlorine, or maybe that other chlorine

                                                      so definitely must be filtered. Will try the five gallon bucket route,

                                                      mixing 100 ml of each nutrient in each bucket following your schedule in

                                                      the Mixing Nutrient Solution guide.

                                                      I live in a small town in GA surrounded by farms. This is a rural farming

                                                      community so I thought I would try to use some of the rainwater (about 4

                                                      gallons worth). I strained it then put it through the little filter. Of

                                                      course the TDS meter and the PH meter do not tell me what chemicals and

                                                      pollutants are in any of the water sources I have.

                                                      Would commercial bottled water be better and would it have to be filtered?

                                                      Neither link for the filter worked from email so I will log on to TG and

                                                      click on it there.

                                                      Thanks again for you time and advice. It certainly is not as easy as the

                                                      book that came with the TG sounds. They leave a lot of details out.

                                                      Sheril

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 11:17 AM, joed <noreply-towertalk@towergarden.com>

                                                      • Re: New to the TG - silly question
                                                        happyfood

                                                        Hi,

                                                        I checked out the Camco water filter recommended in Amazon. What good does

                                                        this type of filter do me in the house? I have no faucet that I can hook a

                                                        hose to. Well maybe the one in the utility room but that is a long way from

                                                        the TG. I can't lift 3 gallons of water, let alone 5 so filling buckets

                                                        outside and then carrying them into the house is not possible. I could take

                                                        the screen off the window and hookup to the faucet under the window but

                                                        then the house fills up with gnats and mosquitoes. Can you recommend

                                                        another filter that I can install in one of the sinks?

                                                        Thanks.

                                                        Could my problem have anything to do with my only putting in 200 ml of each

                                                        nutrient solution, as directed in the instructions that came with the TG?

                                                        If I mix 100 ml in each of 4 - 5 gal buckets that is 400ml, of each, which

                                                        is full strength.

                                        • Re: New to the TG - silly question
                                          plantguynyc

                                          Hi guys! Loved reading this post. Joed you said that if we're using the stock timer for indoor use 15 on and 45 off would leave the plants too wet, my rockwool is turning green with algae which I don't think is necessarily a bad thing, I have two question, can tower garden start furnishing a timer with fewer increments between cycles? "I.e. 5 min increments" and where can I get a timer that has less increments than 15 minutes? (Looked at Amazon but couldn't find any)

                                          what would be the ideal water cycle for indoor growing at 65-80 degrees?