17 Replies Latest reply on Nov 16, 2017 1:47 PM by joed

    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

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            • 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

                                • 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?