It can be hard for the average person to grow a garden for multiple reasons. First of all, many people just don’t have the space to grow fruits and vegetables who live in the city or suburbs. Secondly, it takes time to weed, feed, water, and tend to crops. And third, the weather can certainly cause issues! For these reasons, I decided to a try growing a hydroponic garden. I had heard from a busy friend that she was growing great vegetables in the high Texas heat in her tiny back yard. And with little effort! She was using a tower hydroponic garden. I had to learn more!
I recently downsized and moved into a small house with a tiny yard. The inner gardening voice inside my head told me I needed to plant. But my backyard is only about 1,000 square feet big. And, my patio takes up nearly 1/3 of the yard. Plus, my cat requested that I keep at least a small patch of grass for her. So I had to come up with an efficient plan. I knew I could easily grow herbs, so I buried several large pots along the morning sun side of the yard. In these pots, I chose plants that were very easy to grow, like peppermint, oregano, rosemary, lemon balm, thyme, sage, and lavender. Seeing my herbs flourish fed my soul. But I wanted more.
I then attempted to grow vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and spinach. I was eating lovely salads in the month of May. The plants were doing great…until June came. Blazing heat scorched my green friends. I watered them almost every day, but they were just getting cooked in the heat of a typical Texas Summer. I bought a large umbrella to protect them from the sun in the afternoons, but the high temperatures were still unforgiving. Only the jalapeno peppers were holding on because they could take the heat!
I made watering a part of my daily routine. I bought a three way splitter for my water spout and had hoses all over my back yard. To no avail. By August, the jalapenos were attending the funerals of my tomatoes, and the green leafy veggies were long gone!
Usually by February, I have had enough of Winter, and begin to hunger to get my hands into some dirt. This year, I planned ahead. In January, I remembered my friend’s story about her easy hydroponic garden. No dirt, but still, I couldn’t resist; I went ahead and ordered one. The box came shortly before Valentines Day. You can imagine, I opened it right away!
First, I had to plant seeds in a rock wool cube, and sprinkle them with vermiculite. I set them in a tray by a sunny window sill, and kept the bottom of the tray filled with 1/4 inch of water. My plant babies grew fast! Within two weeks, they were two inches tall. Wow!
Yesterday, I decided it was time to put them into the tower garden. Last night, the temperature was set to dip down to 35 degrees, so I covered them with a plastic sheet. Once the morning sun began to shine, I removed the sheet, and my green seedlings seemed to delight in the golden rays.
I was so happy; I prepared a morning cup of tea and took it outside to sit by my tower garden. My cup of choice was a green tea latte, while my garden enjoyed sipping some mineral enhanced water. As we sat together and began to converse, My tower garden introduced herself. She told me her name is Betty.
I just love Betty. She has a peaceful trickling waterfall sound, on any easy self watering timer. Little baby plants are sprouting out from her tower that will soon grow into delicious salad fixings that she is more than happy to share. Not only does she look super cute, she also only takes up a small 3 foot space on my patio. What a great friend!
I look forward to many more days of sitting with Betty, enjoying the sun, and having a nourishing drink.
Do you want to start a hydroponic garden? Click here to learn more about Tower Gardens: Kathy’s Tower Garden.
Post by: Kathy Sadowski