Gardening in an apartment has been made significantly easier with the invention of the Garden Tower® 2, which I analyzed in depth in my recent Garden Tower 2 review. Now, combined with this comprehensive Garden Tower 2 planting guide, you’ll soon be ready for your vertical vegetable gardening journey!
In this Garden Tower 2 planting guide, I will briefly explain how the Garden Tower® 2 works. I will then delve into everything that you’ll need to plan and start a flourishing and healthy vertical garden.
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How Does the Garden Tower® 2 Work?
The Garden Tower 2 is a vertical vermicomposting garden tower that is considered to be an advanced container garden. It utilizes kitchen scraps and red wiggler earthworms to create compost within the tower itself.
The Garden Tower® consists of a central column into which all kitchen scraps and the worms are placed. It’s in this column that the organic matter decomposes and creates compost.
Around this column, there are 50 planting pods. These pods can be rotated a full 360˚around the column. In each pod, a vegetable seedling can be planted and grown.
Each pod has multiple holes in the base through which the plants can easily access the nutrients contained in the composting tube.
There is also a compost tea drawer located at the bottom of the tower® Garden Tower®. This drawer catches and stores the compost tea that drips down throughout the composting process.
Compost tea contains many nutrients and makes a fantastic fertiliser for both indoor and outdoor plants. You can learn more about the Garden Tower 2 features, pros and cons in my full Garden Tower 2 Review.
Garden Tower 2 Planting Guide: Planning the Perfect Garden
In order to plan the perfect vertical Garden Tower® planting project, you need to follow a few steps and ensure you have the correct equipment to get started.
Here is a list of everything a future vermicomposting garden tower cultivator will need:
Step 1: Decide on the Ideal Location
In order for plants to flourish and yield fruit, they require a certain environment. There are 3 aspects that should be taken into consideration when deciding on the ideal location for your vertical garden, this goes back to the basics I cover in vegetable gardening 101.
Plants need light to grow! The age-old process of photosynthesis consists of plants absorbing sunlight in order to trigger a host of chemical reactions. These chemical reactions are what allow a plant to grow and produce oxygen.
Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the Garden Tower® 2 is placed in an area that receives a lot of light. This spot should ideally receive some sun in order to achieve outstanding results.
If it’s not possible to find a sunny or light area, it’s advisable to invest in an LED light system. This system will provide plants with the light energy that they need.
It’s best practice to find a spot that’s close to a water source. Whether this be on the balcony, inside the home, or on a building rooftop. It’s also advisable to invest in a hose. This’ll make watering your Garden Tower® garden easy and less of a chore!
Plants don’t thrive in extreme temperatures. While they aren’t a fan of extremely hot and dry conditions, they are even more averse to extremely cold weather and frost.
Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the Garden Tower® 2 is placed in an area that’s conducive to moderate temperatures.
However, due to the fact the Garden Tower® 2 has castor wheels, it’s possible to move your garden indoors and make the most of LED lights during times of extreme weather.
Step 2: Decide What to Grow in the Garden Tower 2
Once the ideal location has been found, it’s time to decide what will be planted and grown in the Garden Tower®. When it comes to choosing veggies, herbs, and fruit to grow, there are a few tips that can aid in making your decision:
Your Food Preferences:
There’s no point growing tomatoes if you hate tomatoes, so my first tip is to choose to plant vegetables you’ll enjoy! This will ensure that you can truely enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Growing your own food will be far more rewarding and enjoyable to you choose plants you are excited to cook with!
Produce Price and Availability:
The growing season will largely determine the types of seeds you plant, but if you are growing indoors with LED lights, you could successfully grow seeds that are out of season (and cost a fortune in the supermarket!) …Think strawberries in winter and broccoli in summer!
It is easier to grow plants that are native to an area. They’re already climatized to the weather conditions which makes them easier to cultivate. Therefore, research what fruit, veggies, and herbs grow well in your neck of the woods using a planting guide.
Plant Arrangement and Quantity:
It can be beneficial to try companion planting in this unique container garden. Companion planting is the practice of grouping plants together that are mutually beneficial. For example, celery is an excellent companion plant for brassicas like cabbage, as it repels white butterflies.
The Garden Tower 2 planting system grows best when incorporating companion planting. Some plants encourage each other to grow, while others do not.
The Garden Tower® 2 allows for 50 plants to be planted, allowing for easy complimentary arrangement. It is advisable to plant the larger and taller plants at the top of the tower. Working down towards the bottom of the tower, vining plants as well as smaller plants work well nearer the base.
However, be mindful of the amount of sun exposure required by individual plants. This important to ensure larger plants do not shade each other out.
Step 3. Secure Growing Supplies and Garden Accessories
In order to start a successful vertical garden, certain growing supplies are required. While this might seem like a long list, I’ve include everything that is needed to make your vertical gardening experience easy.
You may already have some of these items or can look at purchasing more as you go. It could also serve as your own Birthday or Christmas gift buying guide to share with your family, so they’ll be no questions about what to get you for your Birthday!
There are three Garden Tower® bundles to choose from which work out to be more cost effective than purchasing the Garden Tower 2 on its own. If you decide to opt for one of the starter Garden Tower® bundles, wheels, fertilizer and other parts will be included. There are three options to choose from though which you can check via the button below.
Garden Tower 2 Planting Guide: A Look at Accessories
In order to give seeds the best chance of germinating, it’s a great idea to grow them in some form of nursery-type tray.
Once the seeds have germinated ad grown into strong seedlings, they can be transferred straight into the Tower Garden 2. Doing thhis will give the plants the best chance of surviving and flourishing.
Here are some of the pots, domes, and trays that you can choose from if you decide to grow from seed rather than purchase seedlings.
This seed starting dome has been manufactured with extremely durable material, ensuring that it can be reused for many years. Convenient and easy to use, all you need is a sunny windowsill to get your seeds going. This mini greenhouse consists of a heavy-duty seed starting tray and a vented, see-through dome. The tray has 72 cells in which seeds can be germinated. The dome provides temperature control and retains moisture, ensuring your seeds don’t easily dry out.
This seed starting flat can be used as a drip tray and is fantastic for seed and cutting propagation. Manufactured from durable plastic, this flat won’t break easily. There are no holes present at the bottom of the tray, ensuring there’s no water leakage. The sides are reinforced so that it may be carried around with confidence.
Cold weather is not optimal seed germinating temperature. If you’re looking for faster germination, then a seedling heating mat is a must-have item. The heat mat is waterproof and completely safe to use. It’s to be placed under a seed starting greenhouse or seed starting flat. It will then warm the tray and increase temperatures around the root by 10 or 20 degrees. This can speed up germination by 1 to 3 weeks.
If space is too tight to even fit a Garden Tower® 2, a fabric dirt pot might be the answer. It could also make a good addition to the Garden Tower® 2. The Garden Tower Project dirt pots are manufactured using recycled water bottles, ensuring that they’ll last for years to come. They’re also reinforced in the seams and stitching. Due to their strength and durability, these fabric pots are perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. As the fabric is breathable, it promotes root development and plant growth, allowing your fruits and veggies to flourish.
Seeds and Seed Starting
Once equipped with the trays, pots, and seed starting greenhouses, it’s time to start planting. In order to do this, seeds, seed starting soil, and plant food will be required.
In order to germinate your seeds and grow those little baby seedlings into fully flourishing plants, soil is required. As space is an issue in the city (and who wants to lug around big bags of soil from the garden center), there is the option of expanding nutrient rich soil. This soil is packed with a variety of nutrients that encourage seeds to germinate, develop strong root systems, and grow. Just add water and this tube will fill 150 pods!
Once your seeds have sprouted and been transferred into the Garden Tower® 2, they will need an extra boost from time to time. This plant food is completely organic, GMO-free, does not contain any biosolids, and is low in salt. The plant food can be mixed in with potting soil for increased growth and plant health.
The Garden Tower Project has carefully crafted a wide range of seed bundles. These Garden Tower® seed story bundles have been collated in themes such as cold weather plants, herbs, and plant bountiful harvest seed collection. In each bundle is a variety of seeds to ensure a wide range of vegetables are grown.
Successful Garden Tower® 2 gardening requires a few essential accessories. Some of these accessories, garden enthusiasts might even own already. Ultimately, they ensure that the plants are able to receive the care they need to thrive.
While this vermicomposting garden tower is easy to use, from time to time it does require some maintenance. The compost crank twist loosens compost and breaks up any invasive roots in the compost tube. Specifically designed to ensure that the earthworms will not be harmed in the process, you can rest easy knowing that your worms will be happy and healthy.
This happens to be a customer favourite item!
Plant ties are a useful tool in ensuring that plants do not fall over when they get too heavy. A great example is when growing tomatoes indoors!
These plant ties are exceptionally soft and will, therefore, not damage or cut into your plants.
It helps to know what has being planted where, as newly sprouted seedlings often look alike to begin with!
Plant stakes are the perfect way to mark your veggies. These markers are reusable so you can reuse them year after year, plus they are very affordable.
A plower is an essential gardening tool in all phases of gardening. However, as the Garden Tower® 2 has limited space, a mini tower plower will be needed. This allows for easy and effective work with plants and soil.
Most plants will require some amount of trimming at some point. A straight blade pruner is the perfect tool for the job. Whether you need to trim a few leaves or a branch, a trimmer is needed.
Comes with a holster that protects the pruner while it’s not being used. Ergonomically designed and suitable for both left and right handed gardeners.
Watering plants correctly and at the correct time is one of the most important parts of gardening. This can be difficult to achieve in a small apartment. Luckily, there are some watering accessories that make this task super easy.
It’s hard to tell when plants need water. Are they dry or are they receiving too much water? A soil moisture indicator solves this problem by telling you the exact moisture content of the soil. This’ll make it easy to know when and how much your plants should be watered.
Carrying buckets of water around an apartment can be a tedious task. Not only will a watering kit provide distance with the hose, but it will also filter the tap water. This ensures that the plants are receiving fresh and clean water that is even safe for human consumption.
Gardening in an apartment will often result in the Garden Tower® 2 being located in a dark, indoor space. If this is the case, it is advisable to invest in an LED light system. One of these systems can even extend your growing season! Here’s everything that is needed to provide indoor plants with a sufficient light source.
An 80-watt LED grow light is exactly what indoor plants require to thrive in dark and dim conditions. One light will provide 90 degrees of light. These lights can be oriented horizontally or vertically, depending on what is best for the plants.
Great for those living in extreme conditions where gardens need to be moved indoors in different seasons.
In order to mount LED lights effectively, it is advisable to invest in a grow light stand. Designed with elegance and stability in mind, these are perfect for indoor use!
Life gets busy and it’s not always possible to plan one’s life around a plant’s need for light. An indoor 24-hour mechanical outlet timer can be utilised to automate an LED light system. This will allow the LED light to switch on and off automatically without human interference.
Purchasing the Garden Tower® 2 deluxe bundle from the Garden Tower Project is a cost effective way of getting a lot of the above items I’ve just mentioned. Any extra items can be purchased separately.
It is the care that’s put into sourcing and manufacturing these items that make the Garden Tower Project accessories such high quality and well priced.
If you are curious about their service refund policy, you can view it here. You can also find the Garden Tower Project on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Their site navigation search is also easy to use to find their learning center should you have more questions and want to learn about gardening basics.
Final Thoughts: Garden Tower 2 Planting Guide
I hope you’ve found this Garden Tower 2 planting guide helpful, and that you feel confident knowing what will be required to start a flourishing vertical garden in your apartment or backyard. Armed with this list you’ll be sure to have a productive garden in no time!
About the Author
Elle Reed is a passionate gardener and advocate for teaching beginner gardeners how to grow their own food. Elle’s mission is to inspire and empower people to get back to basics, grow their own produce, and embrace a sustainable lifestyle. “Whether it’s a few herb pots in an apartment, a potager or a full garden plot, we can all ‘start somewhere’ to grow our own food, and in doing so, provide healthier food for ourselves and those we love”.