The Tower Garden Experiment
Geary County School, USD475 has been provided a hydroponic Tower Garden from KSDE and Juice Plus+ ! The Tower Garden is quite nice and comes with a lot of bells and whistles including a light kit.
What we produce in the tower will be served to the kids getting lunch in the area later this summer. During the school year it will be served to students in the schools. We won't be able to produce enough for every school but may do a round robin type thing.
The Tower Garden is a hydroponic unit, meaning your plants grow without dirt. It uses water and nutrients that you add. The pH needs to be kept fairly neutral as well. That is all down in the bottom part and there is a pump inside that pumps the liquid up to the top in that center tube and it runs down the insides and keeps the plants moistened. The outer structure is called a "tomato cage".
The seedlings need to be started outside the garden. They are planted in Rock Wool and covered with vermiculite to keep them moist. It only took 3 days to see the first sprouts!
This is how they appeared one week later, quite the growth!
The seedilings are thinned and in the tower as the lights have arrived. Very exciting. The pump runs for about 3 minutes at a time and waters the tower. Then it is off for about 10 minutes or so and so on throughout the day. The lights will run for about 14 hours as reccomended. They are also on a timer. It's all very slick. The top ports are empty at the moment as I have some spinach seeds sprouting and they were not ready to go in the tower quite yet.