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The Beginnings

Hello, everyone!

Here’s the deal. My family just recently purchased the Juice Plus! Tower Garden at a Home and Patio show. So me, being me, I went to look online for reviews about the product. I found one site that actually had decent, objective (as in not made by the distributors) reviews. The rest of the sites I found had everything ranging from rants about how the whole thing was a pyramid scheme to five-star reviews that only said “I love it!” Those reviews are THE WORST REVIEWS EVER, because they don’t give any detail. So for the sake of all of those people out there that are considering getting a Tower Garden, I decided to start this blog.

That being said. I amĀ not a distributor. I don’t even know that I can be considered a consumer, seeing as my parents bought the thing, so I did not spend my own money. My scientist brain will ensure that this blog is as objective as I can make it. Plus, I’ve graduated from college and still have not found a job, so you can expect regular updates about the product, as I have nothing better to do with my life at this point.

About me, well, there’s not much to tell. As I said, I just graduated from college and am currently going through the hell otherwise known as the job hunt. My field (forensic science) has crap-all for job openings at the moment, so I’m one of those boomerang children that’s once again living at my childhood home until I can find a decently-paying job and support myself. I am by no means a green thumb. Most of my gardening expertise (I say that tongue-in-cheek) comes from my college roommate. What was it you had, Pam? 47 plants, mostly orchids, thriving in our tiny, dark apartment? My dad, however, is an avid gardener. He plants tomatoes every year, if nothing else, and he’s currently nursing an avocado tree to life. We once got a basil plant starter (like the ones you can get at Home Depot or Lowe’s for a few bucks) to grow into a veritable basil bush before it froze one night. However, my dad has a full-time job, plus he’s going to college for a degree, so he doesn’t really have time to garden as he fully wishes he could. Thus the appeal of a low-maintenance garden system.

Let me give you the sales pitch as it was given to us. The Tower Garden is an aeroponic garden, meaning that it does not use soil as a growing medium. Instead, it uses rockwool to support the roots of the plants. This pretty much eliminates those nasty soil-loving insects that destroy gardens in traditional soil. You can grow pretty much anything in the Tower Garden, provided it is not a tree or a root – so no carrots or potatoes or apples. Or avocados. The Tower Garden pumps water – and a nutrient solution called Tower Tonic – through the hollow tube of the tower itself, getting the roots of your plants wet. Because of the method of growth, your vegetables, flowers and fruits will grow faster than if you planted a traditional garden – all while using less water, because there is no soil to absorb the water. If you want to browse around their website for further details, here’s the link. https://www.towergarden.com/

The starter kit runs at about $500, plus shipping via UPS. Yeah, it’s a fairly hefty chunk of change, and that’s one of the reasons I’m writing this blog. I want to give all of you potential consumers out there an objective opinion about the product. You can get the cost divided up into 12 monthly installments, no interest. The shipping cost will be tacked onto your first payment. The starter kit comes with five of the tower pieces, 4 plants in each section, so you start off with 20 plants. You also get the basin, pump, and the Tonic and a pH buffer solution, plus the rockwool cubes to start your garden. We were lucky enough to get our cubes with seedlings already going, as we bought our unit at a show where that was the promotion.

You can buy add-ons. The tomato cage (which fits right in the unit, no hassle) is about $60. A gallon of the Tonic and the pH solution (which is said will last you a full year) is $40. 98 extra rockwool cubes is $20, a two-section extension kit is $70 (you can have up to 11 sections), and a dolly for moving the unit around is another $70. All of these costs can be divided up into your 12 monthly payments, but they all do have extra shipping fees if you decide to order them. If you’re thinking about the dolly, let me give you a little detail. The basin alone holds 20 gallons of water, which is about 160 pounds, not including the weight of the Garden itself. If you don’t put the unit in an area with good, even sun exposure, you’re going to have to turn the unit. If you’re strong enough to do so without wheels, more power to you. The unit itself only occupies an area about 3′ by 3′, so it’s perfect for porches or rooftop gardens.

If you’re thinking about getting the Tower Garden for growing things like tomatoes or cucumbers, keep this in mind. Any of the heavier fruits and vegetables have to go into a slot near the bottom of the unit, just for extra support. The openings for the plants themselves really aren’t that huge, so I imagine the plants can get a little top-heavy. I do not know this for sure, as we haven’t even gotten our unit yet, but it only makes sense. The tomato cage is supposed to lend even more support for your heavy harvests.

The rockwool medium means that you have to start all of your plants either from seed, or transplant them when they are just seedlings. I am not sure of this process yet, as I have not had to plant anything in the unit. That, I’m sure, will be in a future post.

I think that’s just about everything I have for now. If you have any questions so far, please let me know. I’ll try to answer them as best I can, but if I don’t know something, my answer will invariably be “I don’t know.” My next post will probably be in a week or so, when our Tower Garden finally gets here. Until then, happy review hunting!

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