Let’s face it: Growing produce outdoors in the winter is tough work. By the time December rolls around, temperatures in many regions have already dropped to numbers that aren’t suitable for most crops. Even cool weather plants that thrive in the fall often struggle to survive in colder temperatures.
With that said, growing with Tower Garden in the winter is nowhere near impossible. In fact, Tower Garden was designed to be used year-round by making it simple to grow both outdoors and inside. If you do plan to try winter Tower Gardening, there’s a big chance that you will have to alter your growing strategy.
In this guide, we’ll demonstrate how you can continue growing with Tower Garden throughout the winter.
Tips for Braving the Cold
For those who live in the Northern Hemisphere, January and February typically bring the lowest temperatures of the year. Unless you live in areas where temperatures rarely dip below 50°F (10°C), you’ll need to adjust your strategy to ensure your garden makes it through the winter.
If you’re adamant about growing outdoors in the winter, follow these steps shared by our friends at Living Towers:
Maintain a Full Reservoir
When your reservoir is running low, it becomes much more susceptible to the outdoor elements. To avoid your Tower Garden’s water source from freezing over, we recommend keeping the reservoir full at all times. As a reminder, the Tower Garden HOME reservoir holds 13 gallons (49.2 L), while the Tower Garden FLEX reservoir can hold 20 gallons (75.7 L).
Keep Your Garden Elevated
If you’re growing with Tower Garden FLEX, it’s best to use the dolly to keep your unit off the ground. If it’s directly touching a deck, pavement, or other hard surface, the cold will transfer to the reservoir, eventually causing the water to freeze. Those growing with Tower Garden HOME can skip this step, since the unit’s built-in wheels keep the garden elevated.
Move Your Garden into the Sun
When preparing for the winter, you’ll want to find the sunniest spot possible for your Tower Garden. Maximizing the sunlight is essential during winter’s shorter, colder days. When choosing your new location, don’t forget to consider other factors that contribute to an outdoor garden’s success.
Set Your Timer Accordingly
If the water in your Tower Garden is stagnant during the long, cold winter nights, it may freeze. If the forecast calls for freezing temperatures, keep your timer so that water is running continuously.
Taking Your Tower Garden Indoors
Growing outdoors during the winter requires a lot of attention, some patience, and a bit of risk. There’s no guarantee that crops will survive if temperatures drop to record lows during the winter months. If you're looking for a safe bet, we recommend taking a more stress-free approach by moving your garden indoors.
Thanks to options with LED Indoor Grow Lights for both Tower Garden HOME and Tower Garden FLEX, growing indoors is easier than ever. All you need is a direct power source and about 3 square feet (0.28 m2) of space. By growing indoors during the winter, you’re essentially taking the outdoor elements out of the equation.
Best Crops to Grow in the Winter with Tower Garden
Whether you’re growing outdoors or inside, it’s recommended that you stick to leafy greens and non-fruiting crops during the winter months. This is because larger, fruiting crops require more light and pollination, which are typically harder to come by during this time of the year. These crops also require more space around your tower — and if you’re growing indoors, that can also be limited.
Here’s a list of our favorite crops to grow during the winter:
- Cutting celery
- Mustard greens
- Pak choi (and other Asian greens)
- Swiss chard
Ready to Grow Fresh Produce All Winter Long?
Winter is one of the hardest times of the year to grow outdoors. But with the right knowledge, accessories, and persistence, you can succeed. With Tower Garden, you can grow fresh, delicious greens all season long by following the above tips for braving the cold, growing the right crops, and moving your garden indoors if needed. Good luck, and happy growing!