Growing plants vertically is an economical way to produce a
large quantity of food in a limited amount of space. These towers are designed for the hydroponic
and aquaponic growers that want to grow plants such as strawberries or lettuce.
Lettuce seedlings in early prototype
Made from a UV protected ABS plastic, the towers will
sustain years of use and direct sunlight.
Since the upper container fits inside a lower container, the water will
drip down without leaking out of the system (similar to stacking cups on top of
each other). In the event that a section
does become root bound, the water would drip over the edge, cling to the side,
and get recaptured by the lower container.
Hand-formed prototype - Final product will NOT be lime green!
The modular design allows the product to be used by a home
consumer where vertical space is limited above a nutrient reservoir.
It can also be used in inside a greenhouse or hung from a support
structure such as a porch roof. As the user’s
system grows, additional containers or towers can be easily added.
When used for a larger commercial grower, the towers can be
freestanding by using brackets to interconnect each unit, eliminating the need for
costly overhead support structures or supporting poles.
Top view diagram of a tower array
Each section can be filled with Expanded Shale or
Hydroton. This type of growing media can
retain water and nutrients for extended periods of time. Water only needs to be applied for a short
amount of time, approximately every hour during the day, reducing the cost of
running a pumping system continuously.
Final prototype with 1st year strawberries
It has taken over three years to design and test a cost effective
unit that is simple to install and maintain.
The original design was a thinner, taller tower with a single pocket at
each level. The towers were tall and was
difficult to transplant plants, which sometimes became root bound. The second generation is a slightly wider tower that allows for 3 plants per level. The
positioning of each pocket allows for high density planting, but also allows for a lot
of space between each pocket to maximize airflow and light. This helps to reduce disease
and pests by keeping the plants drier.
Since each level can be exposed when a tower is dismantled, removal of
old plants and restocking is much easier.
Original single-pocket prototypes
What will the pledges go toward?
All the engineering design work and diagrams are complete. Your pledges will be used for manufacturing a
mold for the plastic plant container and a die for the metal brackets. The remaining funding will be used for the
first sample run and the final production run.
When will you start shipping?
When the funding goal has been reached, I am estimating it
will take 2-3 months to finish the molds, source various pieces, and finish
the packaging. We already have few
customers that resell our Expanded Shale product and they are eager to start
selling these towers!
One last thing:
I truly appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to
view this project and I am very grateful for your pledge. Producing a product like this has been a goal
of mine for a long time and with your support, it will become a reality in the near
Strawberries in a growing tower