Did You Know Tower Garden Can Grow These 10 Terrific Crops?

When people ask what I grow in my Tower Gardens, they’re often surprised by my answers.

This past summer, for example, my response of "watermelon" — in addition to "tomatoes," "squash," "cucumbers," and so on — raised a few eyebrows.

"But those get big," one person objected.

And I can understand why Tower Garden’s ability to support a watermelon plant may seem surprising. After all, a common drawback of most hydroponic and aeroponic gardening systems is that you can’t grow the same variety of plants that soil-based gardens allow.

Leafy greens and herbs may flourish, but hearty fruiting crops? Not so much.

Fortunately, Tower Garden isn’t like most dirt-free gardening systems. It’s a research-backed, food-growing machine — one that can handle a wide variety of crops.

So the list of what you can grow is quite long. And it includes a few crops you might not expect, such as the following:

1. Brussels sprouts

Have you ever seen Brussels sprouts still attached to their stalk? There’s something almost prehistoric about the monster crop. Still, Tower Garden has no problem growing it.

It’s wise to plant this superfood near the bottom of your Tower, as its edible leaves will grow large and may shade out other plants if placed higher.

Tower Tip: If you’re thinking about growing Brussels sprouts, make sure you have enough time — they can take as long as 90 days before they’re ready to harvest.

2. Carrots (Paris Market Atlas variety)

You may have heard that root crops aren’t compatible with Tower Garden. And it’s true that the system best accommodates aboveground plants.

But a few adventurous Tower Gardeners have experienced success with compact tubers, such as the Atlas carrot. The mini variety yields round vegetables that are small enough to fit inside a Tower Garden net pot.

If you want to try growing Atlas carrots or other root crops, be sure to:

  • Approach it as an experiment. Since Tower Garden isn’t really designed for tubers, you probably won’t have record yields. But you may learn something new and have fun in the process.
  • Harvest before the produce grows too large. Otherwise, it may get stuck in the growing port, forcing you to disassemble your Tower Garden to retrieve the crop.

3. Bulb fennel

A licorice-flavored, feathery herb that flourishes in cooler weather, fennel could give your garden a unique flair.

And if you let it go to seed, fennel’s flowers can help attract pollinators.

4. Garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas)

Homegrown hummus sounds pretty great, right? Since garbanzo beans grow well in a Tower Garden, it’s pretty easy, too.

You can harvest and eat chickpeas fresh, much like snap peas, or let them dry out and store them for later.

Tower Tip: For a protein-packed spin on hummus, substitute edamame — which you can also grow with Tower Garden — for the garbanzo beans.

5. Leeks

Though onions may struggle in a Tower Garden, leeks — which offer a similar, but milder flavor — thrive. Because leeks grow tall, it’s best to plant them in the top of your Tower Garden.

Tower Tip: Leeks tolerate lower temperatures, making the crop a must for cool season gardening.

6. Lemongrass

This fragrant grass doubles as a health-boosting herb. And it’s incredibly easy to grow.

In fact, I started my own from a cutting I bought at a local farmers market. If you want to do the same, just place the plant in water for a few days. Once it sprouts roots, move it to your Tower Garden and watch it take off.

As with leeks, lemongrass is a good candidate for the top of your Tower.

7. Okra

I’ve seen many Tower Gardeners grow this Southern favorite. The first harvest should be ready to pick about two months after planting.

Speaking of which — you might want wear gloves when removing okra from the plant, as most varieties have tiny spines that may irritate your skin. (Cooking the crop renders these spines harmless.)

Okra can be pretty prolific. If you grow more than you can use, the crop freezes well.

8. Pumpkin (and all types of gourds)

The quintessential fall crop, pumpkins grow like champs in Tower Garden’s aeroponic environment.

For happy gourds, regularly prune your plants and keep an eye on water levels — pumpkins get thirsty! (You can find more gourd growing tips here.)

9. Radishes (Easter Egg variety)

Here’s another cool-season root crop you can attempt if you’re feeling brave. Radishes grow rapidly, so you’ll likely be able to plant and harvest within a month.

It’s best to grow radishes with an open, patient mind. Because just like Atlas carrots, the tuber will test the limits of your Tower Garden. (And remember to harvest early, before the vegetable gets wedged inside your net pot.) 

10. Watermelon (and all types of melons)

Much like pumpkins, watermelons may drain your Tower Garden reservoir a little faster than other crops. But the reward — a refreshing, crunchy summertime snack — is well worth it.

Tower Tip: Enjoy this post? Check out 18 Interesting Plants You’re Probably Not Growing (But Should Be) »

Over to You

I’m excited to try growing many of the above plants in my Tower Gardens next year. What about you — which crops are on your wish list?

Drop a comment below with your answer.

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