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Vertical gardening, also referred as “hydroponic tower,” “hydroponic grow system,”  “Tower garden” or  hydroponic “vertical garden” are hydroponic systems that allow horticulturists to grow all kind of plants in a well-organized vertical structure.

In other words, vertical grow towers are hydroponic systems that utilize motorized pumps, water, and hydroponic nutrient solution to grow herbs, fruits and any other type of plant. Each system has numerous “residential units,” which are essentially the holes on the sides of the system which house each plant.

The towers stand upright, are compact, portable, easy to use, and are extremely efficient. For their square footage, it is quite amazing how much produce each tower can yield.


Tower Gardens Hamilton Farms Greenhouse

Vertical garden are very popular in homes, offices, and business. However, hydroponic towers are increasingly being utilized outdoors as well; in traditional gardening plots, terraces, urban farms and other agricultural upstarts.

What to do before you begin your Tower Gardening System:

It is important to know that no matter what kind of growing system you might have, growing plants will always require  light, water, and hydroponic nutrient solutions.

Let’s take a look!

Light – Plants need a lot of sunlight to thrive. We know that 10 to 12 hours of light can be enough for a plant to grow healthy on average. Of course, you can have your tower close to a window, but it will be better off if you have a light source upon your system.

See some alternatives:


Temperature – Stable conditions in plants environment are required. The temperature recommended for this kind of hydroponic systems are 60-75 degree range depending of the plant. To keep track of the temperature, we suggest the following:



Nutrients – In Tower Gardening, the use of nutrients are crucial. For this reason, nutrients such as Complete Hydroponics are required in every stage. The best option you can find is Agua A&B, CompleZym, and PK 13/14.

Take a look:

aga - comple - pk

pH Adjusters – Adjuster are necessary to control levels of acidity in the solution. Plants use to have different pH tolerance this is why is so important to keep pH regulators with you at any time either to down or rise the pH levels.

pH Adjusters:



pH Calibration Solution:

pH calibrator

Growing Mediums - While the nutrient solution provides the nourishment in hydroponic grow towers, grow mediums act as a support for the plant and its root system, while also providing aeration and drainage. Some vertical grow system include grow mediums with purchase of the kit, while others do not.

Different growing mediums


Air flow – Vertical gardens systems requires airflow in both its surroundings and the roots. So, keep in mind that air circulation is very important.

Master Fan Series Air Flow

This is the basic knowledge to keep a vertical tower systems running. There are several types of Tower Systems; some of them are already made and easy to assemble and some others can be built by using PBC pipes and bucket systems; a classic (DIY).

  • 216digital Collaborator


Imagine a plant that can glow in the dark, a chicken the size of a turkey, a pig as big as a Volkswagen beetle, and a corn with black and red grains. You can find these creepy organisms out there, and all of this is possible thanks to genetic engineering.

For years, we have been told that GMO (genetically modified organisms) are essentially bad for both human beings and “everything else.” But why? Is this really bad?

In the same way, pro-GMO scientists have sustained that the advantages of GMO; in a way, have led humanity to amazing discoveries in advanced medicine and treatments against lethal diseases such as cancer. However, there is a shocking relationship between Genetic Engineering applications and the propagation of rare diseases, mostly in the food industry. So, what is going on?

Let us take a closer look at what a GMO is about

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one or two species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Because of this “transfer of genes,” GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.

Why are GMO so dangerous?

Long time ago, it was believed that the food (plants, fish, fruits, insects, etc.) consumed by humans and other animals was not able to transfer their own genetic information. This is because during food digestion, all macromolecules are thought to be degraded to elementary constituents such as amino acids and nucleotide (Nutrients)  which are transported to the circulatory system and then released into specific cells around the body. All this process is done by a very complex mechanism whose properties have not been completely understood.

According to Sandor Spisak (Molecular Medicine Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America) and colleagues, small fragments of nucleic acids may pass to the bloodstream, and even get into various tissues. For example; foreign DNA fragments were detected in the digestive tract of rainbow trouts, goats, pigs, and mice, which were fed by genetically modified soybean.

The same results have revealed that foreign DNA from GMO plants can be transferred into human cells. For example, in China in early 2012, a study showed that ingested plant such as the genetically modified Bt corn, not only survive digestion, but also influenced human cell function.

This experiment proved that Bt Corn’s DNA was harmful, and also demonstrated that Bt corn was linked to more than ten years of human diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. This is just one of the many reasons (backed by solid data and scientific results) why thousands of people and organizations around the world are against GMO for consumption.

We still do not fully understand how our bodies process and assimilate nutrients at a genetic and molecular level. But, we know that there is a huge possibility that DNA information can be transferred to human cells through his digestive system, and also can be stored in different kind of cells which is a very serious situation.

Complete Hydroponics has a very strong commitment to produce nutrients that are FREE FROM GMO agents that are harmful to plants and animals. Our nutrients come from natural sources and are especially formulated to help your plants grow better, healthier and stronger.


See how easy genes can be introduced into a different specie

Because living organisms have natural barriers to protect themselves against the introduction of DNA from different species, genetic engineers must force the DNA from one organism into another. Their methods include:
  • Using viruses or bacteria to “infect” animal or plant cells with the new DNA.
  • Coating DNA onto tiny metal pellets, and firing it with a special gun into the cells.
  • Injecting the new DNA into fertilized eggs with a very fine needle.
  • Using electric shocks to create holes in the membrane covering sperm, and then forcing the new DNA into the sperm through these holes.


Is genetic engineering precise? The technology of genetic engineering is currently very crude.

It is not possible to insert a new gene with any accuracy, and the transfer of new genes can disrupt the finely controlled network of DNA in an organism.

Current understanding of the way in which DNA works is extremely limited, and any change to the DNA of an organism at any point can have side effects that are impossible to predict or control. The new gene could, for example, alter chemical reactions within the cell or disturb cell functions.

This could lead to instability, the creation of new toxins or allergens, and changes in nutritional value.


But haven’t growers been grafting trees, breeding animals, and hybridizing seeds for years?

Genetic engineering is completely different from traditional breeding and carries unique risks. In traditional breeding, it is possible to mate a pig with another pig to get a new variety, but is not possible to mate a pig with a potato or a mouse. Even when species that may seem to be closely related do succeed in breeding, the offspring are usually infertile; a horse, for example, can mate with a donkey, but the offspring (a mule) is sterile.

With genetic engineering, scientists can breach species barriers set up by nature. For example, they have spliced fish genes into tomatoes. The results are plants (or animals) with traits that would be virtually impossible to obtain with natural processes, such as crossbreeding or grafting.


These are the genetic combinations that have been tried so far

It is now possible for plants to be engineered with genes taken from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Scientists have worked on some interesting combinations:

  • Spider genes were inserted into goat DNA, in hopes that the goat milk would contain spider web protein for use in bulletproof vests.
  • Cow genes turned pigskins into cowhides.
  • Jellyfish genes lit up pigs’ noses in the dark.
  • Artic fish genes gave tomatoes and strawberries tolerance to frost.
Field trials have included:
  • Corn engineered with human genes (Dow)
  • Sugarcane engineered with human genes (Hawaii Agriculture Research Center)
  • Corn engineered with jellyfish genes (Stanford University)
  • Tobacco engineered with lettuce genes (University of Hawaii)
  • Rice engineered with human genes (Applied Phytologics)
  • Corn engineered with hepatitis virus genes (Prodigene)
  • Potatoes that glowed in the dark when they needed watering.
  • Human genes were inserted into corn to produce spermicide.

Measures you should take when growing Hydroponics

When growing Hydroponics, plants have the tendency to absorb nutrients faster and more efficiently than soil. Some nutrients have the ability to dissolve barriers such as cellular membranes to facilitate the path of micro and macromolecules so your plant can use them for its own development.

This property is very important because when you have a nutrient made from GMO sources, dangerous elements can be transferred into your plant and become a part of its own system. We all know that corporations like Monsanto, Miracle Grow, General Hydroponics and may others, are international iconic companies linked to dangerous GMO activities and developments of poisonous products such as pesticides like Round Up which is used in almost all agricultural business around the world.

For this reason, you should buy products like Complete Gardening, Complete Hydroponics, and some other of your preference to avoid serious side effects that can seriously affect your overall health in the long run.



 We encourage growers around the world to do their own research about the way nutrients are produced and also, try different alternatives and track positive changes in your plants. Please, stick with natural derived and organic hydroponic nutrients to get the best out of your plants, which is the greatest and most value asset for hydroponic growers such as yourself.


  • Ania Diaz


Studies conducted by the University of Florida has found that Light-Nutrient Stress could make your plants sweeter, bigger, and tastier.

In hydroponic operations, we always want to provide the perfect conditions for plants so they can grow healthier and stronger.  Now, when conditions are “stressless” for plants, anti-oxidant compounds will be produced at lower levels or not at all compared to plants growing in conditions where stressful environmental situations are inevitable.

One classic example of this phenomenon is when tomatoes are put under osmotic or salt stress; the beneficial phytochemical called lycopene was shown to increase significantly. In fact, closed-loop water recirculation systems like hydroponics and aquaponics may in fact offer an advantage over soil-based growing since the water chemistry of both these systems can be manipulated to boost natural plant bioactives for health benefits.

Growing these types of super foods is becoming the focus of hydroponic researchers since they not only offer a food product with high nutritional value, but also have the potential of demanding a higher market price for the grower.

I. Red and Far-Red light spectrum hold the key 

That’s right! according to a study conducted by the University of Florida, published in 2013 by the journal Postharvest Biology and Technology, we can finally conclude that the appropriate wavelength combined with the right source of nutrients can stimulate flower production, taste, and aroma in amazing proportions.

The team began with petunia cuttings, exposing them to narrow bandwidth LED light in varying wavelengths. They found that a key floral volatile called 2-phenylethanol increased when the plant was exposed to red and far-red light spectrum.

They conducted similar tests on tomato, strawberry and blueberry, finding that flavor volatiles in each of those fruits could be manipulated with light.

Green Gear's Grow Lamps are designed to provide the perfect wavelength spectrum either for vegetative or flowering stages:


Fortunately, flavor in fruits and vegetables are something that can be manipulated to various degrees by the grower, and in hydroponics we have far greater control over growth factors than we do with outdoor crops.

II. Light-Nutrient stress can be very helpful when it comes to your plants’ flavor. For example, Cannabis and Herbs such as basil, oregano, sage and rosemary can all have their flavor and aromatic levels increased by applying some plant stress; high light, dry conditions, warm temperatures, high rates of air flow, high EC or moisture stress will all concentrate the essential oils in the foliage just as they would if the plants were being grown outside in their natural habitat. When plants have a certain level of stress, the right use of nutrients can make a huge difference in their overall performance.

When using Light-Nutrient stress, it is recommended high quality nutrients. The use of these fertilizers has to be compatible with your growing system:


Nutrients for Vegetative Stage

Conventional Gardening (New):

Nutrients for Organic Gardening

Indoor growers have a high degree of control over the root zone, which means that elements such as potassium which is vital for the flavor quality of many crops, most notably tomatoes and Cannabis can be boosted at just the right stage to ensure the flowers and fruits are of the highest possible quality.

Nutrients for Flowering Stage

III. The nutrient solution EC can also be adjusted upward once plants are established into a hydroponic system to apply sufficient plant stress to concentrate flavor compounds and aromatics in a wide range of hydroponic plants.

You can used pH Up and Down to achieve the right EC needed to induce some stress in your system:

When it comes to flavor improvement, indoor hydroponic gardeners have all the tools required to create unique and unforgettable taste sensations. While many new growers make the mistake of trying to provide a luxurious, highly protected and stress-free environment for their plants in order to maximize growth rates, this can actually be detrimental to the flavor level of many of our favorite food crops.

  • Ania Diaz