I’m guessing you’re on the hunt for some kind of vegetable growing system? Namely the Tower Garden by Juice Plus. (pictured above).
Before you jump in and read other websites, you really should be aware of the many problems surrounding some of the the Tower Garden growing system reviews.
Here are a few words of warning prior to buying a new vertical growing system from this company.
5 Serious Pitfalls To Look Out For
1) The Sales Vulture
Often people writing internet reviews for these systems are earning a hefty commission from the sale. So of course they are going to tell you this thing is the best product since sliced bread.
If a review gives you the pros as well as the cons then you’re more likely to be getting an honest opinion rather than a blatant sales pitch.
Watch out for overly sell, sell, sell style write ups on anything you are looking at.
Also if the reviewer can give you genuine personal experience of the product with a video or pictures then you know you are more than likely talking to a real person with experience.
2) Falsely Over Priced
Do you really need to pay $500 (and that’s the absolute bare minimum for this tower garden product) for a plastic vegetable growing system?
There are many other vertical towers out there that are way cheaper and can do just as good a job.
Serious point: Juice Plus Tower Garden growing systems are an MLM product.
This means that a far greater percentage of the price is added on for commission purposes compared to other similar products.
This is because there are many sales people to be paid down a number of “levels”.
Really, the reason you are paying so much more is to pay a higher number of sales people than normal.
You are not paying more for a better product. You are paying more to pay more sales reps.
When a product has to pay people down a number of levels it normally means that the retail price has been inflated to allow for this.
As you see the price of other vertical growers recommended on this site, you will see exactly what I mean.
I don’t necessarily think there is anything wrong with someone getting commission for recommending products online. Well, that’s what I’m doing on different parts of this website.
The difference with me is that, unlike the Juice Plus reps , I’m not tied to recommending any single product.
So I’m quite happy to tell you if I don’t like something. I’ll select the products that I truly believe are best and tell you all about them.
3) Do You Have Space?
If you have some garden space some growers believe it’s just as good to plant and grow your vegetables in the traditional fashion. Otherwise perhaps the tower is just a gimmick.
Many forum discussions do argue intensely over this point. A large debate on this particular subject is raging itself away as you read.
Although the main consensus does seem to be that vertical growing systems do help with reducing pest issues.
Most plant pests are incubated in soil so a hydroponic system does help with this. (A good point to remember.)
Vertical garden users themselves, especially of the hydroponic variety, are convinced that vertical towers are way better than growing in the ground.
But soil bed fans argue that if you tend to your plants correctly and supply nutrient dense soil there is little or no difference to both the end result in time and produce quality.
4) Do You Have a Little Time?
If you have a little time, building your own vertical garden can be done for a fraction of the price compared to buying a pre-bulit model.
If you are on a budget, it can be done for as little as $50. This is a tenth of the average price for buying a ready to go system.
A home built system could have an expected lifespan of 10-15 years making a cost of only $5 per year.
Not only that, making your own means you can custom build to your own liking.
Bottles, tubing, troughs or many discarded scrap items can be used.
5) Expensive Extras
It can be as much as $40 for growing solutions (tonic) for the Tower Garden. This is for their specialised mix. Shipping can be as much as $20 on top.
These can however last for a whole year. The solution you buy is diluted before use. According to their website you can get two hundred litres from a $40 two litre nutrient solution.
Lets Get Positive
Ok so I’ve been a bit negative so far. For a bit of a change, lets go over some of the positives of this product.
- You can grow plants in limited space.
- You can grow plants and vegetables very quickly. Lettuce for example can be ready in around three weeks.
- You can grow indoors in an apartment or on a small patio. You don’t need a garden or an outdoor space.
- If you are growing indoors you can grow all year round.
- You have the ability to grow organically.
- A study done by NASA concluded that hydroponic growing can be as much as two times faster and produce 30% more yield than traditional methods. NASA.
- The earlier quoted “expensive extras” actually last a whole year. That is the nutrient solution ($40 + shipping). The reason for this is that you water it down to create 200 gallons from just two gallons.
- But you are not tied into buying their formula. You could buy from other suppliers and still get less expensive solution.
- You can sometimes get second hand ones on Amazon.
Actually it’s not that bad a piece of kit. It’s available on Amazon for anything from $500 to $300.
Here is a great video detailing a summary of the Juice Plus Tower Garden.
But really —– Why Pay More Than You Have To?
I just said that the the Tower Garden isn’t all that bad. Well that’s true. However, all these advantages can also be attributed to almost any other vertical growing tower. So why pay more? I really don’t know.
After a lot of browsing and searching, I came up with a couple of better options. One that keeps cropping up time and time again with rave reviews in gardening forums and on Amazon is the Grow Up Hydrogarden System.
At $200 cheaper than the Juice Plus Tower it’s well worth a mention.
My # 1 Hydroponic Tower Recommendation
Grow Up Hydrogarden Kick Starter Pack
- Cost: $299
- Cheapest: $230 on Amazon
- Outdoors: Yes
- Indoors: Yes
- Growing Pots: Yes
- Water Pump:Yes
- Nutrient Solution:Yes
- Grow medium: Yes
- Good to Go: Yes
- Growing capacity: 20 plants.
- Looks: 8/10
- Price: 9/10
- Growing capacity 10/10
- Overall Rating 9/10 – Very good indeed.
Ok so it’s not so pretty as the Juice Plus one, however at a $200 dollar reduction for a very similar system makes it worth a serious look.
The full kit includes all nutrients and growth medium. The medium and nutrients could potentially last you all of your first year, this is good value.
It can be used outdoors or indoors as suits you best.
Five growing pots give you a growing capacity of twenty plants. (The same as Juice Plus system.) This is enough to keep you going.
I have seen many forum posts from users of this system where people say that their lettuces are ready in just three weeks.
A submersible water pump means it can be stored in the twenty litre water tank and not be seen.
Ideal for people who have a little money spare and don’t have the time to go out and get all the parts and then make it themselves.
Reviews from customers on Amazon who have both the Grow Up Hydro and the Juice plus Tower actually say this product is better than the Juice Plus one despite being $200 cheaper.
That would be nearly $300 cheaper than the Juice Plus one! But that price cannot be guaranteed.
If you have fallen in love with the idea of the tower garden, I’d say go for it anyway. But if you’d like to save a bit of cash try out the Grow Up Hydro Garden.
If you have any suggestions of better systems that may benefit readers of this website please feel free to comment below.
Further Recommendations To Follow in The Coming Weeks.