Salad days with Acqua Tower

Salad days with Acqua Tower

Grow your own food in this easy to use vertical garden. It's self-irrigating, it rotates and it promises to yield an abundance of delicious healthy produce

By Abby Trow
Acqua Tower allows for vertical growing of veg and some fruits

Acqua Tower has been developed by former corporate lawyer and keen gardener Jonathan Martin, who wanted to make it easy for people with small or even tiny outdoor spaces to grow their own veg and fruit.

(*decomag has bought an Acqua Garden (at 30% discount, RRP is £385) and we're testing it out. We have planted tomatoes and strawberries so far and they're doing well. Follow our growing story on instagram)

Interest in gardening, or more particularly interest in helping people with limited space to garden, is, thankfully growing as fast as grass and ivy do in summer.
 
Whether it’s prettier pots for indoor and outdoor plants, herbs for the windowsill or hydroponic LED kits so you can grow herbs and salad leaves on your kitchen table, it’s good to see that the garden sector is acknowledging that far more of us have little to no outside space than have rolling lawns and abundant herbaceous borders at our disposal.
 
And the recent quarantine conditions we’ve been living under as governments struggle to get the corona virus under control has seen a rise in people interested in growing their own fruit, veg and herbs - in part because they want to go into shops as little as possible.
 

‘It’s easy-grow gardening for everyone,’ Jonathan Martin

 
 
Acqua Tower is great for herbs
chillies grow super well
get your kids gardening
abundance is the word
Enter a man who can help turn wishful thinking into reality. He’s former corporate lawyer Jonathan Martin, who became so entranced with growing his own chillies and tomatoes in particular (not to mention strawberries, lettuces and flowers) that he used his ingenuity and design skills to develop a self-contained urban garden small enough to fit on balconies, patios, in handkerchief back yards and even in a kitchen - albeit you would need a reason able-sized one.
 
‘I love gardening and growing things, always have,’ says Jonathan. ‘I am interested in eating fresh foods and having a healthier diet, as well as cutting my carbon footprint, so I got to thinking about how great it would be if there were a way for people who don’t have much space or experience of gardening to grow lots of food for themselves.’ (And he means plenty, not just two small strawberries and a lettuce..)
 
‘So I set about designing an easy to use, all-in-one garden system that keeps itself watered. We now have the Acqua Garden, which is for everyone - kids to older people and people in wheelchairs or with disabilities who often feel excluded from gardening.’ 
 
grow your plants in this coir medium which comes with the kit
you can easily lift off the layers
Watering
 
Crucial to Acqua Garden’s appeal is that you don’t need to water your crops every day. That’s because the base of the system is a reservoir you fill with water approx every three weeks. In it is a battery-powered pump (and solar panels on the outside of the base are being developed that will keep the battery charged) which is on a timer. A tube runs up the centre of the tower to a fountain head at the top, through which water cascades down through the plants. You set the pump to water as often or as little as you feel your plants need.
 
The whole system comes in a box and is easy to assemble - think of it as being a bit like a marble run. Set the growing containers to the height you want - the max height is 5ft but for children or wheelchair users might prefer to cap it at 3ft. The kit provides you with a coir growing medium, not soil because it’s heavy and can be infested with pathogens. You can buy plant plugs at extra cost from Acqua Garden - for example chillies, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce. Alternatively buy your own non peat-grown plugs.
 
Acqua Tower costs £385. It’s manufactured in China from HDPE, which is a very hardwearing and long lasting plastic. The coir growing medium comes from Sri Lanka - coir being fibre from coconut husks of course.
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