From a “cash crop’ perspective, a Tower Farm operator farming in a climate controlled greenhouse environment should mainly focus on leafy greens and aromatic/medicinal herbs.
Although over 200 different crops can be grown successfully using our aeroponic tower technology and fertilizer solution, when it comes to farming vertically indoors, the overhead cost is calculated based on each square meter of operation.
Leafy greens and aromatic herbs do not outgrow the radius of the tower reservoir. It translates in more towers being able to fit within a specific area in comparison to growing tomatoes, cucumbers or any other vine related crops. When growing tomatoes or squash, the plants need to be supported by an outside structure.
When considering growing tomatoes, cucumbers, beans or eggplants, there are other agricultural technologies which can compare to our towers in terms of crop yield and quality.
However, when it comes to growing leafy greens and herbs (aromatic and medicinal), we are in a league of our own, where no no other agricultural approach can compare to our aeroponic tower technology: aside from a staggering superior crop yield, our “green crops” feature a scientifically proven increase in nutrition density, antioxidant activity as well as in phenolic values (healthier, tastier, more fragrant and stronger texture).
Growing leafy greens and herbs that are so superior in terms of nutrient density also means more ‘robust’ plants featuring a stronger natural defense mechanism (no pesticide needed) and a significantly extended shelf life.
Yield varies in any growing system by crop, weather, seeding rate, and other factors. In good growing conditions, lettuce, herbs, and leafy greens will have an average yield of 150g to 200g per port per 21-28 day growing cycle.
Yield varies in any growing system by crop, weather, seeding rate, and other factors. In good growing conditions, lettuce, herbs, and leafy greens will have an average yield of 100g to 175 g per port per 21-28 day growing cycle. Yield for fruiting vegetables like cucumbers and tomatoes depends on the variety and season.
Here are the average crop yields which we experience at Agrotonomy:
- Tomato cherries: up to 12 to 15 plants per tower maximum = 20 to 40 pounds per plant depending on the variety.
- Tomatoes “regular/ big size” up to 12 to 15 plants per tower maximum = 40 to 50 pounds per plant depending on the variety.
- Cucumbers: 15/20 plants per tower. A cucumber can vary between 100 g (or less) and 250 g. We can harvest about 15-30 cucumbers per plant (many more depending on variety, i.e. lemon cucumbers and other specialty varieties).
- Strawberries: 52 plants per tower. Depending on varieties, we have experienced from 100 g to 2.5 pounds per plant (whether we are growing wild strawberries varieties or large fruit varieties).
- Eggplants: up to 15 to 18 plants recommended per tower maximum = 6 to 10 pounds per plant depending on the variety.
- Leafy green and herbs: 52 plants per tower. From 100 to 175 g every 3 weeks . Once again, it all depends on the crop: it takes much longer for basil than it does for arugula… depending on varieties, harvest cycles vary from 14 days to 60 days with harvest cycles every 3 weeks on average.
Once again, the crop yield of a plant will depend on the quality of the seeds, the variety, the growing conditions (light, humidity, temperature, air circulation, elevation, EMFs, etc.).
At the bottom of the ‘beyond organic’ section of our website, we publish a comparative scientific study titled: “Assessment of Total Phenolic and Flavonoid Content, Antioxidant Properties, & Yield of Aeroponically and Conventionally Grown Leafy Vegetables and Fruit Crops. A Comparative study”.
As irrefutably proven throughout this extensive scientific comparative research, Tower Garden® aeroponic commercial systems produce 35% to 50% crop yield increase in comparison to soil-based farming and conventional hydroponics.