Growing tomatoes commercially in a Tower Farm:
Tomatoes grow abundantly when using Tower Garden technology. We have run many comparative tests with conventional soil farming. When growing tomatoes on an aeroponic Tower Farm system by Tower Garden®, aeroponic tomatoes definitely produce a superior crop yield when it comes to cherry tomatoes and an even crop yield for large varieties such as beefsteak tomatoes.
When growing tomatoes outdoors, if space constraint is no issue, growing tomatoes using Tower Garden technology is a viable option featuring many advantages. The main advantage is that aeroponic plants are stronger and being that they are off the ground, we almost never have experienced any form of pests/worms/insects on our tomato plants. Considering that most of the crops grown in Tower Farms using Tower Garden technology end up with an increase in nutrient density (proven through comparative scientific studies), we assume that there must be an increase of alkaloids levels in the leaves giving the plants a much stronger natural defense mechanism. This is the only way we can explain having experienced so many seasons of growing tomatoes without ever having had to spray anything: No pesticide, no insecticide, nothing!
However, whether outdoors or indoors, when using our aeroponic systems to grow tomatoes, an outside structure must be built to support the growth of the plants. At Agrotonomy, we built giant tomato cages big enough to accommodate 4 towers: 3 galvanized metal poles at each end, metal or nylon wiring stretched around the metal poles “ tomato cage style”!
Such approach allows us to run tomato vines on wires stretched horizontally up to 4 m above the ground. It allows great clearance for pruning and controlling/guiding the vines’ growth.
When considering growing tomatoes commercially on a Tower Garden aeroponic fully automated Tower Farm system, more space must be allocated per tower than with regular crops. Normally, we advise 2 m² per tower (including aisles and working space), however, with tomatoes, such space allowance must be doubled.
This is why most Tower Farmers involved in commercial farming inside a greenhouse prefer to grow leafy greens and herbs. Leafy greens, aromatic herbs and medicinal herbs are fast growing crops which in most case do not outgrow the radius of the tower. By keeping the crops within the space of the diameter of the bottom reservoir, more towers can be configured within a specific space without obstructing the light from one another.
The overhead cost of running a greenhouse is always broken down by the amount of square meters involved. When growing crops in a CEA environment such as a controlled climate greenhouse, a farmer is better off doubling the amount of towers and rotating crops every 3 weeks rather than allocating twice the space for tomatoes and have to build outside structures to accommodate the growth of the plants and support the weight of the fruits.
Regardless of such consideration, We understand that in some areas of the world where it is challenging to grow tomatoes or where good tomatoes are hard to find, if space allocation is not a problem, our towers are truly “tomato machines’’!
Of course, even indoors, if well-planned, growing tomatoes using Tower Garden technology is feasible and can yield to profitable results.
Furthermore, aside from the advantage of almost never having to spray any form of pesticide nor insecticide, one big perk is saving water. Throughout our comparative tests, for each liter of water used in our aeroponic Tower Farm system, we had to spray 20 liters of water for the plants growing in the soil for the same amount of tomato plants. Growing tomatoes in a Tower Farm will save an average of 95% water versus conventional soil farming. It will also save about 30% water and about 80% energy in comparison to conventional hydroponic solutions.
Agrotonomy is fully qualified to consult from customized development to implementation of a commercial aeroponic Tower Farm system aiming at growing tomatoes. From the design of the support cages to plant management techniques, from planting strategies to growing advice, our extensive experience growing tomatoes using aeroponic towers qualifies us fully to consult on commercial projects of any size.