Revolving Plant Tower Is Solar-Powered

Do you live in a small or yard-less space, but want to grow things anyway? You’re not totally out of luck — you’ll just have to get creative and probably vertical with your planting scheme. And since apartments and other smallish dwellings often have a limited amount of exposure, it would really help a lot if you could somehow rotate the plants so that they receive even sunlight.

[JT_Makes_It]’s rotating strawberry tower ticks all these boxes and more. The 12 V solar cell powers a small DC motor that spins at the gentle speed of 0.6 RPM. The tube is hanging from a swiveling carabiner that acts like a clutch — if a strong wind comes along or something bumps into it, the motor will continue to spin the carabiner.

[JT_Makes_It] already had a tube with holes, though they did cut several more into it. As built, this is not exactly apartment dweller-friendly, unless you have off-site access to things like plasma cutters and welding equipment. But as they point out, you could theoretically use PVC and a hole saw and make it shorter and therefore lighter. We think this looks great, although we’re a bit concerned about the weight. Not so much on the mechanism itself; that looks strong. We’re just wondering how long that carport frame will support it. Judge the build quality for yourself from the video after the break.

Did you know that strawberries can do tricks? Fasciation makes fanned-out berries, and vivipary makes them hairy.

16 thoughts on “Revolving Plant Tower Is Solar-Powered

  1. Or you could cut a strip of that lawn away and plant them there… but maybe they have fascist resident association who mandate grass lawn deserts. A PVC pipe would be lighter, but you use what you have in these builds right!

    1. Some things, like strawberries are very hard to grow at ground level and get the fruit from. They are generally grown in towers anyway. This just evens out and lets all sides grow properly..

      Also even growing something that will work in the ground just fine, its not as visually interesting, and half the point of putting work into your garden is to enjoy the results… Not sure how much lighter you would want it to be at this scale – its a large wind catcher being rotated by a slip arrangement and doesn’t appear to be tethered at the base, make it too light and it will swing too freely, and just never rotate with any degree of reliability.. Also not sure how much difference the pipe weight will make anyway – you are filling with soil or a soil substitute (really depends on what you are trying to grow), that quite possibly weighs significantly more than the pipe no matter what it is made of.

      1. Thanks for your input! I like the way you think.
        The tower itself is actually not much lighter than PVC one. It is indeed made out of metal, but it is thin 0.5 or 0.8mm sheet metal and it does not weigh that much. The majority of the weight is the soil.

  2. “The 12 V solar cell powers a small DC motor…”

    Just a small pedantic note: this is a solar “panel”. A solar “cell” is one of the small black blocks on the panel. :-)

  3. I’m thinking he should run it a little bit faster, then the centrifugal force will cause the leaves to splay outwards, instead of hanging down, and thereby increase the area for collecting sunlight. Probably 100 rpm should do the trick.

    The strawberries might also automatically make jam.

    1. I think they would fell sick and rot away :) And a lot of people would get injured by trying to grab some strawberries :)
      Faster spinning would take more power and bigger solar cell :) But yeah, it would look mighty cool!

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