GatorsUF
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:53 am

Re: Organic Garden Tower - advice

Hello my name is Sean and I am pretty excited to start my new garden. I decided to make my own rather than spend that much money on my first garden container.

Either way I have some questions and hopefully the experts on here can give me some advice.

Soil:
What type of soil should I get? I am looking at the CocoLoco organic soil mix as I like the idea of coconut coir over peet moss, however I am not sure if the coconut coir will hold too much moisture for a vertical garden. The bag says it is good for container gardens...

I have already purchased 2 additives for my soil; Jobe's Organic Fertilizer and Azomite. Is there anything else I should add? The container holds about 8.5 cu ft of soil, however I have no compost (yet) to make my own soil. I don't really want to just buy miracle grow organic mix from Lowes, I'd like a good product.

Crazy Idea:
I saw this idea of "mulching with aluminum foil". Not sure how that fits with an organic garden, however they claim it will repel some bugs and amphids. I was considering wrapping my blue barrel in foil, though it would help reflect the light on both sides of the plant as well as repel bugs. Thoughts?

Thank for any help you can provide,

Sean

imafan26
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Organic Garden Tower - advise

There are garden towers you can make from 55 gallon drums. There are also aero garden towers you can make with pvc that are hydroponic towers.

The trick if you are making these is not to make too many pockets there won't be enough room for the plants to spread out and enough root space. You also need to choose plants that are compatible. If you plant mint in any pot, it will take over.

You want to space your pockets so they are not directly over each other so the plant in the lower pocket has a space to grow upward. If your planter does not get 360 degrees of sun, don't plant the side against the wall.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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sweetiepie
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Organic Garden Tower - advise

My first thought on mulching with aluminum foil is "ouch" on the pocket book. That stuff is not cheap. If it can be reused, I reuse it in the kitchen. For me to use it outside, it would probably not last an afternoon, due to the wind we have, but if you do it, please let us know how it goes.

Seedsofchange
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:51 pm

Re: Organic "GardenTowerProject.com" tower - advise

That's pretty cool. You must have limited space? If you like woodworking and organic gardening, I've got another idea for you that works really well.

Are you interested?

GatorsUF
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Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:53 am

Re: Organic Garden Tower - advise

Always interested in ideas!

The aluminum foil mulching idea is really just wallpaper for the barrel. Thought it might help reflect light and deter bugs.

I made mine already and it is exactly like like the one from the garden tower project website, worm composter and all. I was thinking of either putting wheels on the bottom so I could rotate it, or putting a floor mirror on the shady side.

imafan26
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Posts: 11676
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Organic Garden Tower - advice

Here is an aero tower, hydroponic lettuce from where I work. The lettuce heads grow faster but are lighter than those grown in soil.

If you can see the cups hold 3 inch net pot seedlings. Nutrient water trickles down from the top and ends up in the reservoir and then it is recycled again.

Notice that the openings are not placed on top of each other and there is about a foot between each level. Each lettuce head can be 8-10 inches in diameter.

When you plan the spacing in the barrel, it is important to do the same thing space the planting holes far enough apart around and with enough space for the plants to grow full size without touching each other. Lettuce is a good crop for these systems because they are a short crop ready in 30 days and they don't stick out or have such extensive root systems that the block the flow of water. If you planted something like tomato or eggplant they need much more space and have extensive root systems.
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Aero Tower planted with lettuce.
Aero Tower planted with lettuce.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.



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