It seems growing food for your family and being self-sufficient is becoming more and more important as each day passes. You may be thinking it’s too late to get a garden started this year, but it’s not! Create a vertical garden in less than two-square-feet of garden space using a GreenStalk Vertical Tower garden.
If you’ve been wanting to start a garden, but felt you needed to have the perfect garden plan and learn all the tips and tricks first, or maybe learn about the 10 most common gardening mistakes to avoid, or even know how to keep weeds out of the garden before beginning, then this post about vertical gardening is for you!
You won’t need an acre of land and a beautiful garden plot, you won’t need to know how to build a hoop house (although they are awesome!), you won’t need to know about lasagna gardening or even starting seeds indoors (although these are all helpful!).
You’ll just need a small space on a sunny balcony!
GreenStalk Vertical Planter
In the video above, Josh demonstrates just how to set up an instant “salad garden” using the GreenStalk Vertical Planter. You may think it’s too late to start a garden this year, but using this system, you could have food for your table ready in just a few weeks.
The GreenStalk is by far the best vertical garden system we’ve seen or tried (trust us, not all are created equal!).
Why the GreenStalk Vertical Garden System is Best
- It’s a mobile system. Meaning it’s on casters (wheels) so the tower can be moved or spun around so all sides have equal access to the sun. You can also move it to different locations throughout the day to “chase” the sun for faster growth.
- Perfect size tiers. Each tier is perfectly sized to hold exactly one cubic foot of soil. This means less waste because garden soil is usually sold in 1 or 2-cubic foot bags.
- Completely customizable. You can grow anywhere from one tier to five tiers depending on your needs/desires. In this video, we demonstrate using all five tiers.
- Patented watering system. Oftentimes when using a vertical garden system, the top tiers tend to take up the majority of the water whereas the bottom tiers don’t get enough. GreenStalk has a fully patented watering system that waters every tier at the same time.
- USA designed and built! GreenStalk is made entirely in Tennessee (NOT China!). That’s always important to us and we try to shop in-country as often as is possible.
- Family-owned. GreenStalk is a family-owned company!
- 5-Year Warranty. As far as a planting system goes, that’s a LONG warranty, they really stand behind their product.
- They’ve given Homesteading Family followers a discount! Use code “homesteadingfamily” at checkout for $10 off your order.
Where to Buy a Vertical Garden
Our recommendation is to buy American-made. You’ll have a hard time finding too many quality vertical gardens that meet our strict standards when it comes to growing a garden, but this company ticks all the boxes.
Not only that, but they’ve offered all Homesteading Family readers an extra discount of $10 off when you use the coupon code “homesteadingfamily” at checkout.
To see all GreenStalk has to offer, visit their website.
What You Need for a Vertical Garden
- A vertical garden (we recommend GreenStalk)
- Potting soil – buy in bulk when/if you can, otherwise look for a good quality organic potting soil.
- Plants or seeds
- Good quality spade or shovel (we love Homestead Iron Tools if you’d like to give any of their products a try, use code “homesteadingfamily” for 10% off anything on their site!)
What to Consider Before Planting
It’s important to consider a few things before buying plants or planting seeds into your vertical garden.
- You’re limited to just how much soil you can put into the planters, so you can’t grow something that will require deep roots, need to be mounded up, or will get really large (such as carrots, horseradish, potatoes, squashes, etc.)
- Grow plants that are determinant. Determinant plants will only grow so big (they are pre-determined).
- Think about what you’re planting when deciding which plant to grow on which tier. For example, we planted cucumbers in our garden and because cucumbers like to vine out, we planted them on the bottom tier so they wouldn’t cover any plants below them.
What Can You Plant in a Vertical Garden?
The vertical garden ideas are endless (well, almost!). This is a perfect solution for mixing and matching what you’d like to grow. How about growing herbs, an entire vertical herb garden, plant a traditional garden, or even add flowers for a pop of color.
As I mentioned before, you want to make sure you avoid anything that needs deep root space or something that takes up too much space when fully grown (pumpkins would NOT be a good option!).
In our vertical planter we planted what we call a “salad garden”. So we planted one tier of tomatoes, one tier of cucumbers, one tier of peppers and two tiers of lettuces.
How to Plant a Vertical Garden
- Fill up each planting tier with soil, right up to the top of the container. It will settle a bit, so this will ensure the best growing conditions.
- Layout your plants where they’ll go and decide which plant will work best on each tier. (For us this went cucumbers on the bottom tier, tomatoes next, then pepper and the top two rows are lettuce.)
- Before planting your starts (ideally the night before), make sure everything is well watered. Give your starts a nice drink and water each tier of soil very well.
- Starting with the bottom tier, plant your seeds or transplant your starts. Make sure to point the plant out toward the edge to ensure it grows the correct direction. (Find out how to transplant tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers here.)
- Give each tier another good watering to be sure the soil is nice and damp. But be sure you can still lift each tier!
- Place the watering tray on top of each tier. This is what ensures a nice even watering of each level.
- The large watering tray goes on the top level and has a plug to use when filling the tray with water. This is your measured watering tray. On the inside of the tray, there are fill-lines based on how many tiers you’re working with so each time you water your planter you’re giving it exactly how much it needs.
- Carefully start stacking each tier, starting with the base and stacking the next lowest level, working toward the top of the tower. (It helps to have someone to help with this step to be sure you don’t pinch or damage your plants when stacking.)
- Give the tower an initial watering. Fill up the top tray to the appropriate fill-line, then remove the plug. This will allow the water to properly water each level.
- You may need to water more than once the first day to be sure your soil is well moist.
And that’s it! Now you can sit back and watch your garden grow, right before your eyes!