Stone Planters Update

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Here are a few shots of my stone planters. I need to do some weeding, but I enjoyed a beet with dinner last night and peas are starting to come in now.

Tower Garden Week 5

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We have finally had some really great growing weather at the end of May with a few days in the 90’s. We’ve enjoyed several salads and sautéed mixed greens. One of the pictures in the gallery shows the recent pickings as we prepared a salad.

The Tower Garden is really very simple and extremely low maintenance. I have a traditional garden as well (which I’ll post some pictures soon) that requires much more work and if you don’t do the work, the weeds and bugs will overtake it. Lettuce in my raised beds has been ravaged by slugs and other bugs. So far I have had very little problems with bugs in the Tower Garden.

Another advantage over a traditional earth based garden is that the vegetables are so much cleaner. There is very little washing and prep that is required.

If you enjoy gardening and growing, the Tower Garden is one way to enjoy it more and produce better crops with less maintenance.

Tower Garden Week 4

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After some cool damp weather, we are finally starting to get a few days that are warm. I’ve had one salad and I’ll be eating more real soon now.

One mistake I made was planting the seedlings too soon. A few did not have a good root structure in place and I think that’s very important before transferring to the tower. I have one tomato plant that has been struggling and the basil just hasn’t got off the ground. Some is due to the cold weather, but those few plants were just to small when I put them in.

Tower Garden Week 3

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Here are pictures of my Tower Garden after the 3rd week. It was rainy, but you can see that it’s really taking off now. I also added 2 gallons of water with Tower Tonic to the tank on Saturday, the 18th.

Around the Garden

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The Irises are blooming and much more is coming out. The trees finally have leaves and just when things start looking warmer we get hit with a frost warning tonight, May 13th. I covered my Tower Garden and the tender plants. I’m anxious this year and I hope it’s not going to be at the loss of some plants.

Tower Garden Week 2

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Here are some photos of my Tower Garden. This is the second full week since planting the tower.

Garden Update – More to Plant

StonePlanters1My stone planters now contain beets and broccoli along with the peas. Emily brought me some lettuce type plant that for the life of me I can’t recall what they’re called. It primarily grows in Europe and is great in salads. That’s growing in the same planter. I also got the peas strung up and they are starting to climb.

In the other planter I have more broccoli, chives and just started planting some lettuce. The Kale that Emily planted last year is still growing after I transplanted them. I pinch off the tops to see if they will produce anything much this Spring.

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After loosing the first round of cucumbers because I put them in the ground too soon and then had a frost, the ones I kept inside are ready to be planted now. I also have summer squash that is ready to go in. I think it might still be too early, but we’ll see. After getting these planted today, it’s time to start more seeds.

I have a few herbs in the pot, cilantro, dill and chives. They are starting to come along nicely. Not many of the strawberry plants made it through the winter, but the ones that did seem full of flowers.The irises are getting ready to bloom too.

Tower Garden – Week 1

TowerGardenWeek109Weather is finally warming up here in the northeast. Long sunny days is really helping the garden grow. Here are some pictures my Tower Garden after the first week with the plants in the Tower.

We really needs some rain and watering is becoming a daily chore. The nice with the Tower Garden is that I can set it and forget it. You still need to check to make sure things are running OK and nothing is going on unexpected. For some reason one of my plant pods on the top row was dry and the lettuce was almost dead. Seems as though a maple flower part clogged one of the holes in the shower section. This section is also where the steel support rod is located which is already taking up one of the holes. With 2 clogged, it was enough to dry out the one plant. After clearing out the clog and soaking the lettuce pod, it’s doing fine and staying moist.

You can compare the difference between when I first setup the Tower and week one. It should be more noticeable next week. I think all the plants are ready to take off now that we have nice weather.

 

Starting My Tower Garden

TowerGardenWeekOne2I recently got my first Tower Garden and I’m excited to get it setup and running. It’s just been so cold here in Connecticut that the days seem to drag on, but I started the seedlings inside and now it’s time to plant the tower.

Each section holds 4 plants and there are 7 sections. The bottom 4 are tomatoes and above that are cucumbers. The 3rd row is green beans and eggplant and above that is swiss chard. The 5th row is spinach, then bib lettuce and the final 7th row is lettuce and basil.

The Tower Garden uses Aeroponics which is a leap froward from traditional Hydroponics. The big difference is that air is mixed with the fortified water as it showers down and the roots never remain submerged. There is no medium with Aeroponics, whereas Hydroponics uses the nutrient enriched water as the medium.

With the Tower Garden, vegetables grow faster and uses less water. It’s compact, vertical and simple to set up which is perfect for decks and patios.

My Dad is a master gardener and he decided to build his own style of a tower garden that uses dirt, so it’s more like a traditional pot. He started with a 30 gallon plastic drum which he cut slits in and then heated and used a beer bottle to create the plant pockets. Gordon used volcanic rocks at the bottom for drainage and then a hybrid mix of gardening soils, peat moss and compost. He created a center PVC tube filled with holes that is used for feeding and watering. It’s now filled with strawberries.

Stone Planters

StonePlanters2Connecticut is full of rocks. Stick a shovel in the ground and you have a 98% chance of striking a rock, big or small. The spot I picked for my garden has two main problems; too many rocks and possibly the old site of the previous owner’s pool. It’s tough enough to deal with natural rocks, but when I’m tilling and hit a chunk of concrete, that just spoils the organic perception of a garden.

So, what to do? I could move my spot, but that would mean moving my fencing and posts too. Plus I have planted some fruit trees and I don’t want to move those or leave the fence up just for the trees. It’s a great location and takes advantage of the sun and existing rock wall around the pool. Solution: take advantage of the natural abundance of rocks.

I decided to build stone planter boxes. Using rocks that were in the garden and other rocks that are in my back garden, I built 2 stone planters for this year’s garden. Noah and Katie helped me move the rocks that were dug up and we all got a workout. Eventually the entire garden will be raised stone planters.

I filled the two planters with tilled dirt and soil from under the leaf piles in the back, along with compost from my compost bins. In the first planter box, I planted peas, beets and broccoli. I can’t wait for this cold weather to brake so I can plant the other box with seedlings that are in the sunroom.