Category Archives: Urban Gardening

Tower Garden Strawberries are the best ever

You’ll be amazed at the luscious strawberries you will grow! Even my berries that are just turning pink taste better than any strawberry from the grocery store! You can buy aeroponic starts in season. Last year, I missed that season so I purchased ever bearing root starts, thoroughly rinsed off the soil, and put them into the rock wool. You can see last year’s post by clicking here.

You know how strawberries send out runners! Those young plants are what you want for next years crop. I let a couple dozen runners develop on last year’s Tower Garden. In the fall, I cut the starts off, planted them, and covered them with straw for the winter. Worked perfectly. Just saved myself a bunch of money with minimal labor!

Here is a short video of this year’s process.

Since we still have an occasional night time freeze Bob put a standard fish tank 20 gallon water heater in the reservoir to keep the roots about 60 to 65 degrees. This further protects the starts and speeds up their growth, I suggest a landscape cloth called “row cover“. It’s a very fine weave material that allows light to pass through and will raise the temperature from 2 to 5 degrees around your plants.

Young strawberry starts ready for spring in my Tower Garden.

Young strawberry starts ready for spring in my Tower Garden.

Small plants are better than mature plants when planting your Tower Garden.

Small plants are better than mature plants when planting your Tower Garden.

Tower Garden covered with row cover fastened  with cloths pins.

Row cover added to protect strawberries from freezing. I secured with cloths pins, but you can use anything.

 

Links to past blog posts about growing strawberries in my Tower Gardens.

http://backyardtowergarden.com/2015/03/15/tower-garden-getting-ready-for-new-strawberry-crop/

http://backyardtowergarden.com/2013/10/31/tower-garden-halloween-strawberries/

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Healthy Living Linda’s Fresh Kale Salad

Fresh kale is a bit difficult to chew sufficiently so that our stomachs can digest it and get the full benefit. My recipe tells how to overcome this objection.

Linda's Kale Salad made with chopped apple, onion; sliced almonds, rice vinegar, feta cheese is rich in protein.

Linda’s Kale Salad ready to serve as part of a healthy meal rich in protein.

All ingredients are approximate.

Two cups of packed fresh kale. I like to mix varieties and use the youngest leaves possible.

Tear the leaves in to small pieces. Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Massage with your fingers for 1-2 minutes. Cover and set aside for half an hour.

Now add to the bowl

Six varietes of fresh picked kale from my Tower Garden in a pan.

Six varieties of fresh kale picked from my Tower Garden ready for me use in my kale salad.

½ chopped apple

¼ cup chopped red onion

1 Tablespoon of rice vinegar (other vinegars may be used)

1 Tablespoon feta cheese, optional

1 Tablespoon sliced almonds or chopped walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds.

Gently mix and serve.

Converting to more vegan meals? Kale has

Kale in a bowl with olive oil and salt added.

Kale with olive oil and salt added.

-more iron than beef

– more fiber, beef has zero

-more calcium than dairy

– kale contains large quantities of antioxidants, meat has zero

– kale has anti-inflammatory properties, meat’s cause inflammation, as in arthritis and digestive issues.

From a sustainability perspective, kale grows to maturity in 55 to 60 days versus a cow raised for beef for an average of 18-24 months. Kale can grow in most climates and is relatively easy and low impact to grow at home or on a farm. To raise one pound of beef requires 16 pounds of grain, 11 times as much fossil fuel and more than 2,400 gallons of water.

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Tower Garden Getting Ready For New Strawberry Crop

Today Bob took the Tower Garden I use to grow strawberries in each year and got it ready for me to plant. He took the black plastic 30 gallon trash bags off. My Tower Garden was still clean just the way I left it after cleaning it at the end of the growing season in October. To see how I clean the Tower Garden click here. The Tower Garden did get blown over when we had a storm with winds up to 70 MPH gusts. Their was no water in the reservoir to weight it down since it was winter time. This caused the pods to get out of alinement. It was easy to just take off the wing nuts on the top of the Tower Garden too just pull it apart and put it back together all lined up. A five minute job!

Last fall we got some very heavy rains that caused the water to lay around the Tower Gardens and not drain off. This caused the circuit breaker to pop due to getting water in the plug connections. Bob took a piece of bamboo from our scrap pile and pounded it into the ground and hung the timer from  it with a nylon wire tie to keep the connections out of the water. Will see how this works out this growing season. I will be posting a new blog next week showing you how I planted my strawberries.

Tower Garden Urban Vertical Garden

Took cover off Tower Garden today after outdoor winter storage and it was still clean. The pods got out of alinement when wind blew it over on its side.

Tower Garden Vertical Urban Gardening

Tower Garden filled with water ready for planting.

Tower Garden Urban Vertical Gardening

Tower Garden timer hanging from pole to keep out of the water.

Other blog posts about growing Strawberries in my Tower Garden.

http://backyardtowergarden.com/2013/10/31/tower-garden-halloween-strawberries/

http://backyardtowergarden.com/2013/08/15/tower-garden-strawberry-crop/

You can contact me using the form below.

 

 

Tower Garden Has Higher Yield University of Mississippi Study Shows

The University of Mississippi published a research paper about growing vegetables in a Tower Garden. The study reveals that plants grown in aeroponic systems show a higher product yield and

Tower Garden Urban Vertical Gardening

Researchers have confirmed that the Tower Garden by Juice Plus+ grew more, faster than conventional gardens.

comparable antioxidant properties compared to those grown in soil. OleMiss planted 24 Tower Gardens with basil, chard, parsley, red kale, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and squash. The full study can be read by clicking here.

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king here.

Tree Pruning Clean Up Tip

When I prune trees or shrubs I place a large tarp under the area where I am

Place trap under area to prune to collect branches

I place a trap under the area I am going to prune.

pruning. As I prune the the branches that I cut fall onto the tarp. When I have to move the ladder I drag the tarp and and re-position it under the ladder.  If trimming a ground height shrub I lay the trap around the shrub and move it if needed. When the tarp is becoming too full with branches I fold it up and use it to carry, or if too heavy, drag the branches to my compost pile. Contact me for price information about pruning fruit trees and shrubs in the Puget Sound area by using the contact form at the bottom of this blog post.

 

Fruit Tree Pruning

Oh my! Where to begin pruning?

Branches fall onto trap under me.

As I cut the branches while pruning they full down onto the trap under me.

Fold over trap to carry or drag branches away.

I fold the tarp over the branches to carry or drag them to my compost pile.

Tower Garden Starting Seeds

Seedlings in my Greenhouse wated with Tower Tonic

Seedlings in my greenhouse that I water with Tower Tonic

Starting seeds in rock wool cubes for your Tower Garden? Once the seeds have sprouted, I use a weak solution of Tower Tonic.  I use a solution that is about 25% of the normal ratio.  Once the seedlings are put into your Tower Garden use a 50% solution of Tower Tonic for about the first month and then progress to the full solution as your plants become bigger.  This works well when you are starting with all new plants, like you would do in the spring.

I also use normal strength Tower Tonic on my soil plant starts that will be transplanted into my traditional soil garden. Tower Tonic is the best all around fertilizer, and it’s organic!  “But what about the cost?” you ask.  Just $40.00 of Tower Tonic could easily last all summer!

Contact me with any questions you may have.