We went out into our garden to check our Vertical Garden on the hottest day of the year so far.
The outside temperature was over 80 degrees to find our Vertical Garden plants were all wilted and drooping!
All the months of growing these vegetables and they now looked like they were dead!
Vertical Garden Mistakes and Lessons Learned
In the spring, we had two vertical gardens that were producing well inside our home. We wanted them outside where they could grow with natural light and air circulation.
We had kale, collards, mustard greens, chard and parsley that were abundant growers regardless of how often we had cut and consumed them.
Other plants like basil and several varieties of lettuce had to be replaced.
Mistake 1: Not wanting to disturb the mature plants and thinking we could save some time and labor, we relocated the two Tower Gardens to the outside without cleaning them.
Mistake 2: We mixed the new young starts in to the empty ports wherever they happened to occur.
This caused the young starts to be over shadowed by the larger plants and they weren’t getting enough sun light.
In addition, the roots of the larger plants were depriving Tower Tonic water from the young plants. The new starts were not thriving.
To make matters worse, on a very hot July day, we discovered that all the plants in one Tower Garden were severely wilted and drooping over.
Since there was plenty of water in the reservoir, we checked the pump. It was clogged with slime and plant material since we hadn’t cleaned it since last fall.
Just three weeks later, all plants in that same Tower Garden were again severely wilted and drooping.
It was 85 degrees, a very hot day in the Pacific Northwest. This time the pump had completely stopped.
We had burned out the motor because we hadn’t kept it clean. The filter clogged up and no water was flowing though the pump burning it up.
Lesson 1: Each week that you add water and Tower Tonic to the water, clean the pump filter if the vertical garden has been in production for several months.
Lesson 2: Always have a spare pump available! Fortunately we had a spare.
Lesson 3: If your plants are wilted and drooping, spray them with water, then cover the entire vertical garden with a lightweight garden row cover cloth. Spray the cloth with water again and keep it wet. This acts like a swamp cooler to cool off the plants and get them re-hydrated. Remove the cloth when the vertical garden has natural shade. We left the pump running continuously all through the night. By morning, it was amazing to see their near complete recovery. Trim off any leaves that did not recover.
Lesson 4: When cleaning the vertical garden that has mature plants, use dish basins filled with enough tonic water from the reservoir to keep the netty pots submerged. Trim the roots of large plants back so the roots are just clearing the bottom of the tower section.
Lesson 5: Tim Blank, inventor of the Tower Garden vertical growing system, recommends cleaning every surface of your vertical garden with bleach to kill any bacteria that may be present from the old crop.
Lesson 6: Do not reuse any of the old Tower Tonic water in the reservoir. Instead, pour the old water over any and all plants in your garden. They will love it. Fill the reservoir with new water and Tower Tonic.
Lesson 7: We use Tower Tonic as a fertilizer for all of our indoor and outdoor growing. We found it is far more cost effective, convenient, and it will save you money over buying other organic fertilizers at the store.
If you would like to receive a FREE 30 minute consultation about any problems you may be having with your vertical garden, please contact us at the email address or phone number below. We will be happy to schedule your consultation.
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