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Grow Towers?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by VoorTrekker, Oct 26, 2019.

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  1. Oct 26, 2019 #1

    VoorTrekker

    VoorTrekker

    VoorTrekker

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    I cannot do this project because I am an over the road truck driver and my "survivalist" friends are so disinclined. Any takers who have space and an afternoon?

    There was an article in a 1990's publication about Canadian Potato Boxes. The boxes were 4' x 4' x 3'. These were made of one by four lumber, vertical struts and slats with an inch and a half space between the slats. The potatoes were planted between the slats and after maturing the "harvest" was about two bushels of potatoes. That project was by urban dwellers who had no gardening space and were hungry.

    This gave me an idea. Grow towers. Needed:

    3' x 3' piece of plywood or OSB (optional)
    one by four lumber
    screws or nails
    burlap or cheap biodegradable cloth
    staples and stapler
    light angle iron or heavy gage wire
    string
    chicken wire
    PVC pipe (optional)

    Mark the plywood 3" on each end for the line. This is where the first one by four will be glued or screwed.
    Place the first tier of one by four by 2' 6" and place the vertical one by four by 48" inside the perimeter of one by fours at the corners.

    Make a template 1.5" and place each additional one by four by 30" and screw them to the vertical support until one reaches as far up the supports as possible, this should be about nine slats.

    Place the burlap cut to cover the interior and staple in place, some slack may be required.

    Stand the tower upright and fill with composted soil. Place bulbs, sprouts, etc. spaced apart a the space between the slats all the way around and all the way up.

    Tomatoes and Bell Peppers should be at the bottom and all other plants the rest of the way up. If one makes more than one grow tower, one can be for root crops such as carrots, beets, onions, etc.

    The angle iron/wire is secured at an upward angle 45 degrees at the corners and the chicken wire draped over the extension. This is for climbing plants like tomatoes.

    For vines, place the extensions straight at the corners 45 degrees outward and place the chicken wire horizontal so they can crawl about off of the ground.

    The top can be cover cropped with strawberries, hairy vetch, carrots, beets, any leafy plant.

    The PVC is for making an irrigation system. This is more tedious than complicated. Each piece of horizontal pipe will have a cap and "French Drain" type of 1/8" holes drilled along its length. Each horizontal piece will also have an elbow connecting to the vertical pipe. Each piece will need a tag to denote which slat it will irrigate. All of the vertical pipes will connect to a 2" or 3" horizontal feed which is capped at each end and the water flows into the 3" H piece(manifold) and into the separate vertical pipes. Drip and flow methods should work.

    An additional four foot extension tower can be place to make an eight foot tower.

    The reason for the grow tower is to maximize growing spaces, avoid the laborious and time consuming tilling chores. One grow tower for one season will cover nine square feet for twenty five square feet of growing space. An eight foot tower would have 50 square feet of growing space.

    Now this will require a composting program, the old soil can be re-composted during the winter months and be used again. The First year compost if used in the grow tower would be re-used for the third year. Rotation of composting soil is also good management.

    I hope I have explained this enough to spark and interest, it doesn't matter what one grows as it is limited to one's imagination and willingness.
     
  2. Oct 26, 2019 #2

    Just Cliff

    Just Cliff

    Just Cliff

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  3. Oct 26, 2019 #3

    VoorTrekker

    VoorTrekker

    VoorTrekker

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    Especially the $500+ for vertigro and the grow tower is less than $100!
     
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  4. Oct 28, 2019 #4

    VoorTrekker

    VoorTrekker

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    Are there any DIY's who would like to try this?
     
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  5. Oct 29, 2019 #5

    Patchouli

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    I'm not situated for it currently.
     
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  6. Oct 29, 2019 #6

    Woody

    Woody

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    https://www.vertigro.com/



    Looking at the pictures of them... One could do the same thing with a number of those plastic "milk crates" piled on top of each other. Line one with burlap and fill with soil. Place one on top, at 45 degrees, leaving the corners for planting in. Line the next one, fill and repeat.

    If I can score a few this winter, I will give the milk crates a try next year. My sister bought a ceramic planter with the hole in the sides for strawberries. That ceramic would suck the moisture right out of it and it took a ton of watering to keep it going. With the plastic and burlap... Maybe black plastic lined instead of burlap?

    Gives me a new project.

    This sounds like a lot of effort. I have a space for potatoes off to the side. Maybe I could incorporate it into my above idea though.
     
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  7. Oct 29, 2019 #7

    Woody

    Woody

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    I could not get the picture to paste above. This is the "Vertigro system"

    upload_2019-10-29_16-39-36.png
     
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  8. Oct 29, 2019 #8

    Just Cliff

    Just Cliff

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    All of the growing media for the Vertigro system is reusable. I have quite a bit of the equipment already for the system. What I don't have is the towers. I got some of the stuff off of eBay like the fertilizer injectors. They are pricey but, I got incredible deals on them.
    I have a place just North of me in Southern Virginia that does drip irrigation.. They have all the other parts besides the towers. Those parts are pretty cheap. I have all my meters from other hydro projects. Once again, kinda pricey but well worth it.
    The Vertigro system is a tank to waste system. Meaning you water from the top and it drips down through the whole system into the bottom container then out the bottom. Once you figure your times out, you wont waste a lot of water and fertilizer. Just set your timers to run the amount of time you need and let it go. DO Not try to use Miracle Grow for nutrient. It doesn't work well in these types of systems. It clogs it up in the filter screen and doesn't really dissolve well.
    Things you can get to make it cheaper.
    A Rainbird Irrigation timer and solenoid valves. (At Lowes)
    20 gallon blow molded black pots for the bottom. (Usually free if your good at scrounging)
     
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  9. Oct 30, 2019 #9

    VoorTrekker

    VoorTrekker

    VoorTrekker

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    Woody, if you use milk crates, put plants on the sides as well, you will get more growth of vegetables than just top planting and if one is composting now--the current soil can be the next compost batch.
     
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