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Vertical Farming Technology Comes to the Backyard Garden or Urban Patio

Vertical Farming Technology Comes to the Backyard Garden or Urban Patio

The Garden Stick came about as a means to efficiently grow strawberries for a large u-pick farm, the Fuller’s Farmers Market in Davie, Florida, which is located just outside Ft. Lauderdale.

This 66″ tall Vertical Farming, with space for 14 plants, and taking up only 2 square feet, worked so well in their growing operation, the decision was made to sell it to the general public as well as other commercial growers. Nor is it limited to strawberry production, a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs and ornamentals can be grown with it, a list of some among these is available further on into this article.

To give you a look at the Garden Stick in actual use, I’ve embedded a video from the itinerant John Kohler, a noted raw foodist and gardener from Northern California, came across the farm on one of his road trips, and as he so often does, he just had to stop in at Fuller’s, take a look and record a video of what he found:

As seems to be the case so often, John became a raw foodist due to various health problems, including a life-threatening bout of spinal meningitis. He so strongly believes in growing his own food, he converted his entire back and front yards to gardening areas, primarily raised beds, and he made it his mission in life to help others grow their own food and to spread the word about the benefits of eating a raw food diet.

Whether you share his ideas on what constitutes the best human diet or not, he has made a prodigious number of videos on various aspects of gardening and has become a great resource for the home gardener.

Installation and Dimensional Specifics for an Actual Garden Stick Planter

Below, another video shows you how to set up a Garden Stick planter unit, and lists some of the options and specs for the various models it comes in – just hit the read more button below to see the rest of this article.

The Garden Stick comes in three distinct sizes, Patio, consisting of one 4″ PVC section 33″ long,
Large, consisting of two 33″ long 4″ PVC sections, and Jumbo, consisting of two 33″ long 6″ PVC sections. All 3 come in a variety of colours, including a green recycled PVC option.

The Jumbo stick (6″ diameter tube) supports plants with larger root systems, such as tomatoes, while the 4″ diameter tube versions are intended for plants with less of a root structure such as lettuce, strawberries and most herbs.

The watering cap is listed as separate purchases, and there are two versions. The first option consists of a cap, watering tube, and pressure regulator and it connects to a standard outdoor faucet. The second option is a cap with a connector to hold a 2-litre soda bottle (user-supplied). It is intended for the placement of a unit inaccessible to a faucet. Of course, the third option would be to leave the tube open at the top and hand water.

Advantages:

  • Grow organic or non-organic
  • Grow hydroponically
  • Eliminates much bending or kneeling after its planted
  • 14 plants grow in each PVC segment of one Complete Garden Stick
  • Ability to grow plants with ease
  • Can be for the hobbyist, backyard gardener or a full-scale vertical farm
  • Low maintenance
  • Small footprint – about 2 square feet
  • Fewer pest problems
  • Minimal chances of weed infestation
  • Less water consumption
  • Portable
  • Weather-resistant
  • Insulated – holds moisture in hotter weather
  • Insulated – help prevent freezing in colder temperatures
  • Available in several colors
  • Usable on small balconies and decks of apartments, townhouses, condominiums or on urban rooftops
  • Encourages participation in gardening for all age groups, especially kids
  • Gives users easy access to a healthier diet
  • Choice of watering options – connect to hose or use 2-liter bottle upside down
  • Has drainage hole plug to drain excess water

Disadvantages

  • Planting procedure specifies planting upward tier by tier – need to have plants on hand before filling in the soil
  • No cup-shaped extension under holes to better hold plants
  • Must remember to unplug drainage hole to avoid flooding roots in heavy rain or excessive irrigation

Tower Assembly Procedure

  1. Remove all parts from the shipping box.
  2. Set tub section onto level surface.
  3. Place first ring into bottom of the tub
  4. Place bottom section of growing tube through hole in the ring at bottom of tub.
  5. Add washed rock, sand, broken up brick or cinder block chunks into tub to add weight for stability. Fill to within 2″ of the tub’s top.
  6. Place second ring over tube and slide down to top of fill material.
  7. Fill tube with potting soil mixture to bottom of first planting hole.
  8. Place first plant in lowest hole. (may need to feed from inside if seedling root ball is too big to feed through planting hole)
  9. Add additional soil mix up to next hole. Insert next plant.
  10. Repeat until tube is filled.
  11. Skip to next step if installing the Patio version. Fit second PVC tube’s flared end over first tube, and match up the arrows to assure the correct alignment of the planting holes.
  12. Repeat planting procedure until tube is filled.
  13. Fit cap piece over top of tube and connect to hose(option 1) or connect water-filled 2-liter bottle (option 2).

Listing of Plants Successfully Grown in the Garden Stick

    • Annuals
    • Perennials
    • Lettuce
    • Basil
    • Mint
    • Beans
    • Orchids
    • Bell Peppers
    • Oregano
    • Cabbage
    • Parsley
    • Cherry Tomatoes
    • Romaine Lettuce
    • Cilantro
    • Chives
    • Strawberries
    • Garlic
    • Sweet Peppers
    • Hot Peppers
    • Thyme
    • Kale

If you purchase plants in 4″ pots, you may not be able to fit the root ball through the holes in this vertical tower’s tubes. You can usually fit the branches and leaves through the hole, however, but you would do this from the inside of the tube.

So there you have it, a garden in a two square foot space. If you have any questions or comments please make them below, or give us a Facebook like if you appreciated this article.

Regards,