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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Remove all parts from the shipping box.
- Set the tub section onto a level surface.
- Place the first ring into the bottom of the tub
- Place the bottom section of the growing tube through the hole in the ring at the bottom of the tub.
- Add washed rock, sand, broken-up brick, or cinder block chunks into the tub to add weight for stability. Fill to within 2″ of the tub’s top.
- Place the second ring over the tube and slide it down to the top of the fill material.
- Fill the tube with potting soil mixture to the bottom of the first planting hole.
- Place the first plant in the lowest hole. (may need to feed from inside if the seedling root ball is too big to feed through the planting hole)
- Add additional soil mix-up to the next hole. Insert next plant.
- Repeat until the tube is filled.
- Skip to the next step if installing the Patio version. Fit the second PVC tube’s flared end over the first tube, and match up the arrows to assure the correct alignment of the planting holes.
- Repeat the planting procedure until the tube is filled.
- Fit the cap piece over the top of the tube and connect it to the hose (option 1) or connect the water-filled 2-liter bottle (option 2).
Listing of Plants Successfully Grown in the Garden Stick
- Bell Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Romaine Lettuce
- Sweet Peppers
- Hot Peppers
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.
Backyard Garden or Urban Patio Tips
here are some backyard garden or urban patio tips:
- Start small: Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to create a large garden or patio space all at once. Start with a small area and gradually expand as you gain more experience.
- Consider the location: Think about the amount of sun and shade your garden or patio area receives throughout the day. This will affect the types of plants you can grow.
- Choose the right plants: Select plants that are appropriate for your location, climate, and available space. Consider plants that are low maintenance and can thrive in small containers if you have limited space.
- Use containers: If you have a small space, consider using containers for your plants. This will allow you to easily move them around and create a more flexible garden or patio layout.
- Add vertical elements: Use trellises, hanging baskets, or wall-mounted planters to maximize your space and add visual interest to your garden or patio.
- Create zones: Divide your garden or patio into different zones, such as a seating area and a planting area. This will help you maximize your available space and create a more functional outdoor living space.
- Keep it tidy: Regularly prune and maintain your plants to keep your garden or patio looking neat and organized.
- Experiment with design: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different plant combinations, color schemes, and design elements to create a unique and personalized outdoor space.
- Use lighting: Incorporate outdoor lighting to extend the use of your garden or patio into the evening hours.
- Enjoy the process: Gardening can be a fun and rewarding hobby. Take the time to enjoy the process of creating and maintaining your backyard garden or urban patio space.
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.