Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Living Wall Con't

Green Wall

Time to plant a green wall. I ordered Living Wall Outdoor Planting Grids (2) from Gardener’s Supply Co. I was stymied at first, I first saw the product on the Living Wall web sight. Then the catalog came with the grids inside a frame at more then double the cost I was planning on. Plus I didn’t know what to do with aoo that framing. Then I went to the web sight to order and the product was gone. These green wall grids have become a Gardener’s Supply Exclusive. I wasn’t going to pay over $100 for them. So when the product showed up in the catalog without the framing, I put out the cash, ordered two.

I’m planning on mounting the grids on the garage and growing lettuce that no ground hog will be able to reach. The grids can also move into the shade in summer, though the lettuce will go to seed come June when it is warm and I will have to replant greens, mache and New Zealand Spinach last through the summer months.

I did not order the planting medium from Gardeners Supply. For one thing, I read (don’t know where) that the plastic crystals that absorb water, contain Bisphenol A, or some other chemical that I don’t wish to put in my body. I would love to chase this data down, the internet is not quite transparent enough yet.

Moving along; what soil mix I will use. Three choices in additives to make the soil mix lighter and retain water are: Sphagnum moss, vermiculite, and peat moss. All three have pros and cons. I eliminated peat moss first because mining the bogs that have been there for centuries is not what I want to support.

I will try to purchase soil additives from a local nursery, at least see what they have. Compost has been my main soil for pots in the past, but compost is heavy. I will have to experiment and see what works. Water retention will become a big issue, I am sure, as the growing modules are small and we have little rain in the summer. Drip irrigation is done with plastic tubes (more weird science). I will want to grow lettuce in the shade.

On the web I have seen wires and shelving used on big buildings to make green walls. I have been playing around with cukerbits, squash and cukes, but have not found a deep enough container. I am still experimenting with this, the problem could be that the soil dries out in summer, I need to work on the drip system.


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