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View Full Version : The Garden Tower Project........



778 neighbour of some guy
25th September 2013, 18:48
Up to 50 plants on a square meter, worth a view and time well spend, you can buy one or build one, just found this on Youtube and wanted to share, imagine what that thing could do if you mix biochar and some pieces of wood in there ( hugelkultur style) to feed it, and hold the moisture in, that barrel would explode with the best ever succulent veggies, 10 of these in a small greenhouse can probably feed a family year round, enjoy the videos and instructional, I wish I had a balcony or a garden, happy growing and bon apetit.

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How to make biochar.

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Example of a very simple, very fast diy greenhouse set up.

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Irishmammy
25th September 2013, 19:00
love it thanks!

Bob
25th September 2013, 19:07
I wonder if that can be made out of OAK barrels on that design? Maybe the wood would impart a type of earth-like connect?

778 neighbour of some guy
25th September 2013, 19:11
I wonder if that can be made out of OAK barrels on that design? Maybe the wood would impart a type of earth-like connect?

A barrel is a barrel I think, and if you can create something out of wood for the compost tube that's even better, not sure how it will hold up though with all that moisture in the soil, but a barrel is a barrel and holes are holes, so, everything can be improved on and the wheel is reinvented everyday, you might as well add your own wheels.;)

Rosieposie
26th September 2013, 11:00
Hey that is cool! We are building one of these in my garden atm for our greens:

http://www.sendacow.org.uk/keyhole-gardens

It's less space conservative but it is a very intelligent design for high production with little in put, we have issues down where we live of huge swarms of those white cabbage butterflies (clouds of the buggers!) so were going to put a net over ours and have all our softy plants in it :)

778 neighbour of some guy
26th September 2013, 11:26
Hey that is cool! We are building one of these in my garden atm for our greens:

http://www.sendacow.org.uk/keyhole-gardens

It's less space conservative but it is a very intelligent design for high production with little in put, we have issues down where we live of huge swarms of those white cabbage butterflies (clouds of the buggers!) so were going to put a net over ours and have all our softy plants in it :)

:cool: Hi Rosieposie, that is amazing, what a wonderful idea, all readers of this thread should definitely check out your link, Keyhole Gardens are great, why not make it a thread of its own, its worth being seen by all imo, spreading some good news is very much needed, no matter what goes on in the world, we still have to eat and any practical ideas that can create freedom and happiness NOW should be on the top of everyone's list and be seen by all, I like the fact that this is a very much PRACTICAL way of helping out, its a difference ANYONE CAN MAKE in this desert of powerlessness, lets take our power back by declaring food independence with dirt under our nails.

THANK YOU !!

Bob
26th September 2013, 16:23
I wonder if that can be made out of OAK barrels on that design? Maybe the wood would impart a type of earth-like connect?

A barrel is a barrel I think, and if you can create something out of wood for the compost tube that's even better, not sure how it will hold up though with all that moisture in the soil, but a barrel is a barrel and holes are holes, so, everything can be improved on and the wheel is reinvented everyday, you might as well add your own wheels.;)

I was thinking the oak barrel concept, or an area inside the middle with oak slats for the composting chamber - more natural me thinks, sticking with natural substance for something touching plant roots, that was the logic.. Oak is used for wine, alcohol, water barrels (old ships - there was a preference in English shipyards for oak and the preference for natural strength of the hulls)

778 neighbour of some guy
26th September 2013, 16:37
I wonder if that can be made out of OAK barrels on that design? Maybe the wood would impart a type of earth-like connect?

A barrel is a barrel I think, and if you can create something out of wood for the compost tube that's even better, not sure how it will hold up though with all that moisture in the soil, but a barrel is a barrel and holes are holes, so, everything can be improved on and the wheel is reinvented everyday, you might as well add your own wheels.;)

I was thinking the oak barrel concept, or an area inside the middle with oak slats for the composting chamber - more natural me thinks, sticking with natural substance for something touching plant roots, that was the logic.. Oak is used for wine, alcohol, water barrels (old ships - there was a preference in English shipyards for oak and the preference for natural strength of the hulls)

Uhuh, natural materials will always be better of course, a used wooden barrel must have a special aroma, whisky flavored carrots would become an instant favorite of mine, anyway, all natural materials would be best for the barrels, perhaps a hollow bamboo core could serve the purpose of compost container in the center of the barrel, well here we go, we gave the garden tower an all natural upgrade, that should take the plastic taste out of the tomatoes.

Bob
26th September 2013, 16:53
I wonder if that can be made out of OAK barrels on that design? Maybe the wood would impart a type of earth-like connect?

A barrel is a barrel I think, and if you can create something out of wood for the compost tube that's even better, not sure how it will hold up though with all that moisture in the soil, but a barrel is a barrel and holes are holes, so, everything can be improved on and the wheel is reinvented everyday, you might as well add your own wheels.;)

I was thinking the oak barrel concept, or an area inside the middle with oak slats for the composting chamber - more natural me thinks, sticking with natural substance for something touching plant roots, that was the logic.. Oak is used for wine, alcohol, water barrels (old ships - there was a preference in English shipyards for oak and the preference for natural strength of the hulls)

Uhuh, natural materials will always be better of course, a used wooden barrel must have a special aroma, whisky flavored carrots would become an instant favorite of mine, anyway, all natural materials would be best for the barrels, perhaps a hollow bamboo core could serve the purpose of compost container in the center of the barrel, well here we go, we gave the garden tower an all natural upgrade, that should take the plastic taste out of the tomatoes.

I like that idea of bamboo for the composting core. Question - the "container concept" (plastic, wood, natural clay pot made with the holes..) means more farming area in a small space, wherever the plants can get adequate sunlight (maybe backside plants will need the barrel rotated?), is there a difference with soil-less farming, such as what we have seen with "air grown" tomatoes? vs soil?

I've had great tomatoes, and some of the "other" ones (oye...)..

http://www.freshplaza.com/2012/0113/tomatoes.jpg

778 neighbour of some guy
26th September 2013, 17:05
I wonder if that can be made out of OAK barrels on that design? Maybe the wood would impart a type of earth-like connect?

A barrel is a barrel I think, and if you can create something out of wood for the compost tube that's even better, not sure how it will hold up though with all that moisture in the soil, but a barrel is a barrel and holes are holes, so, everything can be improved on and the wheel is reinvented everyday, you might as well add your own wheels.;)

I was thinking the oak barrel concept, or an area inside the middle with oak slats for the composting chamber - more natural me thinks, sticking with natural substance for something touching plant roots, that was the logic.. Oak is used for wine, alcohol, water barrels (old ships - there was a preference in English shipyards for oak and the preference for natural strength of the hulls)

Uhuh, natural materials will always be better of course, a used wooden barrel must have a special aroma, whisky flavored carrots would become an instant favorite of mine, anyway, all natural materials would be best for the barrels, perhaps a hollow bamboo core could serve the purpose of compost container in the center of the barrel, well here we go, we gave the garden tower an all natural upgrade, that should take the plastic taste out of the tomatoes.

I like that idea of bamboo for the composting core. Question - the "container concept" (plastic, wood, natural clay pot made with the holes..) means more farming area in a small space, wherever the plants can get adequate sunlight (maybe backside plants will need the barrel rotated?), is there a difference with soil-less farming, such as what we have seen with "air grown" tomatoes? vs soil?

I've had great tomatoes, and some of the "other" ones (oye...)..

http://www.freshplaza.com/2012/0113/tomatoes.jpg

I think soilless growing is great to ( I am no expert), apparently when you keep the roots submerged in nutrient rich water the plants grow at unprecedented speed, call me a romantic but soil is usually the medium where plants grow ( besides water plants that is), huge clay strawberry towers can be bought any garden center these days, not many grow spots in them though and no compost tube either although that can easily be added by yourself, I don't see a problem there at all in that aspect, what could be a problem on the other hand is the lack of a drain hole and a hole in the bottom of the pot for the compost container to be emptied from.

The wooden barrel would be the simplest way I think, perhaps a subject to rot but you can always replace the barrel or the composting core, I think the benefit of a wooden or plastic container would be, you can turn the whole contraption upside down, take the soil out, shake the roots of the former veggies out, dump the soil back in, and use the roots for compost, a heavy clay pot would be not as easy to work with imo, heavy, fragile, you need an oven to make one if you want a maximized growing space, so why not buy a rain barrel, a new wooden one can be bought for under 50 euros here in Holland, much easier like that.

For adequate light distribution a white reflective background usually is best to reflect the light to the side that is not turned to the sun, turning your barrels around every day would become real drag, the purpose is of course to make this as easy and self contained as possible, plant, water, compost, harvest, replant, etc etc.

Thanks for bumping the thread btw Bob, I think this is important to take back our freedom, not being dependent on big agro for survival is a mayor part of taking our power back.

PurpleLama
26th September 2013, 17:14
Some loose weave fabric, a few yards of 6 inch pvc, a ten gallon bucket with a lid, some cheap wire fence, dirt and rocks, you can build your own pretty cheap, or even from found materials. I made a design that will work, but haven't gotten around to getting the pvc, the rest of the stuff I have laying around the yard....

Bob
26th September 2013, 17:17
I think soilless growing is great to ( I am no expert), apparently when you keep the roots submerged in nutrient rich water the plants grow at unprecedented speed, call me a romantic but soil is usually the medium where plants grow ( besides water plants that is), huge clay strawberry towers can be bought any garden center these days, not many grow spots in them though and no compost tube either although that can easily be added by yourself, I don't see a problem there at all in that aspect, what could be a problem on the other hand is the lack of a drain hole and a hole in the bottom of the pot for the compost container to be emptied from.

The wooden barrel would be the simplest way I think, perhaps a subject to rot but you can always replace the barrel or the composting core, I think the benefit of a wooden or plastic container would be, you can turn the whole contraption upside down, take the soil out, shake the roots of the former veggies out, dump the soil back in, and use the roots for compost, a heavy clay pot would be not as easy to work with imo, heavy, fragile, you need an oven to make one if you want a maximized growing space, so why not buy a rain barrel, a new wooden one can be bought for under 50 euros here in Holland, much easier like that.

For adequate light distribution a white reflective background usually is best to reflect the light to the side that is not turned to the sun, turning your barrels around every day would become real drag, the purpose is of course to make this as easy and self contained as possible, plant, water, compost, harvest, replant, etc etc

I would love to see a whole section on the forum dealing with all these techniques, barrels, soil-less, with-soil - how to grow veggies inside near a window. The big thing with soil growing over time, with different tap water types is excessive salts getting caught in the soil then messing with the growth. So I like your idea about turning the barrel upside down to clear the soil out.

778 neighbour of some guy
26th September 2013, 17:18
Some loose weave fabric, a few yards of 6 inch pvc, a ten gallon bucket with a lid, some cheap wire fence, dirt and rocks, you can build your own pretty cheap, or even from found materials. I made a design that will work, but haven't gotten around to getting the pvc, the rest of the stuff I have laying around the yard....

Nice family project for those cold winter nights that are approaching Reilly, you can kick it off as soon as spring starts:p

778 neighbour of some guy
26th September 2013, 17:22
I think soilless growing is great to ( I am no expert), apparently when you keep the roots submerged in nutrient rich water the plants grow at unprecedented speed, call me a romantic but soil is usually the medium where plants grow ( besides water plants that is), huge clay strawberry towers can be bought any garden center these days, not many grow spots in them though and no compost tube either although that can easily be added by yourself, I don't see a problem there at all in that aspect, what could be a problem on the other hand is the lack of a drain hole and a hole in the bottom of the pot for the compost container to be emptied from.

The wooden barrel would be the simplest way I think, perhaps a subject to rot but you can always replace the barrel or the composting core, I think the benefit of a wooden or plastic container would be, you can turn the whole contraption upside down, take the soil out, shake the roots of the former veggies out, dump the soil back in, and use the roots for compost, a heavy clay pot would be not as easy to work with imo, heavy, fragile, you need an oven to make one if you want a maximized growing space, so why not buy a rain barrel, a new wooden one can be bought for under 50 euros here in Holland, much easier like that.

For adequate light distribution a white reflective background usually is best to reflect the light to the side that is not turned to the sun, turning your barrels around every day would become real drag, the purpose is of course to make this as easy and self contained as possible, plant, water, compost, harvest, replant, etc etc

I would love to see a whole section on the forum dealing with all these techniques, barrels, soil-less, with-soil - how to grow veggies inside near a window. The big thing with soil growing over time, with different tap water types is excessive salts getting caught in the soil then messing with the growth. So I like your idea about turning the barrel upside down to clear the soil out.

There are some threads on the Off grid forum Bob, Ron Mauer has an excellent website btw, lots of gardening tips there, but I do agree with you, this is a very important topic and deserves its own section, but then again the food and water section of the off grid forum has a lot of information already, its not a very popular part of Avalon I'm afraid, which is somewhat odd I think, not very exciting for most people I guess, unless they already have a system in place or are otherwise prepared they would also be the least informed and have the biggest chance of becoming hungry when the economical system goes through a mayor possibly catastrophic reset.

TargeT
26th September 2013, 17:40
Hmm, those garden towers would make sense even if you have land to spare... I could see a matrix of 6 rows 9 planters deep producinig some SERIOUS food! and only taking up 216sq feet, but providing 1350sq feet of gardening, plus plenty of compost (assuming you could keep the compost tubes filled with that many... haha)

mix in an automated watering system and you'd have a very easy garden to keep track of.

I was thinking of doing raised garden beds on my property but this is very attractive, and will give me more room for fruit trees.

PurpleLama
26th September 2013, 17:45
Some loose weave fabric, a few yards of 6 inch pvc, a ten gallon bucket with a lid, some cheap wire fence, dirt and rocks, you can build your own pretty cheap, or even from found materials. I made a design that will work, but haven't gotten around to getting the pvc, the rest of the stuff I have laying around the yard....

Nice family project for those cold winter nights that are approaching Reilly, you can kick it off as soon as spring starts:p

Shoot, I live in south Mississippi, no need to wait for spring....

778 neighbour of some guy
26th September 2013, 17:48
Hmm, those garden towers would make sense even if you have land to spare... I could see a matrix of 6 rows 9 planters deep producinig some SERIOUS food! and only taking up 216sq feet, but providing 1350sq feet of gardening, plus plenty of compost (assuming you could keep the compost tubes filled with that many... haha)

mix in an automated watering system and you'd have a very easy garden to keep track of.

I was thinking of doing raised garden beds on my property but this is very attractive, and will give me more room for fruit trees.

They 'll make you king of the island Target, that would feed your family ten times over in that climate, you will become the miracle greengrocer on the island.

778 neighbour of some guy
26th September 2013, 17:51
Some loose weave fabric, a few yards of 6 inch pvc, a ten gallon bucket with a lid, some cheap wire fence, dirt and rocks, you can build your own pretty cheap, or even from found materials. I made a design that will work, but haven't gotten around to getting the pvc, the rest of the stuff I have laying around the yard....

Nice family project for those cold winter nights that are approaching Reilly, you can kick it off as soon as spring starts:p

Shoot, I live in south Mississippi, no need to wait for spring....

Bwahahah well get started then man, 52 weeks a year of warm weather, you can grow Monsanto out of business al by yourself.

Bob
26th September 2013, 18:01
Hmm, those garden towers would make sense even if you have land to spare... I could see a matrix of 6 rows 9 planters deep producinig some SERIOUS food! and only taking up 216sq feet, but providing 1350sq feet of gardening, plus plenty of compost (assuming you could keep the compost tubes filled with that many... haha)

mix in an automated watering system and you'd have a very easy garden to keep track of.

I was thinking of doing raised garden beds on my property but this is very attractive, and will give me more room for fruit trees.

At 10,000 foot (about 3000 meters) altitude we don't have any good growing season :smow: , so something that is able to grow well on rocky soil, maybe inside even would be a treat.

778 neighbour of some guy
26th September 2013, 18:12
Hmm, those garden towers would make sense even if you have land to spare... I could see a matrix of 6 rows 9 planters deep producinig some SERIOUS food! and only taking up 216sq feet, but providing 1350sq feet of gardening, plus plenty of compost (assuming you could keep the compost tubes filled with that many... haha)

mix in an automated watering system and you'd have a very easy garden to keep track of.

I was thinking of doing raised garden beds on my property but this is very attractive, and will give me more room for fruit trees.

At 10,000 foot (about 3000 meters) altitude we don't have any good growing season :smow: , so something that is able to grow well on rocky soil, maybe inside even would be a treat.

May I suggest to you to take a trip to the off Grid Forum and look for the Zip Tie Dome thread, its the first thread in the General section, a greenhouse might be a solution to extend your growing season or at least have at some control over temperature and other exposure issues.

If you are already considering drilling holes in wooden barrels, perhaps you can extend your project with a multifunctional lightweight moveable greenhouse (for cheap).

TargeT
26th September 2013, 18:14
Hmm, those garden towers would make sense even if you have land to spare... I could see a matrix of 6 rows 9 planters deep producinig some SERIOUS food! and only taking up 216sq feet, but providing 1350sq feet of gardening, plus plenty of compost (assuming you could keep the compost tubes filled with that many... haha)

mix in an automated watering system and you'd have a very easy garden to keep track of.

I was thinking of doing raised garden beds on my property but this is very attractive, and will give me more room for fruit trees.



At 10,000 foot (about 3000 meters) altitude we don't have any good growing season :smow: , so something that is able to grow well on rocky soil, maybe inside even would be a treat.

Maybe you have a well lit area in your house that one of these could go? I bet it would do fine indoors, though composting indoors might not be the best for the odor of the house...
yeah, I have a bit of a gardening advantage with 365 days of growing available at about 150 foot altitude; but I moved here for that very reason away from a place that had a 90 day growing season... (haha).

Honestly right now anything I can do to cut down on the amount of grass I cut is ideal.. I'm on day 3 of cutting my properties grass, and I have to do it every week at least.

Bob
26th September 2013, 18:23
Hmm, those garden towers would make sense even if you have land to spare... I could see a matrix of 6 rows 9 planters deep producinig some SERIOUS food! and only taking up 216sq feet, but providing 1350sq feet of gardening, plus plenty of compost (assuming you could keep the compost tubes filled with that many... haha)

mix in an automated watering system and you'd have a very easy garden to keep track of.

I was thinking of doing raised garden beds on my property but this is very attractive, and will give me more room for fruit trees.

At 10,000 foot (about 3000 meters) altitude we don't have any good growing season :smow: , so something that is able to grow well on rocky soil, maybe inside even would be a treat.

May I suggest to you to take a trip to the off Grid Forum and look for the Zip Tie Dome thread, its the first thread in the General section, a greenhouse might be a solution to extend your growing season or at least have at some control over temperature and other exposure issues.

If you are already considering drilling holes in wooden barrels, perhaps you can extend your project with a multifunctional lightweight moveable greenhouse (for cheap).

Ya, the miniportable green house makes sense - the thing I was worried about from having tried that in the past was the water in the soil issues - the Barrel type of system allows for large vertical farming better than trays, and I looked at the air-roots sprayed with nutrients for more vertical area (better yield). Having to somehow get the salts out of the soil be it barrel or tray has been an issue. We get about a month before the soil is no longer usable. And one cannot collect "rain" out here - they have laws of all things, someone taking FREE RAINWATER by putting it into a pond or rainbarrel, one can get busted for stealing water from those "downhill", so we can only use well water. Having some way to recycle the soil, put the rich nutrients back in and keep it going is why I was attracted here. Moreso than the green house issue, but the contamination through water/salt from wells.. Anyway thanks :)

TargeT
26th September 2013, 18:30
some plants are pretty salt tolerable, in fact when I was growing hydroponically in alaska the nutrients used were salt based (and could burn your plants if you let them get too concentrated, hydroponics takes a bit more diligence/supervision than soil based gardening) what's the PPM count of your water, how high in sulfur is it, what PH? if the PPM count is below 100 and the PH is around 7 and you have a low sulfur level you'll be fine (ppm of 80 or above is pretty dirty water, but plants grow in dirt, so.... ;) haha)

778 neighbour of some guy
26th September 2013, 18:59
Hmm, those garden towers would make sense even if you have land to spare... I could see a matrix of 6 rows 9 planters deep producinig some SERIOUS food! and only taking up 216sq feet, but providing 1350sq feet of gardening, plus plenty of compost (assuming you could keep the compost tubes filled with that many... haha)

mix in an automated watering system and you'd have a very easy garden to keep track of.

I was thinking of doing raised garden beds on my property but this is very attractive, and will give me more room for fruit trees.

At 10,000 foot (about 3000 meters) altitude we don't have any good growing season :smow: , so something that is able to grow well on rocky soil, maybe inside even would be a treat.

May I suggest to you to take a trip to the off Grid Forum and look for the Zip Tie Dome thread, its the first thread in the General section, a greenhouse might be a solution to extend your growing season or at least have at some control over temperature and other exposure issues.

If you are already considering drilling holes in wooden barrels, perhaps you can extend your project with a multifunctional lightweight moveable greenhouse (for cheap).

Ya, the miniportable green house makes sense - the thing I was worried about from having tried that in the past was the water in the soil issues - the Barrel type of system allows for large vertical farming better than trays, and I looked at the air-roots sprayed with nutrients for more vertical area (better yield). Having to somehow get the salts out of the soil be it barrel or tray has been an issue. We get about a month before the soil is no longer usable. And one cannot collect "rain" out here - they have laws of all things, someone taking FREE RAINWATER by putting it into a pond or rainbarrel, one can get busted for stealing water from those "downhill", so we can only use well water. Having some way to recycle the soil, put the rich nutrients back in and keep it going is why I was attracted here. Moreso than the green house issue, but the contamination through water/salt from wells.. Anyway thanks :)

How about good old organic potting soil, you can control what you put into it yourself, why make it any harder on yourself then necessary, you can mix the compost right in, add some worms, wood ash, water it, turn it over every other day, let is sit for a week or so and its ready to use, that's the easy way, of course if your budget allows that at least.

Carmen
26th September 2013, 19:02
I grow veg in oak barrels on my verander. They survived the winter very well and we had veg handy and available. Great post and good ideas here.

778 neighbour of some guy
26th September 2013, 19:08
I grow veg in oak barrels on my verander. They survived the winter very well and we had veg handy and available. Great post and good ideas here.

Are you growing only on top of the barrel Carmen or do you have the same concept as the barrels in the OP but then in wood, 50 holes in the barrel and exploding green on all sides?

Carmen
26th September 2013, 19:10
My barrels are cut in half but I could bore holes in a complete barrel and do that. Thanks for the tip.

Bob
26th September 2013, 19:14
Posted by 778 neighbour of some guy
How about good old organic potting soil, you can control what you put into it yourself, why make it any harder on yourself then necessary, you can mix the compost right in, add some worms, wood ash, water it, turn it over every other day, let is sit for a week or so and its ready to use, that's the easy way, of course if your budget allows that at least.

That's a great suggestion - I kinda need a soil to fill the barrel with something that lets the salts from the water leave, and not stay in the soil, but to have the nutrients remain present as a feeder source. That's why the concept of the central core for the compost seems very important i think.. The potting soil has that white stuff in it, vermiculite or perlite but it seems to hold the salts. I have tried water floods but the water is salt laden at the outset. Those were the reasons why I had started looking at the air-root system, and minimal controlled nutrient. Soil as mentioned is very much more natural, so oik, and soil so neat really as a concept. My situation may or may not be unique - dealing with the stuff from the water -

778 neighbour of some guy
26th September 2013, 19:14
My barrels are cut in half but I could bore holes in a complete barrel and do that. Thanks for the tip.

Hey, your welcome here, if you do bore holes in it and if you are willing to, could you please post a picture, the aesthetics of wooden barrel must be way better then the plastic ones, its fun to solve the worlds food crisis in a thread btw.:cool:

Carmen
26th September 2013, 19:41
My ultimate intent is to build on a glass inclosure to my house that I can heat from the house and use through the colder months of the year. I was inspired by the book 'Solviva'. The author had the vision of every building (even high rises) having glass houses on the sunny walls to grow produce. I think it's very doable and would make those environments far healthier.

PurpleLama
30th December 2013, 23:27
Some loose weave fabric, a few yards of 6 inch pvc, a ten gallon bucket with a lid, some cheap wire fence, dirt and rocks, you can build your own pretty cheap, or even from found materials. I made a design that will work, but haven't gotten around to getting the pvc, the rest of the stuff I have laying around the yard....

Nice family project for those cold winter nights that are approaching Reilly, you can kick it off as soon as spring starts:p

I have nearly finished the first of three towers that I am building for three different households within my family. I ultimately elected to build the entire thing out of wood and screws, amounting to a cost of about $133 per tower. PVC, it turned out, was not to be the best material to use in what would otherwise be an organic garden, so I have settled for untreated pine, which will eventually rot and need to be replaced, but will not be adding any unwanted chemicals into the mix.

=[Post Update]=

I will take some pics this weekend, and hopefully be able to have them up the first part of next week....

778 neighbour of some guy
31st December 2013, 09:27
Some loose weave fabric, a few yards of 6 inch pvc, a ten gallon bucket with a lid, some cheap wire fence, dirt and rocks, you can build your own pretty cheap, or even from found materials. I made a design that will work, but haven't gotten around to getting the pvc, the rest of the stuff I have laying around the yard....

Nice family project for those cold winter nights that are approaching Reilly, you can kick it off as soon as spring starts:p

I have nearly finished the first of three towers that I am building for three different households within my family. I ultimately elected to build the entire thing out of wood and screws, amounting to a cost of about $133 per tower. PVC, it turned out, was not to be the best material to use in what would otherwise be an organic garden, so I have settled for untreated pine, which will eventually rot and need to be replaced, but will not be adding any unwanted chemicals into the mix.

=[Post Update]=

I will take some pics this weekend, and hopefully be able to have them up the first part of next week....

Wow, you have breathed the life back in the thread, you must be some god, ow ai ai ai, that has become a bit pricey Reilly, but cheaper then buying the complete system I believe, and you got the joy of building them yourself, that should be somewhat satisfying if it turns out to work as it should, what did you use for the compost/feeding core?

Cant wait to see the pictures.

Best wishes for 2014, may the most high Monkey Elephant guy first give you and family what you need and then what you want, in very rapid succession;)

Edgar

PurpleLama
31st December 2013, 17:34
No compost feeding core, rather it is wide open at the top, so the compost goes in a pile up there. Its 3x3 feet on a side and six feet tall, containing a total of 64 row feet. The soil is held in by "shelves" that are removable, so about once a year the soil may be removed from the bottom and put up top, cycling down the accumulated compost on top. Its open in the middle down to the ground, as it struck me that I would prefer the dirt all be connected to the earth. I have also been requested to build something shorter for my mother in law, as her space is more limited, so I am off to make one more compact.

outerheaven
31st December 2013, 17:50
Awesome, PurpleLama. Thanks for the bump, I didn't see this thread before.

I'm definitely interested in doing something like this. I love your decision to scrap the PVC, too! You've given me some ideas to bounce around my head ... please let us know of any updates with your system. :)

PurpleLama
6th January 2014, 16:10
Ok, here are the first two towers....

24381

24382

Conchis
6th January 2014, 16:33
Ok, here are the first two towers....

24381

24382

I'd bet you could combine that design with Hugel Kultur and it would be an amazing thing. To do that you'd basically stand up a log (bury one end a foot or so below the soil and center that in the tower. Throw in a bunch of sticks and twigs and then fill the whole thing with soil and compost. The Wood continuously breaks down and retains water and adds nutrients as it goes. I really like the way you've designed these. Nice!!!

Conchis
6th January 2014, 16:44
Another thing that might be of interest to look at is the "herb spiral garden." It's a permaculture design technique that grows plants in a spiral with a mound so that the center is higher than the rest. I only mention this because as you put that structure up, you have plants facing all 4 directions and the permaculture studies lend some knowledge about what plants like north, south, east and west facing placement. (They also frequently put a little pond at the base on one side for things like cresses.) I can't wait to see how these function for you. I think they are going to be excellent.

Dennis Leahy
6th January 2014, 16:51
Ok, here are the first two towers....

24381

24382
I too had not seen this important thread. Thanks to all who are participating!

Reilly, what is the function of the things that look like feet or steps?

Dennis

PurpleLama
6th January 2014, 18:00
I too had not seen this important thread. Thanks to all who are participating!

Reilly, what is the function of the things that look like feet or steps?

Dennis

Well, Dennis, they are steps, so short people can reach the top where the compostables will go....

CD7
6th January 2014, 20:47
Ok, here are the first two towers....

24381

24382


Tht is an awesome Job!! I don't have those type carpentry skills at the moment...wished u lived close, id pay u to make me one!

PurpleLama
6th January 2014, 21:00
Ok, here are the first two towers....

24381

24382


Tht is an awesome Job!! I don't have those type carpentry skills at the moment...wished u lived close, id pay u to make me one!

No real carpentry skills were required.... If I lived in Florida, I'd make you one if you bought the stuff to do it, but alas....