Frequently Asked Questions
When can you start ?
In general you can start any time of the year with the Garden Tower, depending on what you want to grow. Obviously in our climete late winter early spring is best for flowers, herbs and vegetables. No problem putting in your strwberries in august for next season.
You may find it usefull to starts the composting in the Garden Tower in late fall. Het heeft zin om al voor de winter het composteren in de Garden Tower op te starten. It takes some time for the proces to get underway and by spring time you would not need any extra fertiliser.
Where do I put my Garden Tower ?
Choose an easy accessible and sunny place. You need a stable solid and levels surface like a terrace or a rooftop. Should you need to put the Garden Tower on a lawn you need to put three level pavement tiles under the feet. This will prevent sagging. Also keep in mind that once filled the Garden Tower will be difficult to move to another place.
How much and what kind of potting soil do I use ?
The Garden Tower needs 6 cubic foot (170 lieter) of soil. The simplest is to use commercially available potting soil. This has optimal drainage, still retains moisture while properly airated and is suitable for most plants. A huge variety is availe from garden centres, with or without fertiliser. The fertiliser will come from the composting worms. When you have just started that process is not up to full speed yet and you may want to add some fertiliser.
What can I grow in my Garden Tower ?
Up to you, realy. The Garden Tower accomdates a huge variety of herb, flowering plants and vegetables. You need to keep a few obvious pitfalls in mind.
Plants that grow big and need to be led and supported (like tomatoes) you want to put on top. Be aware that it will then be difficult to rotate the Garden Tower. For the sides choose plant so that they do not overlap to much and take each others light.
Plants with large woody roots will grow into the composting tube and make drainage and harvesting the compost difficult. Avoid those or be prepared to remove the roots regularly.
Which worm do I use and where do I get them ?
The suitable worms are know as red wriglers and nightcrawlers (Esenia Fetida en Dendrobena). The central vermacomposting tube is optimised for them to crawl in and out of the composting kitchen scraps. You could find them in any composting heap, buy them on line or in shops that sell them as fishing bait.
What do I feed my worms with ?
Vegetable and fruit waste (NO citrus fruit) from your household will suffice. You want to add some egg shells and even the shredded carton box the came in. In general anything plant derived and cut into small pieces. Avoid color printed carton. Do not use animal fat or meat waste, this will start to smell and attract flies. To start fill the composting tube with some 20 inches of kitchen scrap and add a cup of worms. Keep in mind that the worms will only start to thrive when day temperatures get above 5 C. Use the "natural variety" of your daily kitchen scrap and dont overdose. You dont want to put in 3 kilos of apples. This will take to long and they may start to smell.
What do I do with worm activated compost and water ?
The worms will happily crawl throughout the tower and enrich the soil. They leave their droppings with fertiliser. When watering the Garden Tower this will seep down and is collected in the reservoir. Use this water again to feed your Garden Tower or use it for other plants that need it.
The Garden Tower's composting tube produces a rich, black vermicompost. This is an organic fertiliser that you can use anywhere. This can be harvested after two or three months, using the collecting reservoir. If you choose not to use the composting tube as such just fill it with potting soil. You will then need to add fertiliser as you see fit.
How much water and what other care do I give my Garden Tower.
With the built-in vermicomposting system the Garden Tower is selfsufficient, except for watering. Depending on your wheather 10 to 15 liters every 2 to 3 days will suffice. You want to do that using a watering can and not a garden hose. You will get a better feel for what your tower needs. Feel the potting soil in the lowest row. If it feels moist give 5 liters, is it dry give 15 liters. If the reservoir is full twice a week you are giving to much.
Treat the plants as you would in any other pots. Depending on what you grow you can leave your Garden Tower outside during the winter. In our moderate climate the worms will survive.