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DIY - Do it Yourself Garden Tower Vertical Gardening

Category for Garden Tower users to share DIY ideas and projects.  (You can create your own article here)

So it's not much, and I apologize for the subpar photos, but the concept is simple, cheap, and functional and I thought I would share it! 


We have an uninsulated breezeway between the garage and our 1940's house (Indiana) that happens to have south-facing windows, so we put it to use and moved our two garden towers inside for the winter.

 b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC05323.jpg

We started a crop of broccoli, spinach, red leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, radishes and carrots in the late fall while the towers were outside.  Although the lack of insulation, very cold temps, and limited light slowed things way down, we were still able to produce lettuces, broccoli, and radishes all winter long and the best part is everything will be ready for a full spring harvest in March (if we don't eat it all before then).  The broccoli is the most tender and sweet I've ever tasted. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC05314.jpg

 

The mylar foil is simply hung behind the towers to catch the window light and reflect it back to the rearward plants.  It's doesn't get much easier or cheaper than this.  These are cheap-o emergency blankets from a big box store that were two for $2 over Christmas (thank you M*****s and the mountain of ad inserts you send me).  I turned the foil blankets into curtains in about 10 minutes with some duck tape.

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC05313.jpg

The curtain rod was a scavenged piece of electrical conduit (a few bucks new) from an old rooftop TV antenna!

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC05324.jpg

Here's what it looks like from inside the breezeway.  Notice the mylar foil is gold on one side and chrome on the other; I oriented the chrome or mirror finish towards the towers.  In April these Garden Towers get to go back outside!

 

I will get a morning photo with good direct sun very soon!

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"About once per week a suggestion or request for wheeled Garden Towers is heard from a customer or fan; the Garden Tower Project does not offer the option because Garden Towers are large and heavy animals and in the wrong location a free-wheeling tower could be quite dangerous."


The following instructions can, at your own risk, be used to effectively make the Garden Tower more mobile. Customers also use large planter dollies and drum dollies for the same purpose.  None of these approaches should be used on soft, rough, or inclined surfaces.

 

Project Notes:

- Try to find casters made out of nylon plastic as opposed to metal.  This will ensure you don't have to worry about rust degrading the structural integrity of the caster.

- It is extremely important to make sure the drill bit you use creates a hole that is the same size as the castor shank, or even slightly larger.  (If the hole is smaller than the shank, you risk splitting the wood when attaching the caster.)

- Use Gorilla Glue or a a similar formulation. This glue is incredible stuff, is waterproof, and will last many many years. Using more glue than the recommended 10 drops, may result in a big mess, so caution is necessary.

 

Method:

  1. Purchase three heavy duty casters rated at 100lbs or greater
  2. While in the hardware store, have the caster "shank" Sized by an employee
  3. Purchase a drill bit that is the next size up (1/64" - 1/32") from the castor shank diameter
  4. Purchase a very small squeeze bottle of "gorilla glue" (highly recommended)
  5. Place a mark in the center of each leg, and drill as straight as possible into each leg at least one eighth inch deeper than the total Length of the castor shank   b2ap3_thumbnail_1.jpg
  6. Pour enough water to fill each hole in the legs. After the third hole is filled with water wait five seconds. Now turn your Garden Tower (or legs) right side up to drain all of the water out b2ap3_thumbnail_3.jpg   
  7. Add about exactly 10 drops of gorilla glue into each hole, on each leg   b2ap3_thumbnail_4.jpg
  8. Using a mallet (or hammer and a small wooden block) Push or gently tap each caster into its respective hole until it is completely seated (in as far as possible)b2ap3_thumbnail_5.jpg
  9. Using duct tape, ripped into thinner strips if necessary, secure each caster onto each leg. (This is necessary, because the glue expands several times over while drying and has the potential to force the caster out of the hole.) If you sized your drill bit properly (it was not difficult to get your caster securely embedded in the hole) then simply tipping your Garden Tower right side up will ensure that the casters are not pushed out by the foaming glue.   b2ap3_thumbnail_6.jpg
  10. After about three hours wait, any excess glue that has seeped out of the hole can be easily removed with a sharp utility knife   b2ap3_thumbnail_7.jpg

Again, for HARD and LEVEL surfaces only.  This procedure is not an official recommendation of the Garden Tower Project.

 

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