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Week Four Tower Garden Fun- Team Ann Arbor

June 29th, 2014

Hi Humble Seeders!

Last month we featured a contest in which we gave away a  Tower Garden. We thought it would be exciting to giveaway such a unique and easy-to-use growing system to one lucky person! We also thought it would be interesting to try the Tower Garden out ourselves here in Ann Arbor, we also had San Francisco-based teammate start one as well. We thought it would be interesting to see how the Tower Garden experience may vary with different locations and differing growing techniqes.

In just under an hour our Tower Garden was fully assembled, filled with water and ready for action. We started our very own Humble Seed utilizing the included seed-starting materials and transplanted our seedlings to the tower the first week of June.  Currently, we spend not more than 10 minutes a day to ensure our plants are growing like weeds! It truly is amazing to witness such rapid plant growth! Well, we can say we haven’t had this much fun gardening in quite a long time!

Check out our Tower Garden photos below:

Week 1 -Jun 12, 2014

The Tower Garden Experiment

Week 4- June 29, 2014

Week 4

Here’s what’s going on inside the reservoir:

Week 4 Root System

Roots extending down through the tower to the reservoir tank.

Roots extending down through the tower to the reservoir tank.

We hope to have more exciting updates next weekend and perhaps even some fruit development!

Now, here are a few extra things we  in Ann Arbor are doing that might help you with your Tower Garden.

1. We change out the water in the reservoir every 7-10 days to ensure there is no waste or toxic build-up in the tank. And, to make things easy, we invested in this hose filter that  removes or greatly reduces thousands of common water contaminants and hazards along with 90-percent of chlorine and 98-percent of dissolved metals. In between reservoir turn-overs, we top the tank off daily with water from our hose (we find that about 2.5 gallons of water evaporates daily).

2. Along with the recommended addition of the Tower Garden Mineral supplements (Nitrogen, Calcium, Iron, Phosphate,Soluble Potash, Magnesium, Sulfur, Boron, Copper, Manganese, Molybdenum, and Zinc), we add our own super charged growing juice consisting of 76 trace organically-bound earth minerals. We steep Bloomin Minerals in a food safe- 5 gallon bucket and add this nutrient dense water to the reservoir after every turn-over.

3. By adding these minerals we are raising the Brix level of our plants and ultimately our food.  Not only are we ensuring we are growing nutritionally-dense foods packed with minerals, we are also deterring insects.  Bugs don’t like the taste of high Brix plants. Insects generally target weaker, unhealthy plants. We haven’t seen any bugs messing with our Humble Seed plants!

4. We choose to also invest in a electronic Ph tester for ease and accuracy. We strive to maintain the Ph level around 5.5. It takes a little bit of time after you do a full reservoir change out to get your Ph stabilized but after that its very low maintenance.

5. We tested out some expensive boutique seed along with an eggplant seedling from large gardening chain store to see how they fare against our seed. Well, the eggplant seedling is on life support and the paper pack strawberry seeds were D.O.A. And, as you can see our Humble Seed plants are doing what they do best-GROW!  (Did you know we have some of the highest germination rates out of all the seed companies?)

eggplant_towergarden

Store-bought eggplant seedling was immediately decimated. Could be due to lack of minerals…. Plant was pruned back and is currently doing much better!

6. We rotate our Tower Garden daily to ensure sun exposure is being distributively evenly over time to all of our plants. The dolly really makes this a simple task.

7. Oh, this should have been at the beginning but prior to starting our seed we preconditioned the rockwool with a conditioning solution to stablize and adjust the rockwool ph to a most favorable condition. Outside of rockwool, what have you found that works best in hydroponic growing system?

8. We are staggering our lettuces to ensure succession harvesting. Thus, you may notice empty slots that are on reserve for future kale and lettuce seedlings.

9. HUGE tip- We marked our growing slots with a Sharpie and then made note of what seedling we transplanted where.

So, we have been learning a lot the last few weeks about this type of gardening and we really enjoy it. We think the Tower Garden is the ideal system for those who have limited time, space, and perhaps  limited mobility. We are confident that through the course of a growing season or two, the Tower Garden will be very cost effective and paying for itself in no time at all.

 

About Us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed. We’re also proud to say we have taken the Safe Seed Pledge!!

Does starting your first garden seem too overwhelming or you simply don’t have the space? The Tower Garden may be the answer for you!  Passionate about gardening and healthy living, or looking to expand your current health-based business? Consider becoming a Tower Garden distributor! Email info@humbleseed for more information.

 

 

 

 

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Get Crafty With Your Container Garden

April 16th, 2012

 

If you love quirky art projects, or inventive ways to display your gorgeous garden, then perhaps simple terra pots will seem a little “wah-wah” once you read these makeshift garden alternatives. A makeshift garden uses untraditional containers to display flowers, herbs, vegetables and peppers. The possibilities are endless! Which makeshift garden ideas are your favorite?

1. Decorative Chair – use a decorative dining room or patio chair and refurbish it to display your garden! To make your own garden chair, you’ll need to remove the seat and create a space to display your plants. Plant your favorite herbs, flowers or even small vegetables. (See a full tutorial with pictures here)

2. Vintage Bicycle – Give a vintage bicycle new life and make great use out of the front and back end baskets.  You may also add smaller baskets to the seat or pedals.  Fill each basket with coconut fiber and potting soil.  Plant your favorite herbs, flowers and small vegetables.

3. Picnic Basket – How often do you really use a picnic basket, perhaps twice a year? Give yours a full time job and allow your plants to be beautifully displayed from its openings.  Any sized picnic basket will work just fine, and remember to fill it with a good quality potting soil.  Plant a variety of herbs, flowers, small vegetables or even chilies for larger baskets — how creative is this basket?

4. Bird Bath – Old or unused ceramic birdbaths make wonderful displays for gorgeous herbs and flowers. Be sure to carefully drain holes at the bottom for proper drainage.

5. Dresser Drawers and Crates –  Distressed wood drawers and wine crates can create a unique, vintage feel in your garden or home. Be sure to drill holes at the bottom for proper drainage, and see this example.

6. Wheelbarrow – If you no longer use a wheelbarrow, don’t give it away! They create a quirky, rustic look when flowers, herbs and vegetables are displayed from them. Plant your favorite herbs, flowers or small vegetables. (See this tutorial)

7.  Toolbox – Using toolboxes to display your garden can create a fun conversation piece next time you have guests over.  Remember to drill in drainage holes, and fill the toolbox with potting soil.  This is a great idea for a small herb garden.

8. Used Tires – Some prefer using 1 – 2 tires for smaller gardens, while others stack several to create a tower of plants for display. Leave the tires as is for a recycled feel, or spray paint each for a decorative edge. Some studies show that used tires have the potential to release harmful chemicals in warm temperatures.  Therefore, inedible plants are recommended, and never display them in an enclosed area or in-doors. (A beautiful photo here)

9.  Tree stump – Tree stumps can be unsightly and difficult to mask. Why not make lemonade out of a lemon?  They can be quite beautiful with a variety of flowers and herbs rising out. Creating a makeshift garden out of a tree stump is a little more challenging – but well worth the effort.  This how-to gives thorough step-by-step instructions.

10.  Picture Frames – Picture frames filled with small plants can make a boring fence instantly adorable and functional! Window box frames work best, or use any frame with additional width to fit small pots with herbs or flowers. (A gorgeous example here)

 

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