By Using a "Soil-less" Plant Mix with Peat Moss and/or Coconut Coir Has Many Benefits and Makes It Easier to Move and Rotate Your Earth Tower Vertical Garden.
Once your Earth Tower Garden is assembled, it is ready to be planted and enjoyed. As one customer stated, “I can grow the heck outta this thing!” Why? Because it holds an abundance of “soil” that plants love!
The soil to use, however, really isn’t “soil” at all! WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND USING A “SOIL-LESS” GROWING MIXTURE!
Earth Tower’s base and wheels are engineered to hold up to 300 LBs, but using heavy clay garden soil will make your Earth Tower more difficult to move and rotate.
Soil-less growing mixes are:
Easy to mix and handle
The spongy consistency of these mixtures retains moisture and encourages abundant root growth. Sterilized, they are free of insects, fungus, weed seeds and other annoyances. Moreover, they won’t pack down, and they deteriorate very slowly.
Soil-less mixtures are commonly composed of Sphagnum peat moss and/or coconut coir, plus perlite and/or vermiculite. Some brands may also enhance their mixtures with healthful amendments such as beneficial microbes, humic acid, dolomitic lime, wetting agents, earthworm castings, bat guano, kelp and other organic fertilizers. If you spend extra for these types of soils, you won't need to add plant food to your waterings as often.
Choose a soil-less mixture that feels right to you. If you prefer to make your own soil-less mixture, here is a simple recipe that will give you a light, well-balanced product:
SIMPLE SOIL-LESS MIXTURE:
2 parts sphagnum peat moss or coconut coir
1 part vermiculite
1 part coarse perlite
1 Tablespoon of dolomite lime per gallon of mixture (to counteract the mild acidity of the sphagnum peat moss).
IMPORTANT: ALWAYS MOISTEN SOIL-LESS MIXTURE BEFORE FILLING THE EARTH TOWER!
Fill a large container (a 16-gallon used Rubbermaid bin works really well) about half full and moisten with water. Mix well using a shovel (or your hands for those who like playing in dirt) adding more water as needed until the mixture is moistened through and through.
Don’t over-moisten! It should be just damp enough so that when you take a handful in your palm and squeeze it together, it will stick together loosely, then fall apart.
TIP: When working with a sterile mixture, use tools or containers that have not been in contact with regular soil. This extra care will prevent contamination.
HOW MUCH MIXTURE TO BUY?
The Earth Tower holds approximately 5 CUBIC FT of soil-less growing mix. A standard 3.8 cubic foot bale of regular Peat Moss or two of the 5G bales of coconut coir will provide plenty of plant mix when mixed according to the recipe above.
NOTE: Buying and preparing your soil-less mixture does add additional cost upfront, but this plant mix will last you several years. If you’re growing organic vegetables and greens it will more than pay for itself within the first year of harvest.
These mixtures recommended for the Earth Tower need not be excessive in cost. Ask your garden shop dealer for large bulk bags or bales. Don’t buy your soil in small, expensive bags. Also, your local nurseries use this sterile medium in great quantities. You might arrange to buy enough bulk soil from them to fill your Earth Tower.