Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gavin's Questions

Hi Gavin,

Thanks for your questions.

Did you just have one horizontal tube going across the very top of the garden to water the whole thing, or multiple tubes?

Just one tube on my wall at the top. I'd say one tube for every 8-10 vertical feet although I never measured it on a Blanc wall.

Did you use that regular flexible tubing and poke small holes in it, or was it a soaker hose type thing, or was it one where you had those drip emitters coming out?

I used regular flexible clear hose I bought from my local hardware store and then drilled holes in it. At one point the filter on the pump slipped and sucked up rotting leaves that clogged all the holes. I had to take the tube down to clean the holes. It was sort of a pain. Emitters might have made that process easier. Also emitters can control flow which was an issue at first with my tube. I had to balance pressure and gravity.

And the last question.. when you cut those slits, did you staple the front piece of felt to the back piece of felt to form a pocket, then put the dirt in then plant? Or did you just cut the slit, and put the plant in without dirt?

Great question. I really need to shoot a photo sequence of this but for now here's the description. We cut the slits in the first layer of felt (only the first layer gets cut), took the plant out of the small plastic pot, stuffed it in the slit, and then stapled around it to form a tight little pocket (about 4-5 staples).

Please keep your questions coming.




  1. Hi Matt,

    I live in Malaysia, and am planning to create my own outdoor wall. Sourcing the water retention mat has been a bit of a struggle. However I have found a geotextile used for filtration. Is this the same thing as the mat you used?

    Your site has been a wonderful source of info and inspiration.

    Thanks. Alfie

  2. Hey Matt,
    Would something like work as the geotextile? I emailed your source for the textile last week, but haven't heard back for a quote.. so I was wondering if something like that would work instead.

  3. Hi Gavin,

    That doesn't look like the right stuff. This is the product I used from a different vendor.

    This is the company.

    Good Luck,


  4. Matt, I have a vertical garden that isn't quite what you have described. Mine uses a single layer of nylon felt stapled to a backer board with the plantings using little to no dirt. Here's the first page of posts (lots of pics). Read through to the end for the complete tale.

    I am using a single layer of nylon carpeting padding felt (well rinsed before use). The majority of the soil was removed from the planted starts. Anything I had started in water was tucked into a pocket sans soil. Seeds were pressed into pinches of peat moss in tiny pockets.

    My wall is fed from a 30 gallon aquarium with two small goldies and a pleco. I started using a 3 gallon bucket with water from one of our outdoor fish tanks. I add a small amount of potash(? - going from memory here . . . ) monthly. I top up the aquarium monthly so combine these tasks. I feed the fish every morning and have the aquarium filter set at 85.

    So far my wall is doing awesomely well. I planted it in April. The geranium and begonia have bloomed. I'm holding out hope for the vining black eyed susan and coleus but will probably have to wait for spring.

    I am planning a larger plant wall to go on the north wall of our sun porch (glass roof so won't be using the shade loving house plants in this wall). I was able to get some LDPE sheets destined for recycle from a local printer. They're about 3/8" thick and about 3'x4'. I'll screw them to a framework, sealing the seams and staple on my felt.

    I like this felt. It feels dry except when the pump is running water through it. It may be best to use 2 layers of felt, but so far the wall is awesome with a single sheet.