My name is Sam, i'm from auckland NZ and we built a large green wall based off your video on you tube after reaching a lot of brick walls with landscape companies, so we decided to do it ourselves.
Our wall is progressing really well, the density is great, some plant types have not done so well, but almost all have survived, and thats about 1500 plants! The one issue we are having is smell. After 2 months, the felt we used has water in it of course, and has started to smell damp and musty. On invetsigataion with our hydroponics consultant he told us is was being caused by anaerobic bacteria in the felt. He advised us to use "waterclear" that is available that goes in the water system and kills the bacteria, and he has assured me that it is not only safe for the plants but it improves the oxygen available to them. So we have tried this and while not much has happened since we applied it, it is early days.
I was wondering if you had come across this or have any advice?
I replied to Sam via email and asked him how often he was watering. If his wall is going through distinct wet/dry cycles I'd think the bacteria wouldn't really be an issue. Also it seems odd to me that anaerobic bacteria would be an issue with plants in synthetic felt as it is a fairly open material. Was this wall made with synthetic felt for it's moisture retention layer? Sam if you are out there please let me know more. Also I'd love to post pictures of your wall so please send them in.
Jared wrote in about mold growing on his wall:
First off I just wanted to say I love your blog. Without it I don't know if I would have gotten my greenwall up and running nearly as well. I'm having a problem, though, that I was hoping you might know a solution for. My wall has only been up for about 4 weeks, but a little over a week ago I noticed small amounts of mold growing on the felt material I used. I've been using a vinegar/water mixture to kill it, and it works without hurting my plants, but it only kills what has already grown, and doesn't prevent further growth once the vinegar is diluted. Do you have a safe solution that might work? I was considering moving my wall so it receives direct sunlight. I heard mold has a much harder time growing with enough sun.
My wall doesn't compare to yours, but I've attached a picture in case you wanted to see. It's a self-standing wall which is why I'm able to move it when I need to. It's not completely done yet. I'm a poor grad student so I'm adding plants little by little when I can spare the money. I'll be adding another 15 today actually. In the picture I'm sending only about half is covered so far. If your interested I can send you another picture once it is complete.
I hope to hear from you soon, and thanks again for your blog. It is amazing!
I've never had a problem with mold on my wall. I'd be curious to know about your wet/dry cycles. How often are you watering; amount and length of time. What material did you use for your felt? Let me know in the comments please.
If you have any helpful suggestions for Sam or Jared please comment. I'm no expert when it comes to mold/bacteria so any and all help would be appreciated.