Sunday, September 13, 2020

How do I make my own greenwall?

Hi,

If you'd like to make your own greenwall I recommend you start at the first post (click this and scroll all the way down to the bottom and read up). That should answer all your questions. After you read all the posts if you still have questions feel free to comment on a post or email me.

Good Luck,

Matt

37 comments:

  1. Hi Matt, Thank you for making such a thorough blog. I am currently at the stage of research just before making portions of moss walls to be incorporated into two facing walls in a long hallway. I was wondering what you think: Since moss can grow directly on wood, stones, cement, etc, would it be possible to have it grow successfully inside on recessed ceramic tiles, stones or cement instead of the typical backings of sphagnum moss or felt? There will be no plants other than moss adhered and growing. I would like the effect that was achieved by Makoto Azuma for the Milan Design show a few years back http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/05/04/moss-carpet-grows-in-the-heart-of-your-home/ or as Ishihara was able to achieve; http://greendoorgardendesign.com/.
    Would appreciate any advice or ideas you might have!

    Cheers,
    Jen

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  2. Hi Jen,

    I have never worked with moss although initially I wanted to incorporate it in my wall I never got around to it. Here's my best suggestions with my limited knowledge. I'd try to use a surface that has some texture to it (as opposed to tiles for instance) as I'd think you'll get better growth if moss roots have something to hang onto and also a place for water to wet the surface. Moss likes it pretty wet so felt could be a bit tricky as you may risk mold keeping it as wet as the moss likes. That said a well drained thin layer of felt would probably work fine. You'd just need to tweak your irrigation cycle to keep it wet enough but not too wet. Would you mind documenting your research and process as you proceed? I'd love to publish your wall here.

    Thanks,

    Matt

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  3. I took a closer look at Ishihara's blog and documentation of the installation process. You can see in the first photo that they used sphagnum moss as backing: http://greendoorgardendesign.com/blog/rhs_chelsea_flower_show_blog/more_staffs_together_chelsea_may14_2010.html
    We will be first constructing the irrigation system and then placing the backing along and into the siporex wall.

    More to follow soon.

    Thanks,

    Jen

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  4. Hi Jen,

    I assume this was a temporary installation and that there was no irrigation. One thing to enquire about is will the moss be a good long term substrate.

    Matt

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  5. Hi there! We mentioned you and your beautiful green wall here: http://www.bit-of-green.com/bits/vertical-gardens-do-it-yourself
    We also used some of the photos from your youtube video, to illustrate how you made your wall, I hope you don't mind!

    Cheers :)

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  6. Hey dude fantastic blog! Read everything but did not find when and where to place the tube??
    Before the felt, after the metallic structure? How do you fix it? Glue? Staples> Tie rap? The more details the better!! xox

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  7. Also, do you add an air pomp into the basin? I read that it oxygenes the water and avoids the stagnation of the water which is not cool for the plants...

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  8. Finally, do you think that if i put fish in my basin the fertilizer will kill them?

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  9. @nath

    The irrigation tube goes at the top of the wall behind the first layer of felt. You can also locate it behind both layers of felt if you are worried about evaporation. This may be of concern for an outdoor wall.

    You hold the tube in place by stapling the felt around it so the felt holds the tube in place.

    Because the basin is flushing and then dripping during an irrigation cycle, multiple times a day, you don't have to worry about stagnation.

    As long as you use organic fertilizers in small amounts the fish should be fine. I'd look into fish/seaweed based fertilizers.

    Good Luck,

    Matt

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  11. Thanks you are awesome! Do you know the difference between "capillar mat" and "moisture retention mat"? If there is a difference what is the best to use?
    I think "capillar mat has plastic sheet on it... not sure.. do i need any plastic sheet for an inside wall?

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  12. Also, for each plant we create a pocket so do i need to let loose the second layer of felt in order to be able to create those pockets? Or both layers need to be tight? Sorry for asking so many questions but id like to do it right the first time :)

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  13. @nath I don't know anything about capillar mat. I looked it up and didn't find any good information on it. Moisture retention mat (mrm) holds water and allows for roots to grow into it. If capillar mat can do the same thing it should work fine.

    The mrm felt does not need to be tight. When you cut it you can stretch it out to accommodate the rootball. Then you staple it down. When you staple you want it to be pretty firm on the rootball so that the roots can easily get water and grow into the mrm.

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  14. Hi Matt

    I'm in Montreal, your blog is a great starting point, you should consider starting a wiki fir dirce howtos.

    I was hoping to start a new little proyect but i was wondering if you know of somebody using passive irrigation.
    I do not like too much the idea of an electric pump. I was thinking on something with the water reserve on top and then just permanen tlittle drops.
    Do you think this can work or I will have problems?

    Thanks
    Federico

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  15. @Federico I am intrigued with your idea. I'd think some of the issues would be limiting the amount of water. Most walls go through wet and dry cycles every day. Most plants prefer this. A constant drip system would lead to a constantly damp or wet wall. You'd need to use semi-aquatic plants or mosses I'd think. Or plants that don't mind their roots being wet all the time. Also your system wouldn't allow for water recirculation which would mean water waste. Tell me more about what you are thinking. Can you make a simple drawing?

    Matt

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  16. Here is one we just made.

    http://www.lushe.com.au/2011/02/17/regeneration-wall/

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  18. Matt,

    You're site has been very helpful to me. I am trying to build a horizontal window louver system where each louver blade is actually a tray for plants. This way my 3 foot long window sill can now fit 6 louvers/plant trays and thus grow 6 times as many herbs as before.

    I am having trouble figuring out the irrigation system. I would like to run tubing through the vertical framing that is holding the louvers, and then at each louver the tubing would branch off into the louver tray. So one irrigation tube becomes six separate irrigation tubes. Is this possible? Will any of the water and nutrient mix make it past the first branch or will it all just go to that first tray? Any thoughts are much appreciated. If you'd like to talk further my email address is BHSilverman@gmail.com

    Thanks much.

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  19. Hi Matt,

    Fantastic blog.

    I'm thinking of a living wall to run the full length of a boundary (15m wide x 1.5m high) and thought perhaps this was too long a run for 1 pump (loss of pressure along such a long run). So I had thought of building 3 troughs with 3 pumps so in effect 3 walls side by side but appearing as 1 long one. What are your thoughts on this?

    Many thanks in advance,

    Aaron

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  20. Hello Matt! Im wondering if you know someone that can give a full training on vertical gardens in a few days, this is not in the US. Thank you so much!! This is my email jandralv@hotmail.com. Ale.

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  21. @Aaron What you are proposing makes sense to me. The other way to do it would be to get one big pump and compensate for the pressure loss by connecting different size hoses together. You'd need to consult with someone who could do the math on that. Good luck and please document your build and send me pictures.

    Matt

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  22. @Ale I'd be glad to connect you with someone if I can. What country and city are you in?

    Matt

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  23. Guatemala City, Guatemala. Thanks! You dont give that kind of training???

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  24. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the post. I'm currently collecting
    as much info as I can, as I'm building my first green wall.

    Another source regarding vertical garden that I found very useful is http://www.buildverticalgarden.com

    Thanks a keep posting!

    July

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  25. Hi Matt! Thanks for sharing your ideas. I used another type of plant for the green wall and right now it's doing fine.

    safes sydney

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  26. Hey Matt!
    I've literally just become fascinated with creating my own green wall and your site has been a wealth of information and inspiration!

    One question I have for you and other readers is how do outdoor green walls manage through the winter. Not just the plants but even the equipment (things freezing). Just curious!

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  27. Hi Matt...Aaron here again. I asked a question back in Sept 2011 regarding a 15 mtr wall. This project is now going ahead and I have been looking into modular planting racks such as this one
    http://www.treebox.co.uk/technicaldownload/residential.html
    The difference being that the plants are sitting in a trough of soil rather than a small pocket between 2 layers of felt. I guess this adds a lot of load (requiring a more solid backing structure) but gives the plants more soil to root into. It looks easier to get right. What do you think? Many thanks again for the fantastic advice you've given here. Aaron

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    1. Hi Aaron,

      There are many modular systems. I've never set one up. From what I understand from some people who have worked with them they are a bit more difficult to maintain than the Blanc system. They are more prone to die off. Again I'm speaking from experiences other people have had. A modular system requires a more complex irrigation setup and would be subject to more possible irrigation issues. As far as soil goes in a Blanc wall there is always soil around the roots of the plant. As the roots grow into the felt they pick up supplemental nutrients from the irrigation and runoff from the soil from plants above. You don't need more soil than the Blanc system provides. Should you wish to increase nutrients you can always add fertilizer to your water. Another possible issue with modular systems is confined roots. In the Blanc system the roots can continue to grow as much as they like into the felt. Modular systems like big leafy plants that hide the boxes. Blanc walls can have smaller plants planted at any interval. I've even seen Blanc walls with tiny creeping plants such as baby's tears that give a very different texture to the wall. Modular systems don't allow for that kind of variety.

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  28. Hey Matt, Steve Amendola here. Just pointing out the date at the top of the page says 2020...time travel much?

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  29. Hello Matt!
    Your blog has very much liked. A lot of the interesting information.
    At me a question. In the greenwall I use two layers aquanappe. Water moves between layers. Then I sit down plants in a pocket. I include system. The part of water from the top pockets gets on plants and pours out outside. What not so? Water should be submitted under two layers? I not correctly form pockets? (I do them as on your video and I fasten a stapler) In what an error? Thanks you.

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    1. problem solved.
      Reduced pump capacity.

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  30. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could e-mail me?

    Brian

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  31. Hi matt,
    I have a set up and was wondering what you thought of it. I'm a big plant grower and just moved into an apartment with 2 fish tanks (1 is a 55gal going to be oscar tank and the other is a 20-30gal guppy breeder tank) i also have a chameleon who will be getting outfited above the breeder tank. For the vertical wall I am using an old small bookshelf for the frame, 23.75"x 7.25"x 26". The back is fully lined with waterproof tarp and I'm going to be using baskets as dividers for the plants so they all get moisture cover. As for the plumbing I'm going to have a pump bring water to the top through a flex pipe using pin hole drip system as my only timers are hour and half hour settings. I'm planning on using regular potting soil(no additives) and a filter pad at the bottom for the return to tank. I'm also going to have a seporate pump/filter providing waterfall/drip system over the top plants to form drinking water for the chameleon. My problem spots are: between the baskets should I line felt? And how should I set up the drain/ return to tank? My idea so far is to set up a drain hole in the centre/near center and have the bottoms slightly angled at all sides towards the drain (sanding and shaping each cornner of bottom priamid style to help gravity). Any advice or comments would be greatful.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lindz,

      Sounds like a great setup! I'm a planted tank keeper and in the past I had a veiled chameleon. Your setup is a bit out of the norm. Send me an email and we can arrange some time for a call.
      My email is matt at c505 dot com.

      Matt

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  32. Am I the only one who can't find plans on here? There is the list of supplies, but it assumes we've seen one in person, or have some experience with green walls. Maybe the whole post isn't loading. Lots of beautiful finished projects. I'm no dummy, I've built half my house... Has anyone posted a diagram or explanation of what does what, and what goes where? I need a visual!! Very excited..
    .

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    1. Ok, i got there gradually. I now realise that there is no medium other than the fabrics and the original clump of soil. I might make a few smaller framed setups to test out some different materials and see what works well for outdoors where I am (Australia). I also want to avoid using a pump in one location, because of having to run power there. I guess I'll have to feed it manually, because even if it rains on it, nutrients will eventually run out in the wall. If someone else works out a nice drip set up, please say so.

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