Saturday, February 26, 2011

Phillip's Making of Video

Phillip sent me a making of video for his wall. I love to see the process behind the creation of people's walls. Thanks for making and sharing this Phillip.

At the end of the video you can see Phillip's first wall that he gave to his Mom. Phillip said:
I forgot to tell you that 1 great thing with vertical gardens is its transferable. i just changed some plants on my first attempt and gave it to my mom to transform her dull wall to a lush greenery. funny thinking about a garden being transported by a van...

Irrigation Filter Install

So for awhile now I have been mentioning how important it is to have a filter on your irrigation system. Mine never really had one and I wasn't very good at keeping dirt and plant matter out of my basin. Periodically I would have to take down my irrigation hose and clean out the clogged holes with a paperclip while running water through it. This was a time consuming process.

This is the hose waiting to be cleaned in my bathtub.

This is how I close off the end of the hose. In order to clean it I have to remove the hose clamps so that I can get water flowing out the end.

While I had the irrigation apart I thought I'd take a photo of this T splitter. As you can see the tube that brings the water up from the pump is quite large. But then the splitter steps it down to a thinner size for the tubes that run across the top of the wall. This was recommended by the person who helped set up my pump system. The idea was that you wanted less pressure (a wider hose) when you were pushing water up vertically. When you got to the top and you were pushing horizontally you could use a thinner hose. This isn't 100% necessary but if you can do it it makes sense.

This is the filter I bought. Technically it's called a strainer. I bought it from here. It was the wrong size unfortunately (too small) so I added little sleeves to it so that it would fit. This is the filter with the sleeves.

I originally thought this would fit on the vertical tube running up from the pump before it hit the T. I was so off with the size estimate that it was even too small for the horizontal tube. With the sleeves it fits but I can only have it on one side of the T. I chose to put it on the longer side. The short side is much easier to clean should it ever clog again.

I finally cleaned the sponge that the filter came with. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. I also cleaned out the basin around the filter. There was quite a bit of dirt and decomposing leaves. Also that weird white Styrofoam stuff they put in soil. That stuff was the biggest pain. After I cleaned the sponge I added this mesh bag over it that I had from a my fishtank. It's a very fine mesh and should prevent most things from even getting into the pump in the first place. The mesh came from one of these.
When I emptied the basin I learned that my basin holds far less water than I thought. Originally I estimated it at around 35 gallons. In reality my basin holds less than 15 gallons. I add 5 gallons to it every 2 days to keep up with water loss. So my wall uses roughly 2.5 gallons of water a day for 80sqft.
These are the things to learn from my mistakes. Don't let dirt and plant matter get in your basin to begin with. If possible plant your wall before adding your basin. When you need to remove plants to replace them make sure the basin is well covered. Have two filter systems for a backup just in case. I now have one at the pump and one in the hose.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lushe's "Regeneration Wall"

This beautiful wall was just completed in Australia by Lushe. I'm particularly glad they documented the process. They used marine plywood as a base which is something that's readily available in most places. Also they used Baby's Tears which is a beautiful small leafed plant.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Carlos' Wall Un Año Después

Carlos posted a great time lapse video of an update to his wall.

Hi Matt

After nearly a year, a fungal infection, pests and several dead plants I want to share the restoration of my Vertical Garden Patrick Blanc style.

I learned a bit in this process, for example, something important is to improve ventilation to avoid the appearance of fungal and bacterial infections, so I put a ceiling fan near the vertical garden. I changed the felt by one of lesser quality, which has a more open fabric for increasing oxygenation and ventilation of the roots and substrate. Also, I changed the substrate by a sphagnum peat moss, I hope this help to a better plant growing. Related to the pests, I have to tell you that in my tropical town is a headache, particularly Planococcus insects, this kill some plants and weakened other. Finally about my first video, I have put some notes in Spanish that explain a little the construction process.

Congratulations for keeping live your great blog


Carlos Pacheco

It sounds to me that Carlos may have been over watering a bit for his climate if he was struggling with oxgenation and fungal and bacterial infections. Make sure you set your watering cycles to allow your wall to dry off. Most plants need wet and dry cycles.

It's great to see Carlos sticking with his wall and updating it.

Thanks for the update Carlos.